FORT VALLEY, Ga. — We kicked off our new 13WMAZ Backyard Garden segment Thursday talking about the fruit that gives Georgia its nickname: the peach!
It's not summer without peaches and, believe it or not, this is one of the last weeks to get your hands on the sweet treat. This summer, peaches have been nothing short of plentiful thanks to a picture perfect growing season.
When looking at how successful a growing season is, you have to account for chill hours. A "chill" hour is when temperatures fall at or below 45 degrees.
Our Georgia peaches need about 800 chill hours for a successful season, but 1,000 chill hours is extra desirable, so that they stay dormant until the time is right.
If we don't have enough chill hours -- meaning temperatures start to warm up -- there comes the risk of peaches blossoming too early. If peaches blossom early, they pose a greater risk of tarnishing if there is a late-spring freeze.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, Peach County got a little more than 1,000 chill hours, including some late spring days in April and May.
Peach County wasn't the only spot with sufficient chill hours either. Byron, Butler, Fort Valley, and Jeffersonville also tallied up over 1,000 hours.
This brought an on-time blossom, a low threat of a late-spring hard freeze, and a perfectly peachy harvest to enjoy all summer long.
As we continue this segment, we want you to share a photo of your backyard garden with us! Text a photo to 478-752-1309.
We will be showing some of those photos off each week on 13WMAZ. Next week, look out for our backyard garden segment on how long we typically see hummingbirds in the area.