Organic Tomatoes: Transplanting is complete. Plants are growing as expected and doing well through last week’s rain.
Pear Tomatoes: Rain last week prohibited any transplanting. The wet weather cleared up and transplanting started on March 28th.
Conventional Tomatoes: Transplanting started on March 28th.
The bloom looks to be nearly complete; it has lasted almost a month. The crop currently ranges from lima bean size apricots to some still in their jackets. Leaves have begun to push on all trees. It is still early, but estimates put this year’s crop at about half of the previous year’s small crop.
Preliminary bunch counts are expected soon. Waiting on word for bud break in Madera, but it should have already been called.
The earliest orchards are progressing from bud break and to early popcorn stage. There is not any white showing yet, but we should see some next week. Depending on the weather, the early orchards are two to three weeks from full bloom.
The cool and wet weather are slowing the bloom. Bloom is scattered this year. There are buds that are still very tight, popcorn bloom, along with full bloom all on the same tree. Full bloom progress is about 10-15%. Some growers decided to prune extra hard this winter in hopes for larger fruit size at harvest.
Full bloom was called on March 19th in the Modesto area, which is 7 days later than last year. Early stages of petal fall are occurring in the early bloom varieties. Crop potential looks good. Still no word on frost damage to early bloom varieties of organics, but we should know something soon. Pruning has finished in the Marysville/Yuba City area and dead brush is being moved out. Orchards are being mowed as spring grass grows with all the recent rainfall.