Q: I have several Elberta peach trees that are growing like crazy but they want to bloom in January. I read that mulching them would keep the soil cold to slow blooming.
A: The air temperature around trees is what triggers them to bloom. Peaches require a varying number of hours below 45 degrees to be ready to bloom. Are you sure you have Elberta peaches? This variety requires 850 chill hours before blooming and early blooming is not usually that much of a problem. “Low chill” peach varieties have a terrible time producing in north Georgia because of their tendency to bloom early.
Elberta peach has a storied history in Georgia. It was grown here by Mr. Samuel H. Rumph in the early 1800’s. In the next decades the peach became famous for its ability to be shipped to New York and still taste great.