Bloom has begun for early varieties of peaches, nectarines, and plums in California’s Central Valley marking the start of a productive and successful season to come. This process starts with the activation of buds that have been in a dormant state throughout the winter. As temperatures rise above 65 degrees for prolonged periods, the buds start to grow and develop into flowers. A warm, sunny spell can cause the buds to burst into bloom, while a cold snap can damage or even kill the buds, resulting in lower fruit production. Current weather forecasts suggest we’ll be able to keep things on the sunny side and avoid a cold shoulder from Mother Nature, protecting the beautiful blossoms that coat our orchards. Looking forward, thinning the heavy crop set will be a critical task for growers to ensure the fruit’s size and quality are prioritized. If they don’t keep pace with their thinning schedules, the fruit could become smaller and lower in quality, negatively impacting their yields.