NCAT NCAT ATTRA ATTRA

Sign up for the
Weekly Harvest Newsletter!

Published every Wednesday, the Weekly Harvest e-newsletter is a free Web digest of sustainable agriculture news, resources, events and funding opportunities gleaned from the Internet. See past issues of the Weekly Harvest.
Sign up here


Search This Site

Sign up for the Weekly Harvest Newsletter

What Is Sustainable Agriculture?

Master Publication List

Search Our Databases

Urban Agriculture

Energy Alternatives

Beginning Farmer

Field Crops

Horticultural Crops

Livestock & Pasture

Local Food Systems

Food Safety

Marketing, Business & Risk Management

Organic Farming

Pest Management

Soils & Compost

Water Management

Ecological Fisheries and Ocean Farming

Other Resources

Sign Up for The Dirt E-News

Home Page


Contribute to NCAT

Newsletters

Newsletter sign up button

· Privacy Policy · Newsletter Archives


RSS Icon XML Feeds

RSS 2.0: Events, Breaking News, Funding Opportunities Atom: Events, Breaking News, Funding Opportunities

 

NCAT strives to make our information available to everyone who needs it. If you are a limited-access or low-income farmer and find that one of our publications is just not in your budget, please call 800-346-9140.

 

How are we doing?

 

Home  > Question of the Week

Question of the Week



Permalink What is the best climate for plum production?

Answer: In the United States, nearly all of the commercially grown plums for fresh eating are hybrids of the Japanese plum introduced by a Berkley nurseryman in the 1870s and subsequently hybridized by Luther Burbank in the late 1800s. Today, 95% or more of them are grown in California. Burbank made many complex crosses between Japanese and American plums and was the first to cross the plum and apricot. Though the fresh plums in grocery stores today are essentially "Japanese," they might contain germplasm from many species, thanks to Burbank.

Prune plums are European, as are most canned plums. Again, most commercial production of plums is centered in California, but European plums are more cold-hardy than Japanese plums and bloom later, so the European plum can be grown further north.

In fact, plums are adapted to a wide range of climatic conditions; at least some cultivars can be grown in almost every state. Commercially, Japanese plums and prunes are grown where rainfall during the growing season is minimal and humidity low to prevent diseases; this is why most production is in California.

Cold hardiness is excellent for European plums, similar to apple and pear, but Japanese plums are less cold-hardy (similar to peach). Plums have chilling requirements ranging from 550 to 800 hours for Japanese, up to 1,000 hours for European. (A greater chilling requirement means that the plant will be slower to break dormancy, hence, less likely to bloom too early while frost is still a danger.) Rainfall during the growing season can reduce production by accentuating diseases and causing fruit cracking.

As with other Prunus species, deep, well-drained soils with pH 5.5 to 6.5 give best results. However, plum roots are the most tolerant of all the stone fruits with respect to heavy soils and waterlogging.

You can learn much more in the ATTRA publication Plums, Apricots, and Their Crosses: Organic and Low-Spray Production. It focuses on organic and reduced-spray management options for disease and pest problems of plums, apricots, and their crosses (pluots, apriums, etc.). It also relates progress in broadening the practical climatic adaptability of the apricot. The publication also discusses adding these fruits as specialty crops for small-scale, diversified farms and identifies marketing opportunities.

 Permalink

 

« How do I choose the best site for persimmon production? :: Is organic raspberry production a profitable enterprise? »

Comments:

No Comments for this post yet...


Question of the Week Archives
[Contact]