Chill out

Fruits and nuts have another peculiar requirement. Most need a certain number of hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit — their chill requirement or chill factor — to produce lots of flowers and fruit. As you may guess, fruits (such as oranges) that grow mostly in warm climates have lower chilling requirements than some cold-climate fruits (like apples). The chill factor is not related to cold-hardiness, however. Even some frost-tender plants, such as fig trees, need some time below 45 degrees Fahrenheit to bear fruit properly. Table 16-1 lists the chill categories.

Look for specific varieties that match your climate. Some peach varieties need only 200 hours; others require more than 1,000.

Table 16-1

Chill Requirements

Chill Factor

Number of Hours below 45°F



Fewer than 400

Areas of California, southern Texas, and Florida


Between 400 and 700

Gulf Coast, southeastern seaboard, and West Coast areas


More than 700 to 1,000

Most of the United States and Canada

Low winter temperatures and the timing of autumn and spring frosts play important roles in your selection of fruit species and varieties for your organic orchard. Local nurseries generally sell plants that are best suited to your local climate. Reputable mail-order nurseries and your local extension office can also steer you toward appropriate varieties.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment