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Behind the Scenes at Chiles Peach Orchard

April 5, 2016  |  Chiles Peach Orchard

Category: Fruit, In the News  |  Tags: behind-the-scenes, peaches, strawberries, winter

Springtime Frost Affects Strawberry Plants and Peach Trees

For our peach ice cream, apple cider slushies, and strawberry frozen yogurt, fruit and icy cold are a winning combination. When freezing temperatures threaten the crops before harvest time, however, we’re not so fond of freezing fruit.

To protect our crops from the cold, we have a few warming methods up our sleeves. For peach trees, wind machines are used to circulate air through the orchard and prevent frost from settling on the fruit. Strawberries are protected with overhead sprinklers that water the strawberries, freezing the plants before the frost can touch them. The ice on the plant creates a barrier between the bud and the frost and helps to seal the heat in like an igloo, known as the “igloo effect”. We also protect the strawberry plants by laying canvas covers (check out our video on Facebook) over the strawberry patch—you could call that the “blanket effect”!

Spring may have come early this year but that doesn’t mean Old Man Winter is done with us yet; we will continue to closely monitor the forecast for frost until May.

How the Orchards Prepare for Frost

View the original Albemarle Co. Orchard Preps for Spring Freezes article on NBC29.com

View another clip Fruit Farmers Concerned with Cool Temperatures article on NBC29.com

Strawberries Are Going to Be Early This Year!

Listen to Cynthia Chiles talk with Les Sinclair about strawberry season, expected to begin in mid- to late-April.

Listen to the original podcast posting on wina.com