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The orchard is beautiful with a covering of snow!
The orchard is beautiful with a covering of snow!

What do you do when it’s so cold outside?

February 15, 2016  |  Chiles Peach Orchard

Category: Fruit, In the News  |  Tags: Crozet, in the news, winter

We get a lot of questions about how winter weather affects our crops. We typically like the cold weather – our fruit trees require a certain amount of “chilling hours” in the winter for dormancy so that they can produce the volume and quality of fruit we need. However, the temperatures over the weekend, in the single digits, were much colder than is good for our trees and other crops. Mature trees can typically handle the cold temperatures, but the younger trees, as well as our berries, don’t fare quite as well. We double-covered our strawberry plants to protect the tender vegetation so that we can produce a crop this year. It takes a lot of manual labor to pull these covers and secure them. Our temperatures got down to 7 degrees Sunday morning……brrr.

Covered strawberry plants

Keeping the strawberry plants warm!

Once the weather warms back up, we will uncover the plants so that they can take advantage of sunshine so they can continue to grow.

As far as snow – we love snow! When the weather is cold enough for snow, it helps us get our required chilling hours. The snow also is wonderful for restoring ground water for the spring and summer (when it is often dry). A long winter is good for our crops. It will be spring before we know it!