Cynthia Chiles looking at strawberry blooms and plants in field

Orchard Outlook: Strawberries

April 25, 2019  |  Chiles Peach Orchard

Category: Fruit  |  Tags: fruit availability, pick your own, strawberries

4/30/19 Update: Strawberries are now in season!

Here’s a peek at the orchard goings-on to prepare for strawberry picking season.

Protecting the Strawberries from the Cold

When temperatures drop in the winter, strawberries bundle up. The plants stay under covers for a good part of the winter to help protect them from the cold weather.

Even with these precautions, some plants do get eaten by the frost. To tell which plants suffered from frost damage, look for a black center in the strawberry. The blooms are still pretty but, unfortunately, they will not become strawberries.

Strawberry plant damaged by frost

The black center indicates frost damage; this bloom won’t become a strawberry.

From Blooms to Berries: The Strawberry’s Life Cycle

Take a walk in the strawberry patch in April and you’ll see berries at the beginning stages of the growing cycle: just starting to bloom out, in full bloom, and some plants where the petals are dropping off and a baby berry is starting to form.

Typically, a nice white bloom is 30 days from becoming a red, ripe strawberry. If the weather cooperates, that is!

Healthy strawberry plant

These healthy white blooms are about 30 days away from becoming a ripe strawberry.

Young strawberry plant

The petals have dropped off and a baby berry is starting to form.

Stay tuned for strawberry picking updates. If Mother Nature is on our side, we’ll begin picking strawberries at the end of April or beginning of May this year. For the latest picking updates, follow us on Twitter @ChilesPeachOrch and check #whatspickingCPO.

Under the new pavilion at Chiles Peach Orchard

Our new pavilion offers shade on a hot day and will also serve as a covered event space.

Come enjoy our new pavilion

If you drove by the orchard this winter, you might’ve wondered what all the activity was. (We’re not bears, we don’t hibernate during the winter—we work!) We’re excited to invite visitors to enjoy the shade under our new pavilion. The pavilion will get the most use during events; we’re especially looking forward to the Orchard Jams series on Friday evenings through the end of September.

If you have general questions about farm life or orchard crops, let us know! We’ll address as many as we can during this season’s orchard outlook videos.

Farm market, tasting rooms, cover pavilion, and fire pit at Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet, VA

The perfect space for an outdoor gathering!

Orchard Jams, free music at Chiles Peach Orchard