NASHVILLE - Tennessee’s highly anticipated strawberry crop has survived a roller coaster weather ride until now, but low temperatures, wind chill and moisture has area strawberry growers working overtime to protect the valuable berries. Generally, this year’s crop has been on schedule to be ready for first picking around the first of May.
Other fruit-bearing trees may also be affected by a hard freeze. A little frost can actually be a good thing, naturally weeding out enough blooms that the remaining blossoms can produce bigger, better fruits, but depending on how much the warm, sunny days of the past week have prompted tender shoots and buds to expose themselves to the elements, it could also spell disaster.
Contact Dr. David Lockwood, UT Institute of Agriculture, (865) 414-2412, for details about how particular crops, from strawberries to grapes and fruit trees, may be affected by approaching weather conditions. Additional contacts are available through Patricia McDaniels, UT Institute of Agriculture Marketing and Communications, (615) 835-4570.