NASHVILLE – Springtime cold snaps make strawberry lovers quake in their boots over the quantity and quality of the crop. Fortunately, Tennessee’s strawberry growers report that, if anything, the weather so far has only benefitted the burgeoning berries.
“All fruits sweeten best in hot, sunny weather,” says Pamela Bartholomew, marketing specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, “but Tennessee’s cool, wet spring has actually prolonged the growing process. The cold has thinned out some strawberries, but that’s actually a good thing, too, since the remaining berries will get a bigger share of their plant’s nourishment. It all adds up to a great crop!”
Strawberries generally are available first in West Tennessee in mid-April, then work their way across the state. Early varieties of strawberries are ready now in West and Middle Tennessee, and will continue to be available to the end of May as later varieties reach maturity. In East Tennessee, strawberries are usually available throughout the month of May and the early part of June.