Julie and Craig Wood farm blueberries and are no strangers to what below freezing temperatures can do to their fruits. “The cold weather during the winter is not a problem, they go to sleep they need what is called chilling hours after they get their chilling hours and they start to wake up and they start to bloom. That’s when it becomes important, so we always say that our season is won or lost in March,” said Wood.
Unfortunately, this year everything started to flower early by the end of February and the Wood Blueberry Farm is at about 95 percent bloom in the field. “Once we get to the flowering stage 32 is iffy, 30 is bad and last night my thermometer read 25, so we probably lost most of all of the crop. It won’t kill the plant they will come back next year, but chances are we won’t have a lot of fruit.”
But Wood says he did use some overhead frost protection to help due to the low temperatures. “…we wet them down aggressively and put overhead sprinklers and it caused an ice sheet to encapsulate the plant and then the trick is you use to continue to water them all night, so that it stays at 32 degrees you can’t let it freeze further than that.”
Now, reports ktre.com, it is a waiting game. Time will tell how much damage was done. This is the second freeze Wood Blueberry Farm have experienced.