Spring! Wait, It’s Still Winter?

When farming, you are a slave to the skies. The weather dictates what you do and when. As a blueberry farmer, we don’t appreciate the negative zero temperatures that usually plague several weeks of the winter months. They often kill the tips of branches decreasing their productivity. However, 50 degrees in January is not desirable either.

We had planned to cover a few rows of blues this fall to protect from harsh wind and freezing temperatures. The lack of windbreak in some areas of the farm have left certain rows particularly vulnerable. The winter wind can also decrease productivity as it dries out branches and buds. We only know of one other farm that has covered their blues in the winter, Blueberry Fields of Stillwater. We have learned a bit from them but we are kind of making it up as we go along. So, we didn’t cover the plants because we were worried about the plants getting too warm. When walking the rows at the end of January, we noticed some plants leaf buds had opened! YIKES! After some weeks of cold temperatures, we are heading back into temperatures well above 40 degrees F.

We are uncertain if not covering the plants was the right choice. What will the open leaf buds mean for our plants?  As stated in an earlier post, we don’t know what the future holds for these plants. Becoming blueberry farmers is a marathon, we are in it for the long haul. We just hope the decisions that we make won’t make it a longer haul!