Strawberry Crop Update – Vegetable Crops Hotline

Strawberry Crop Update

Frost/freeze damage is one of the major risks of growing strawberries in Indiana. During the morning of April 24, a widespread freeze event caused damage to several crops, including strawberries. Strawberries in southern Indiana, particularly on plasticulture, have entered full bloom. Without protection, freeze damage was extensive in some fields. A case study was described in this article. The late-blooming cultivars may have suffered less damage. Again, floating row covers are approved to protect the flowers from low-temperature damage. Farmers in southern Indiana reported minimal damage in the fields covered with thick floating row covers.

A high tunnel strawberry production system is much more resilient toward unpredictable weather in the spring. Floating row covers inside the high tunnel may protect crops with temperatures down to 20°F. In southern Indiana, the peak bloom of high tunnel strawberries occurred in March. Although we went through cold days in March, we successfully protected the blooms. Harvest of the early cultivars started on April 14 this year at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center. The yields are continuously going strong. The harvest also began in central Indiana and in caterpillar tunnels. Farmers reported high market demand for the strawberries.

More information about the pros and cons of a high tunnel strawberry production system can be found in this video. Previous years’ yields of the production system at the research farm were reported in this article.


Strawberry Cultivar Evaluation for Fall-planted High Tunnel System

Without Protection, Freezing Temperatures Monday Morning Caused Damage on Plasticulture Strawberries in Southern Indiana

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