23 Apr 2024

Frosts hit the first blueberries in Poland hard


Low temperatures and frost have had a significant impact on berry crops in Poland, particularly blueberries and strawberries. Some early varieties of blueberries and strawberries seem to have suffered losses due to frost. It is worth monitoring how the situation develops over the next few weeks. This will allow you to assess the full impact of these weather conditions on the berry harvest season.

Losses in Blueberry Plantations

We have experienced several nights of frost and low temperatures. Naturally, this has impacted berry crops, especially since, in some cases and for some species, vegetation was significantly accelerated. As we have already informed on our site, in the case of blueberries, for example, the flowering of some varieties began four weeks earlier than in normal years.

The decrease in frost recorded in recent days occurred virtually throughout Poland. In some places, such as the morning of April 23, the temperature near Wrocław and Opole even dropped to minus 7 degrees Celsius. This impacted berry crops. We already know that some early blueberry varieties died. This is true for both flowers and buds that were already present on some varieties. This includes Patriot, Earlyblue, Duke, and even Bluecrop.

Boccioli di mirtillo danneggiati dal gelo

Blueberry Bud Damage from Frost

Losses are also recorded in Mazovia, but they occurred last week. Then the ground temperature dropped below zero, and this is where some growers say damage occurred, especially to those that were already flowering. Growers report that losses in some blueberry varieties can reach up to 30%. Farmers equipped with protection systems (e.g., elevated sprinklers, fog chimneys) were able to protect their plantations from the effects of low temperatures.

Protection of Blueberry Plantations by Sprinkling

When it comes to strawberries, most growers tried to protect them with non-woven fabric covers. Such plantations tended to survive unscathed. However, there are places where even the strawberries of early varieties froze under the non-woven fabric. Damage occurs in uncovered plantations. There, practically, most of the flowers that were already blooming were destroyed by frost. We also know that the low temperatures that prevailed near the ground in the Świętokrzyskie region also damaged local strawberry plantations. Therefore, it is expected that the early strawberry season will start a bit later. Yields will definitely be lower than expected.

Strawberry Plantations Covered in Non-woven Fabric Survived the Frosts

Raspberry growers in the Lublin region are already reporting losses. In some locations, the morning of April 23, 2024, a temperature of -5 degrees Celsius was recorded. In the case of raspberries that fruit on this year's shoots, which were already 15-20 cm tall, they will be lost. The plants can still produce additional shoots, but they are increasingly weak. We should expect a delayed season for autumn raspberries, assuming there is something to harvest from such plantations. Even in the tunnels - according to Dr. Paweł Krawiec - the temperature dropped to -2°C. Fortunately, his farm had already covered the shoots with non-woven fabrics, so there is a chance to save the young shoots.

But this is not the end. It's just the end of April. The "cold gardeners," the "cold Zośka" are ahead of us; we will see what this period brings, and only then can we say how this berry harvest season will be in Poland.

Source: Jagodnik

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