Very Cold Temperatures Coming Soon After New Year – AWIS Update on 12.26.17 (3:15pm)
I am pleased to inform our readership that I will be assisting Dr. Mark Hoffmann, Extension Small Fruit Specialist, Dept. of Horticultural Science, NC State, with the strawberry weather advisories during the 2017-2018 strawberry season. I had a very good meeting with Mark last week in Raleigh, and we discussed how we can work together in delivering timely weather updates to strawberry growers in North Carolina and the Mid-South. With Mark presently enjoying a nice holiday gathering with his family in Florida, I wanted to ALERT YOU that our weather across much of the Mid-South will be decidedly more frigid on New Years Day (next Monday), and in the mountain areas of Virginia and North Carolina, temperatures will be dropping into the single digits by Tuesday morning, 1/2/18. It is worth noting that in some mountain areas, like Burnsville, NC, temperatures will be going BELOW ZERO.
You can review the AWIS 7 Day Temperature Forecasts (below) to see just how cold temperatures might be getting in your state/area by next Tuesday morning:
Even well acclimated strawberry plant crown tissues are susceptible to cold injury in the winter months if minimum temperatures drop below 10 F and into the single digits. Temperatures below 5 F could cause significant crown damage.
Row covers can provide excellent cold protection against extreme cold events.
Please review this page from the 2015 Strawberry Plasticulture Guide of the NC Strawberry Assn., if you wish to see how row cover protection can minimize cold injury to strawberry crown tissues in the winter season: Crown Damage
AWIS 10-Day Detailed Hourly Weather Forecasts for MD, VA, NC, SC, GA
Happy New Year!