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home : news : e-news August 9, 2022

2/28/2018 2:48:00 AM
Has Spring Sprung?
Peaches in bloom at Berry Hill Farm in Iron Station.  A few hours at 26° or below would wipe out the peach crop just as it did last year.(Lincoln Herald Staff Photos)
Peaches in bloom at Berry Hill Farm in
Iron Station.  A few hours at 26° or
below would wipe out the peach
crop just as it did last year.


(Lincoln Herald Staff Photos)

Strawberries are also in bloom.  But irrigation and other efforts can protect them from the cold much better than anything that can be done for peaches.  Expect this year's crop to be available about two weeks earlier than usual.
Strawberries are also in bloom.  But
irrigation and other efforts can protect
them from the cold much better than
anything that can be done for peaches. 
Expect this year's crop to be available
about two weeks earlier than usual.

+ view more photos
Daffodils are among the early
signs of Spring coming soon.

Wayne Howard
Reporter


 
Did the groundhog get it wrong when he saw his shadow on February 2nd and thus predicted six more weeks of Winter?  So far, it would appear that's what happened.

You remember Feb. 3rd, don't you?  The next morning, the furry rodent's prediction seemed very correct.  It was 17° in Lincolnton that morning.  But since then, we've had temperatures that felt more like April than February.  

Now as we end the month and move into March, early blooming trees and shrubs are putting on a show; and some in agribusiness are biting their nails in hopes that we don't have a repeat performance of last year--when we got some very early warmer weather followed by a hard freeze.  It nearly wiped out the peach crop.

Peaches are in bloom again, and Ethan Lineberger of Berry Hill Farm in Iron Station says that sets the stage for another calamity. 

The target temperature, he told us, is 26°.  The peaches can stand some cold mornings and frost, but a few hours at that temperature or below will wipe them out.

Lineberger, who also operates Maple Springs Farm on the Dallas-Stanley Highway, said strawberries are also in bloom, but they can be protected.  "We already used irrigation to keep them from damage early  this morning," he told us Tuesday after the temperature in Lincolnton dipped below freezing. 

Lineberger said the strawberries will be early this year. "We expect to be picking by the last week of March and almost certainly we'll have berries by Easter (April 1st)."

Blackberries develop more new leaves before blooming, Wayne Mitchem told us.  They're not blooming yet, but if the warm weather continues, it won't be long.  

The forecast for the next week includes only one morning when the temp will likely be below freezing (Sunday).  It is also likely it will be a bit colder mid to late week next week--but not down into the mid-20s that Lineberger says would do major damage.

So has Spring sprung?  We've been known to have snow in March--we did last year (March 12th).  For now, we can enjoy the color show put on by nature...except for those who have allergies that may wish the groundhog had been right.



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