Officially the meteorological spring begins on 1st March but the Astronomical spring doesn’t begin till the 20th March. However in our corner of Lincolnshire, at Peaks Top Farm the days are getting noticeably longer and we can appreciate the warmth of the sun as it gets higher in the sky. We have had several sunny, mild days where it has been positively warm in sheltered spots in our fruit growing areas.
Out on the fruit farm our strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants and brambles look in good health and ready for a successful growing year. Fortunately we have had some colder weather through the winter which benefits our fruit production in several ways. Sub zero and frosty weather helps to naturally eliminate damaging insects and pathogens which can cause damage to plants. The shorter days and sustained lower temperatures bring a cycle of dormancy and halts growth within the plants so that when spring does begin strong healthy new growth is promoted. Over recent mild winters where we haven’t had defined seasons, plants get confused and often produce flowers as late as November leading to weaker growth in the true growing season. What we don’t want is a late cold spring though!
Fingers crossed all looks well, everything has been pruned, shaped and tied in so with good husbandry from now on a good fruit year should follow. Of course we are at the mercy of the weather in most forms of agriculture but at Peaks Top Farm we are very dependant on good yields from all of our soft fruit.
Our fruit production now has to satisfy 3 markets. Our Pick Your Own and Ready Picked fruit which generally begins in mid June and 12 months of production of ‘Fabulously Fruity Wine’. With the expansion of our fruit wine production, fruit supply has to equally cover the growing requirement. With so many Fabulously Fruity fans out there we wouldn’t want you to go thirsty!!
No pressure then, Here’s to a good fruit year!