Fall. Undeniably one of the most beautiful times of the year here in south-central Wisconsin. If we’re lucky enough, the sun keeps us warm enough to go with just a light jacket or sweatshirt. This year, however, the cold came on quickly and the rain just did not let up. Finding time and a dry spell to harvest our soybeans was difficult, and then with our current trade war with China, the price was about half of what it was the previous year. Nevertheless, we got it done and then when Mother Nature decided to turn off the rain and the warm weather, the frost came on and it was time to cover our strawberry fields with straw for the winter.
Why do we cover them for the winter? Well, as the temperature dips below 18 degrees Fahrenheit, damage can be done to the crown of the plants. Since this is Wisconsin and our winters are, for lack of a better word, cold, our plants are historically covered around the time of Thanksgiving. There also needs to be around .5 inches deep of frost and our mulch needs to be clean, with around 2-4 inches of cover on top of the berries.
Then we wait. And find other things to do in the winter. Read more on that from a previous blog post written called What do farmers do in the winter?
And make sure you check out this LIVE Facebook video we made while we were finishing covering the fields.