Murfreesboro farm prepares for frost/freeze overnight

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – The strawberries at Batey Farms are almost ready to pick, but Wednesday nights freezing conditions and frost are a threat to these almost-ripe berries. While frost and freezing temperatures can damage strawberry plants, row covers can keep the crop safe.

Brandon Whitt, owner, and operator at Batey Farms, explained, “The covers themselves are kind of like a cheesecloth material. What that does is it gives us a literal blanket across the strawberry field that keeps the frost and the freeze from actually coming in contact with plants.”

Whitt told News 2 that these covers can protect the plants down to 28°F. “This is a great method to protect these young plants. And to protect the blooms. So we really don’t forecast or see any loss happening. It’s just. It’s just extra labor on our part, which we understand it’s early spring here in Tennessee. And so with the weather, you never know what you’re going to get this time of year,” said Whitt.

Batey Farms will keep the covers on until the chilly temperatures subside. For those looking forward to picking strawberries, they are expecting to open up sometime next week. 

“It’s great to be back this year. Many of us didn’t pick or allow you pick visitors last year because of the COVID restrictions and all the different things that are going on. So we really look forward to being back open this year and getting the families out and enjoying that experience,” said Whitt.

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