SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) — A hard freeze is in the forecast tonight across Middle Tennessee. At Gwin Orchard in Spring Hill, they are taking steps to protect the delicate peach blossoms that can be destroyed when temperatures drop below 28°F.
Jacob Gwin, who owns the family-run orchard, tells News 2 that peach trees are very susceptible to damage if temperatures drop below freezing this time of year.
“Our first two weeks of April are really the danger zone for us. We can withstand some cold temperatures in March. But when we start getting in April, we really watch the weather closely.”
Peach trees are most vulnerable to damage in late March and early April.
“They can withstand colder temperatures when they first come out and start to bloom, but the longer they’re in bloom, and the more they’ve developed is when you can have damage. So at this stage in the game, we’re pretty late in the development of the bloom in the peaches.”
Gwin is no stranger to the unpredictability of farming. Just last year Gwin Orchard lost 95% of their crop due to a late-season freeze. This year, they have invested in frost blankets in hopes to keep their peach trees safe from the freezing temperatures.
These blankets will hopefully offer enough protection for the young peaches that are developing.
“We think we can get at least five degrees of protection out of these blankets. So we can go down to maybe 24 or 23 degrees without any damage, hopefully.”
Gwin Orchard offers seven different varieties of peaches that are typically available starting in July.