MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo – Some people are noticing gardens and fruit trees are producing fewer blooms than normal. Summertime means picking strawberries, eating peaches fresh from the tree, and picking blackberries from the vine, but this year looks a little different.
“Our strawberry crop was really poor this year, and I think there is a lot of variables,” said Andy Welle with Thies Farm and Market in Maryland Heights. “Water was one, the cold was one, the plants got to us a little later last year. But they’re still picking. They’re still blooming. We’re going to get a few berries out of it. But the main crop is gone.”
He said below-average rainfall is impacting the growth of some crops.
“We’ve actually been watering constantly as soon as we get stuff planted. Like we’ve got here today,” Welle said. “Cantaloupes and watermelons actually went in yesterday, and the water is actually on them right now just to keep them going.”
He said some farmers across Missouri are reporting fewer fruit coming from cherry and peach trees. Welle said December’s hard freeze could be one of the many reasons.
“Every time you get down to negative 10, you might as well forget your crop,” he said. “So negative one, you’re going to lose at least 10 percent. It’s just the way it goes.”
He said the best thing to do for your garden at home is to keep a close watch.
“If they’re running dry. Get the water out there. Feed on a regular basis, every couple of weeks,” Welle said. “Make sure they’re getting feed into their pots, especially containers.”