Unusual frost damage of hardy-fruit flowers and likely outcomes for fruit?

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Joe Hicks

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A couple of weeks back when there was a cold snap for much of the country, one of the nights hit all the plots at my allotment hard (we are in North Yorkshire). I've spoken to a number of plot holders who said this was unlike anything they'd experienced before, including one lady who said in twenty years of growing she'd never had losses like this at that time of year. Interestingly though, it wasn't actually that cold - maybe just -1/-2c, but there was quite a wind some maybe a high wind chill fact, but I don't really understand how it was that bad. Maybe it was just very late, but looking "online" frosts are perfectly possible in mid-May here?

Anyway, my real question is around the damage it's done to my fruit and what to expect now. Basically, the frost has apparently hit all the flowers and fruits currently growing on my strawberries and raspberries and a lot of my developing blackcurrants - all things that I thought were frost hardy. The flowers of the strawberries and raspberries all now have brown centres, and it looks like all the carpels have gone brown and dry, while any developing strawberries have also turned from creamy coloured to various shades of light brown and the developing seeds have similarly gone dark brown, while most of my blackcurrants turned brown and were shriveled up by the next day. When I've opened up small, tightly shut developing raspberry flower buds the frost seems to have even managed to hit them too.

So my question is has anyone experienced anything like this before with the flowers/fruit of hardy fruit crops like strawberries, raspberries and blackcurrants, and I assume that all the affected flowers and fruit won't produce viable fruit now? And just to be clear I'd been going to the allotment every day and this happened over night, so it can only be weather related rather than disease or pest related etc.

See attached photos if interested.
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« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 10:17 by Joe Hicks »

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mumofstig

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Bad luck :( Sadly, Strawberry Black Eye is a clear indication of frost damage, pinch off the damaged flowers and with a bit of luck more will form. I've had this happen, and re-flowering was pretty good.

It's probably too late for new flowers on the other fruits, but you can only try...
Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)

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Potty Plotty Lotty

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Oh, and I thought mine looked like that due to lack of water (strawberries excepted)  :(

My potatoes got frosted through decent thickness fleece so it was pretty bad even here in the East Midlands.

I wonder whether part of the issue is that the warm weather we have been experiencing since the end of March. It's brought everything on so much, hence the frost had more of an impact that usual. I normally can just earth potatoes when frost is threatening but the first earlies and some second earlies were already fully earthed up.

As I said to someone yesterday each year has it's variations...

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Joe Hicks

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Thanks for the replies. I did wonder if the extra warm weather before the frost might have had an effect on its impact. I'll get rid of all the knackered flowers on the strawbs and rasps and hope for more, although the blackcurrants are done for this season. I may invest in some long lengths of fleece for next year, but it sounds like it's an uncommon occurrence.



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