Early heatwave brings headache for fruit farmers in Latvia

A heatwave experienced in early April has woken plants up too early. Plums, apricots, and cherries are blooming, and apple trees and pears are also green. Now cooler weather has begun and frosts are expected, so fruit farmers are thinking about how to protect their plantations, Latvian Radio reported April 16.

In South Kurzeme, horticultural specialist Māris Narvils' garden can be seen from afar with blooming apricots, newly planted cherries, and Caucasian plums.

Asked if the white currant should bloom on April 15, Narvils said: “No, it's a little quick, at least a couple of weeks. A lot of things have moved simultaneously and atypically fast. The warm days have resulted in fruit trees and shrubs blooming, which is not good.”

The plants were woken up too early, the experienced apple farmer from the farm Mucenieki Ligita Rezgale also said.

“Last year things were very peculiar and we couldn't understand how to deal with bigger and smaller natural disasters. It looks like it's all going to go on this year. The heatwave that was in early April is not normal. Now it looks typical weather but unfortunately the plants have blossomed very fast. ”

“Every year something freezes,” Rezgale said, adding that the weather has been very volatile for the past few years. “We need to stay vigilant, jump in all directions to get a harvest.”

“Another headache for gardeners, we'll try to do something about it,” added Narvils.

Narvils is urging people to create protective plantations in their gardens to protect fruit trees from cold easterly winds that can not only freeze but dry out buds and flowers. He, too, observes in his garden that plants freeze more often in open spaces. 

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