As the cold weather sets in, growers flood their bogs with a layer of insulating water. Growers will also conduct ice sanding or if not enough ice, may consider barge or dry sanding.
What’s growing on?
Ice, barge or dry sanding is conducted, weather permitting. The winter flood is removed towards the end of the month as the weather warms up. Bog and equipment maintenance continues.
If not done in February, the winter flood is removed. Growers will reinsert sprinkler heads, get irrigation pumps ready and begin to prepare for the spring growing season.
The cranberry vines emerge from dormancy and the leaves turn from red to green as the plants start making chlorophyll. Growers begin to monitor for frost and early emerging insects.
Bud break occurs and the tender, new shoots of the cranberry vines begin to grow. The need for frost protection is greatest this month. Vine health is monitored along with emerging weeds and insects.
Cranberry blossom season starts in mid-month and growers hope for sunny days. Migratory and native bees pollinate the flowers and tiny fruit pin heads begin to form. With the warm weather, frost events lessen.
The berries start to size. Fertilizer is applied to support the growing fruit. Growers irrigate as necessary and monitor for fruitworm and fruit rot.
The cranberries are continuing to grow in size and growers are monitoring for fruit quality. By late August the berries are starting to blush (turn red).
By the middle of the month wet and dry harvesting begins for early season varieties.
The majority of cranberry varieties are harvested in October. By the end of the month 95% of berries will have been harvested.
Harvest season comes to an end. The bogs begin to go dormant and growers start their off-season maintenance program. Families enjoy the fruit of this harvest as part of their Thanksgiving celebrations.
Growers continue their offseason maintenance work, including cleaning ditches, pruning vines, repairing flumes and dams. If a prolonged cold period is forecasted, growers will flood the bogs with a layer of insulating water.