Later Is Better: Cool Weather Makes Way For Bigger, Sweeter Strawberries

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ANOKA, Minn. (WCCO) — The United States has experienced the wettest 12 months in history and that is having a big impact on agriculture.

Including in Minnesota, where we’re looking at a delay in the strawberry season.

“Since it has been a lot colder earlier, this season has been a little bit later,” Evan Rowe of Anoka’s Berry Hill Farm said.

Last month we had the 20th wettest and coldest May on record across the state of Minnesota — and that cool weather slowed Minnesota strawberries from growing.

“Ideally we would like strawberry season to start early June,” said Evan Rowe of Anoka’s Berry Hill Farm.

Many Minnesota strawberry farms are running a couple of weeks behind schedule this year.

“It’s just that really cool spring that slowed them down,” Rowe said.

Cool and cloudy weather like this may delay the strawberry season, but in the end, it may bring you something better.

“So if it stays cooler, they have a lot more time to absorb all that water, get all that sugar. And that actually increases the size of the strawberry,” Rowe said.

Although we may have to wait a little longer to go berry picking, the berries we do pick in the coming weeks should be bigger — and sweeter.

“We should have a very good crop this year they should be very large berries this year,” Rowe said.

And if we keep getting on and off rain days through the season, that will help even more.

“Usually if you pick strawberries right after it rains, they usually don’t taste that sweet. But if there is one dry day, and they’re usually they will be phenomenal,” Rowe said.

They say better late than never, but when it comes to strawberries this season, late is better.

If you're looking to pick fresh strawberries locally, the Country Blossom Farm in Alexandria, Minnesota is expecting to start their season June 29 with their "U-Pick Strawberries" event! Find more information in the related links section.