Bogs are flooded in the fall, so that a layer of ice protects the established cranberry plants
from any extreme cold that may occur during the winter months.
Cranberry bogs are flooded from time to time during the growing season as well. The crop is
flooded in early spring and late fall if a heavy frost is expected. An entire cranberry crop
can be lost to what is called a killing frost if the blossoms and young berries are not
protected in a bath of water. Toward the end of the growing season, flooding may be necessary
to protect the mature berries from frost. Sprinkler systems are used for lighter frosts.
Many plants love a good soaking once in a while, so cranberry bogs are flooded occasionally
in summer - this also serves as a form of natural pest control. Water is drawn from
holding ponds to minimize inpact on the creek.
The final flooding of the cranberry growing season occurs at harvest time. Each cranberry bed
is covered with water.
A special cranberry harvesting machine is driven through the bed to agitate
the water and coax the berries off the vines. The machine we use for the cranberry harvest is lightweight
and equipped with balloon tires that do not damage the plants.