[Market-farming] hard freeze

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at inil.com
Wed Apr 4 09:13:39 EDT 2007

The technique is to turn on the sprinklers just before freezing conditions 
occur, leaving them running until any ice that forms melts the following 
morning. As the water freezes, it releases heat. That keeps the plant tissue 
from freezing. But if the sprinklers are turned off and there is no more 
free water to turn into ice, there is no more heat released and the ice 
begins to freeze the plant tissue. That's why the sprinklers need to 
continue to run until all the ice melts off the plants.

It can be a monumental task, and expensive. A grower needs to evaluate 
whether it's more cost-effective to replant or just lose the crop.

Bill Shoemaker, Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
University of Illinois - St Charles Horticulture Research Center

> >An old trick in orchards is to turn the sprinklers on.

> So does this mean to leave the sprinklers on all night or to just wet
> the plants before the temperature drops? -Allan

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