[NAFEX] Possible frost, what to do

William C. Garthright billg at inebraska.com
Sun Apr 1 12:10:41 EDT 2007


> We've had extraordinarily warm weather for March and my peach and 
> pluot trees are blooming and the cherry and pears are budding.  This 
> is the first year the peach and pluot have bloomed and we were really 
> hoping for fruit.  BUT...it looks like next week there may be weather 
> in the 30s...possible frost.  Any tips on how to protect these 
> flowering and budding trees and get some fruit from them?  Thanks!


I'm in the same situation, though now they're forecasting mid-twenties 
on at least one night this week. Ouch!  However, my trees are only a 
year old, so I'm not so worried about the blossoms, only about the young 
leaves and shoots that are sprouting out EVERYWHERE.

I'm just a beginner at this, but I'm going to try to identify the plants 
most at risk and try to cover them, perhaps with a trouble light 
underneath, burning a 60 W. incandescent lamp. Well, I guess I've only 
got one trouble light, so the vast majority of my stuff will have to 
take its chances.

Tom mentioned overhead irrigation. I've never tried it, but I've known 
people who have (without success). As I understand it, water gives off 
some heat when it freezes, but this will only help if the situation is 
right on the edge - maybe a degree or two. And you must continue 
irrigating all night and until the ice melts the next day. If you stop, 
the ice will freeze the tissues (presumably, melting ice ABSORBS heat, 
just as freezing water releases it). But I'm sure others know a lot more 
about this than I do. (In fact, I'm sure I learned this from previous 
postings.)

Hmm,... I wonder if I should cover my strawberries with straw again? 
Couldn't hurt, I suppose. They seemed to be remarkably resistant to cold 
weather last fall (this is my first year with them), but I suppose the 
new growth might be more susceptible.

Good luck (to both of us)!

Bill
Lincoln, NE (zone 5)

-- 
What happens if a big asteroid hits Earth? Judging from realistic 
simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we 
can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry



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