[NAFEX] Frost protection

John Smith friendly27sw at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 3 17:09:15 EDT 2007


I would think the high humidity and fairly warm
conditions under there during the day could be a
problem if you keep it sealed up - perfect conditions
for diseases, especially if sunny. 

In central MO, my peaches and plums are done blooming,
all leafed out, plus some of my apples, strawberries 
are beginning to bloom already and they say we may get
down to 22 a couple nights at the end of the week -
near record lows after weeks of abnormally warm
weather, never a dull moment in the midwest. I'm
thinking I'll lose a few things, but am thinking about
trying to protect a few small trees - what if a person
put a 10 gallon pail of warm water or two under a
plastic tarp over the tree overnight - I wonder if
enough heat would be released to make up for a lack of
insulation - I'm guessing that's asking a lot at 22
degrees...?
--- "William C. Garthright" <billg at inebraska.com>
wrote:

> 
> >     Every time I used a single sheet of anything
> for frost protection, I learned I wasted my time and
> the plant I tried to protect got fried by frost to
> the same degree as unprotected plants got frosted. 
> One sheet of anything, whether it be plastic or bed
> sheet or(?) is worthless.  TWO sheets, however, can
> trap an insulating layer of air between them
> affording some protection.
> > ...
> > ...
> > Another option is to cover them with visqueen
> (plastic).  Visqueen is clear and will let light
> through while protecting the blooms from frost.
> >   
> 
> 
> Well, they're still forecasting mid-20's here for
> the next five nights, 
> so I bought some visqueen-type plastic and also some
> clear 55 gal. 
> plastic bags (commercial bags for 55-gal drums). I
> thought I'd put TWO 
> plastic bags (for the insulating layer of air) over
> the bushes and very 
> small trees, and TWO sheets of clear plastic over
> the larger fruit 
> trees, grapes, etc.  I hoped that would insulate
> them well enough, and I 
> figured that, since the clear plastic would let
> light through, I could 
> put them on today and take them off next Sunday.
> 
> However, I just talked to the master gardeners at my
> county extension 
> service, and they tell me that plastic is the last
> thing I should use, 
> because plants need to breathe. They said that this
> would do more damage 
> to my plants than the freeze. Is that true?
> 
> I really can't remove all this every morning and
> install it again every 
> night. Maybe I could take them off for a breather
> after a few days? Or I 
> could loosen the plastic at the bottom every
> morning, to let some air in 
> during the day. What do you think? I really need
> some advice here, 
> because I'm all set to start working on this stuff.
> Do I need to worry 
> about my fruit trees and bushes not getting enough
> air for 5-6 days?
> 
> Thanks much,
> 
> Bill
> Lincoln, NE (Zone 5)
> 
> -- 
> For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it
> really is than to 
> persist in delusion, however satisfying and
> reassuring. - Carl Sagan
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