[NAFEX] Basic Frost Protection Questions
road's end farm
organic101 at linkny.com
Sat Nov 24 15:18:12 EST 2007
On Nov 24, 2007, at 12:04 PM, William C. Garthright wrote:
> Yes, you'll have to take these off between frosts.
I'm not sure just what sort of frost cover you mean. Some things (such
as clear unperforated plastic) do need to be removed as soon as frost
danger is over. Others don't.
The assorted spunbonded row covers (Reemay, Kimberley Farms, Agribon
etc.) that allow most light, water, and some air to pass through don't
need to be removed unless/until the weather gets really hot, or to get
at the crop for harvest or weeding, or if/when pollination is
necessary; unless your crop is getting only barely enough light even
without covers. Vegetable crops in this area are routinely kept under
these for weeks at a time, to allow early spring planting, or delayed
harvest in the fall, or in some cases to keep specific insects off the
For some crops, these can be laid right on top of the crop; for others
hoops or cages or some similar structure is needed to hold them off
growing points and/or off tender leaves during high winds. (I have no
idea about citrus trees, and am not sure about potatoes. Peppers need
hoops. Melons need them if windy, but not if it isn't.) Whether you
need hoops or a structure may depend on the amount of wind likely in
the particular location, as well as the specific crop.
Two layers will provide more frost protection than one, as will
choosing heavier fabrics. Both of these options will reduce light
available under the cover, and increase heat buildup if the weather
turns hot. Even one layer will give some protection. The manufacturer
or vendor should be able to tell you about how many degrees of frost
protection will be given by a specific weight of fabric (at least for
short frosts; long term cold weather is another matter).
Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly
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