Anyone REALLY save fruit crop from freeze w/ frost blankets?
I'm starting to think that covering a blooming fruit tree during a late spring freeze is just wishful thinking.
The only time it has 'worked' for me was when the temps did not go too low, in which case everything that was not covered fruited anyway (read: covering was useless).
This year I covered a miniature peach tree in bloom (that had awesome peaches last year) with a tripod and three frost blankets with a space heater underneath. I have absolutely no doubt that this setup kept the tree well above the ambient temp, and although the blossoms did not show any damage right away, they have since shriveled and fallen, with no sign of fruit set.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to refute the fact that covering offers some protection, and I've definitely seen it work for tender foliage of various species, but with fruit trees perhaps the temp gain is so minimal that it is practically useless.
I'd like to hear some hard evidence for this either way...