Widespread Frost

eric30September 7, 2011

Last 2 nights the weather called for frost in my area (upper michigan). I wasn't awake early enough to see if there actualy was any. Anyhow, here's a technique I use to protect my plants: I will go out after midnight and wet all of the foilage down really good. I figure if the plants are all wet in the morning then the frost won't touch them. By doing this I think I can hang on for a few more weeks until they freeze.

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terrybull

dont you think the water will evaporate by morning?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 8:12PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I would cover the plants with something. Old sheets, blankets,etc. Sounds too chancey doing the water thing.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 9:35PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Something similar to eric30's technique is used in the Florida and California orange groves when temps threaten to be a bit below freezing. A thin layer of ice protects the trees.

I don't know the details (it's my dad, not me, who spent time on his grandparents' orange grove). And although the big local growers here spray the apple orchards in similar circumstances, I've no idea if the technique is useful with herbaceous plants.

Here's a bit on how it works:
http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5245655_spraying-frost-protect-fruit-freezing_.html

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 9:55PM
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eric30

My friend 4 blocks away had his plants touched by frost and mine are still fine. My thinking is that by that late at night, it is cool and almost 100% humidity so there isn't much evaporation if at all. Plants stayed wet until the sun hit them in the morning. Water is a fabulous thing, it takes alot of energy for it to undergo a physical change. So far the 10 day forecast says that I'm safe through next weekend for now.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 2:12AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

You could do one plant each of different types of frost protection and see what gives the best results.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 10:49AM
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