Help, it's going to go below freezing tonight :-(

How can I protect the new leaves and buds on my fruit trees? I have apricots that just finished blossoming, and some cherries and blueberries with flowers and flower buds. Should I cover them up? (None are so big that I can't cover them with a lawn bag).
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AlleyCatStudio1 wrote:

the plastic they might freeze even though covered. The idea is to provide a trap so the heat radiating from the ground can be prevented from escaping to the sky. If you close the bottom of the bag you won't have any protection at all. Any cover that will keep the radiated ground heat around the leaves and blossoms will give you a couple of degrees of protection. If the sun is still up when you read this, water the ground around the plants as this will trap solar heat and add to the ground temps. Lots of luck----- Bill
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IF I understand right you are worried about frost coming into contact with the leaves/buds. If it is not possible to actually totally cover the plants putting a tarp over them supported with stakes would probably help a lot as it would keep the frost from settling on the plants themselves. I believe one night of cold would do little harm if any at all if it warms well in the a.m. especially. Let us know how you make out with what you do and best of luck to you. Bob
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Bob wrote:

air temperature getting below 32 degrees. If it gets to 32 or below and stays there for an hour or so then most of the developing buds and baby stone fruits will be toast. Freezing and then a rapid thaw will only aggravate the problem. The whole idea is to trap the warm air that's rising from the ground thus keeping the air around the fruit and buds a little above freezing. Bill
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Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. :-) According to the data report, I'm seeing that the temp hit 32 at the 4am hour (briefly hitting 31), and stayed there for two hours before climbing again. By noon it was in the 50s again... so we'll can only wait and see if it had any effect.
(FWIW, in the States you can get your local weather history [including dewpoint] for the past 2 days by going to www.noaa.gov, typing in your zip code and clicking on "2 day history").
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On 28 Apr 2004 20:24:20 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.combustible (AlleyCatStudio1) wrote:

something I've been told, when we get our occasional frosts in So. Cal, that it works to go out early in the morning, wash the frost off with tap water before the sun hits the plant.
The idea of getting up that early leaves me cold, but anyway there might be some good to the idea.
--

- Charles
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We always used muslin/ cheesecloth for frost protection. The frost formed on the threads but did not penetrate. If there had been a hard frost we left the muslin on till noon to stop too quick thawing. These were peaches but would be similar. The lawn bag [whatever that is ] might be too heavy and not work so well. Best Wishes

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and water them well before dark, the water will help protect the plants

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Lisa wrote:

It had been raining most of the past two days, so that part has been taken care of. :)
What I've done so far: These are just baby trees with a few blossoming branches, so I made some loose "sleeves" for the smaller one out of newspaper, taping the tops but leaving the lower ends open to help funnel up the ground temp. (Also, I'd planted the dwarf apricot a few feet away from a wall, so it does have some shelter from northern winds... hopefully that will help, too.) Another tree I was able to cover with a multi-layer paper lawn bag (which is similar to a giant grocery bag)...none of its flowers are touching the edges. I'm assuming that porous paper would be a somewhat preferable alternative to a non-porous material like plastic, but let me know if I'm mistaken.

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Wow, it's hard for me to imagine that it's still freezing somewhere in the U.S. The past few weeks have been the warmest on record for this time of year here in Northern California. Yesterday was the hottest day recorded during the month of April, EVER. 98 degrees, and it ain't even May yet. I was out at midnight last night chasing earwigs, wearing only a pair of shorts. The garden is incredibly far along. The Bear's Breech is already flowering, which it doesn't usually do until mid-summer. The lettuce has already bolted. The daylilies are blooming. It's all rather surreal. Feels like mid-June around here. Verrry strange indeed.
-Fleemo
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Fleemo said:

It snowed just a little yesterday. This morning the temperature is 29 degrees (according to weather.com), which should be a new record. The old record for April 28 was 32 deg. The weather radar shows snow falling north of us this morning. (Plymouth is in south-east Michigan, zone 6, one of the warmest parts of the state.)
We've had (for the most part) a cold spring. Only onebrief shot of warmer than normal temperatures -- timed perfectly to fry out the daffodils and squills, OF COURSE.
--
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