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).
Yes---if you do it right. If any of the leaves come in contact with
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-----
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.
No, I'm not concerned with the frost settling on the growth, it's the
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.
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").
On 28 Apr 2004 20:24:20 GMT, email@example.com
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.
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.
It had been raining most of the past two days, so that part has been taken care
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.
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.
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,
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
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