Frost protection for plants
Every year, late frosts in the spring can cause massive damage to plants and their yields. This is exactly when frost protection for plants comes in handy. What are the options for protecting your plant and when is it best to do it? Find out in this article!
Frost protection for plants – is that possible in the home garden?
The frost in the winter, when the plants are dormant, usually produces only minor damage. The frost in the spring is much more serious because the plants are then no longer dormant. If the weather had been warm before the frost there may have already been flowers that have formed, which are very sensitive to frost. As a result, protecting crops during commercial cultivation is now indispensable in order to guarantee a reliable harvest. However this is not only for professional growers; frost protection measures can also be applied to plants in the home garden.
Frost protection using irrigation
Frost protection using irrigation makes use of the physical properties of water. In order to understand the protection mechanism, it is necessary to briefly consider these properties. The transition from the liquid (water) to the solid (ice) state of aggregation is an exothermic reaction. This means that heat is released. And this is exactly the effect that you can make use of. As soon as the temperatures drop below zero degrees Celsius, the water begins to freeze on the branches and flowers and warms them, so to speak, because the reaction gives off heat.
It should be noted that the irrigation should be turned on before minus degrees are reached and only then turned off when the ice is completely melted. This has the background that the change from the solid to the liquid state of aggregation is an endothermic reaction, i.e. heat from the environment is absorbed. Thus, it can happen that the flowers can still freeze despite low temperatures due to the melting ice. A sprinkler is needed in order to install a frost protection using irrigation. It should cover the entire plant with water and you have to expect it to run through a frosty night for at least 12 hours. Such frost protection can be applied in the home garden. The chances of success are very high, if you do not shy away from the effort. This type of frost protection using irrigation was used only last week on flowering fruit trees and it produced amazing images.
Another way to protect plants from the cold is the use of so-called “anti-frost candles”. The physical phenomenon behind it is much easier to understand. This is because heat is simply generated with a candle, thus preventing the frost from damaging the plant. These antifreeze candles consist of buckets filled with paraffin wax that can burn for up to 12 hours. These are also set up before reaching the minus Celsius degrees and are extinguished only in the morning after reaching the plus degrees. Anti-frost candles can also be used in the home garden as a way to protect the plants. The chances of success are high; however the price of such an antifreeze candle is usually higher than using water as an anti-freeze protection for plants.
Frost protection covers
Frost protection covers, which can be found in the shop, are another way of protecting your plants. In addition to their impact against winter frosts, for which they are normally used, they can also be used against spring frosts. The fact that the plant is wrapped up, means that it reacts slower to the sun and warm temperatures, whereby the sprouting and the flowering can be delayed. This allows late frosts to do less damage to the plants in the spring. This option gives you both winter frost protection and spring frost protection, which you can reuse every year. This is also a practical and inexpensive option for your home garden.