Frosts can significantly damage fruit trees and shrubs, seedlings of heat-loving crops, flower beds, and flower beds.
Often they come when trees and shrubs are in bloom, potatoes are already pleasing to the eye with green tops, strawberries open flower buds, and tomatoes and cucumbers have already been planted in greenhouses.
They suffer from the quantity and quality of the harvest, and people who grow vegetables and fruits at a professional level incur significant losses.
To withstand this natural anomaly, it is necessary to determine the onset of frosty weather and be carefully prepared for this. In this article, we will talk about protecting plants from frost, which can come even in late spring.
How to Protect Plants From Frost
Smoking is a well-known, long-established method to prevent plants from frosts. This technology is based on the fact that smoke creates an artificial cloud, and the radiation of heat from the soil is noticeably reduced.
In addition, when fumigated, dust particles can condense water vapour in the air, resulting in a fog that protects plants.
To carry out protection against frost using smoking, heaps of materials capable of smouldering with weak combustion are prepared in advance on the territory of the site.
They put firewood and brushwood from the bottom of the heap, on which straw, manure, and foliage are piled. All this is compacted and covered with a layer of earth, 2-3 centimeters thick.
These smoke piles (1 meter high and 1.5 meters wide) are designed for a 15-hour fumigation period. For the best results, they should be laid out at a frequency of one pile per 10 square meters. For smoke and air to escape, holes are made from above and from the leeward side.
Covering plants is the most effective and most widespread method of protecting heat-loving plants from spring frosts. This method has only one drawback – it is not suitable for protecting large trees.
Personal hideouts are the most primitive part of this method. Such shelters can be built over each hole or seedling bush.
Any materials on hand will do. You can cover plants with paper bags made from juice or dairy products or plastic bottles. Covering them with glass jars can be good protection for newly planted seedlings, and some gardeners use cardboard boxes for packaging for this purpose.
To protect crops from frost, burlap and matting are suitable, and also many people use hay or sawdust for these purposes.
Tomatoes and potatoes can be covered with soil. In this case, tomato seedlings are carefully bent to the ground and sprinkled with an earthen layer 2-3 cm thick. Tomatoes can be under such a shelter for several days. Young sprouts of potatoes for protection from frost can be spudded headlong.
It is used when the temperature drops to 0 °C. For sprinkling, it is necessary to put a fine spray on the watering hose and thoroughly spray trees and shrubs with water, which may suffer from frost. As the water freezes, heat will be released, saving the plants.
The beds with plants are also spilt using a sprayer put on a hose or a drip irrigation system. Watering is carried out in the evening, literally a few hours before the onset of the expected frost. As soon as the temperature drops closer to 0 °C, the water will gradually begin to evaporate.
The resulting steam will provide plants with reliable protection because it has a high heat capacity, which means it will not let cold air flows to the ground. Also, the plants will be able to withstand short-term frosts painlessly.
Another way to protect plants from frost is to water them a day or two before the expected frost. Wet soil keeps warmth better than dry soil. In any case, do not water the plants when the temperature drops since it can lead to the heaving of the earth, and ultimately, the plants will be damaged.
In the evening, on the eve of the expected frost, lightly water the plants. This will help to increase the moisture of the soil and reduce possible damage.
Organic mulch can provide significant help in protecting plants from spring frosts, which reduce heat transfer, acting as a conventional heat insulator. But it also noticeably reduces the rate of evaporation of moisture from the ground. So, it is recommended to use it after evening watering.
Mulch also absorbs a significant amount of water so that the air humidity above it is constantly increased. This moist air layer becomes additional insulation for plants. Thus, different factors accumulate and all together produce an excellent anti-freeze effect.
6. Foliar dressing
Foliar fertilization can be applied in early spring to young foliage. If there is a danger of frost, use complex potassium-phosphorus fertilizers. Essentially, they are bred and sprayed on plants 2-3 days before frost. This is Aktara and potassium monophosphate.
Spray your garden with plain water mixed with a stimulant such as Epin or Zircon in the morning. This will help protect the plant from the effects of frost and provide foliar stimulation through the leaves.
7. Unheated Greenhouse
Some delicate plants cannot do without an unheated greenhouse. An unheated greenhouse can be found in a garden center, or you can make your own. Boards, cinder blocks, and bricks are suitable materials for the walls of such a greenhouse, on top of which you can put the old outer window frame.
If you urgently need to make a temporary unheated greenhouse, baled hay or straw will also work as a frame. Place the pressed hay or straw around the protected plants and cover it with an old window frame.
8. Use of modern chemicals
Substances such as cryoprotectants or anti-freezes help the plants withstand sudden drops in temperature and increase their resistance to frost. The effect on plants is divided into various types: penetrating and non-penetrating.
Cryoprotectants contain particular substances that create a protective film or are absorbed into fabrics and prevent ice formation. Non-penetrating cryoprotectants are included as an added component in solution, with the first group being more effective.
Also, you can use stimulants that can support the plant’s immunity during temperature fluctuations. Trees should be processed with them at least a day before frost. This is Vertex, Zircon.
It is necessary to spray perennial and annual crops according to the manual instructions attached to the preparation. As a rule, they are spread not later than 6 hours before the possible onset of frost. The protective effect lasts for a week.
9. Raised beds or flower beds
Raised beds or flower beds are very effective when you want to protect plants from frost. This can be because the cold air tends to sink downward and secondly. After all, the raised beds will also make it easier for you when you cover the plants.
Today, very often already in May, the street is unheard of heat, up to 30 degrees. And sometimes, summer residents find it difficult to believe that cold weather will come soon.
Many try to plant seedlings ahead of schedule, and this is in vain. If you are convinced that frosts are inevitable, you have a chance to protect the plants in the country. With the above way to protect plants from frost, you will get the solution.