Frost protection

LeahB

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Feb 4, 2021
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Temperate (all seasons)
How do people protect their frost-sensitive plants from frost? We're heading into frost season here, and I've got a young tamarillo (tree tomato) that I want to survive the winter.
 
Hi Leah, where do you have your young tamarillo? In-ground or Pot? or is it still in a seedling stage?
 
Hi Dave,

I planted it in spring, and it's grown to about 1.8m since then. No branching yet, still just straight up and down. It's mulched, which should help with protection, hopefully, and is also planted close to a west-facing wall and in a spot that is relatively sheltered from wind.
 
Hi Leah,

My late Italian grandfather used to tie a thick layer of newspapers around the trunk of his fig tree every fall to protect it from the cold Pennsylvania winters. It worked very well for him for years. You can’t believe how many figs that tree used to produce.
 
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I live in a cold area in the hills and the frost comes in and kills anything not hardened.
But the trick that everyone here uses is to wrap a layer of whatever around is, so hessian, shade cloth, newspaper, etc. The frost apparently "rolls" in, so moves along at ground level, so by wrapping something around is will protect it.
Personally I cannot be bothered with all that, so if the frost kills it, I am not meant to grow it :cool:
 
Hi Leah, i use covers to help extend my season. were i live the frost hit hard and fast. Had some good success. The plastic cover also allows me to plant seedlings /seeds in the colder months so I can have my winter crops grow longer as well. Even though these are 1 mtr high covers perhaps you could use something like that to help keep your tamarillo (tree tomato) alive. Say even a wire mesh in a cylinder and covered in 2 layers of clear plastic. Helps trap a bit or heat in between the layers. Still Let a bit of air in as well or the tree may go moldy
 

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How do people protect their frost-sensitive plants from frost? We're heading into frost season here, and I've got a young tamarillo (tree tomato) that I want to survive the winter.

I have read a lot about using fleece. It seems that fleece used with hoops to stop frost from going through to touch the veggies works wonders.
 
I have read a lot about using fleece. It seems that fleece used with hoops to stop frost from going through to touch the veggies works wonders.

^ This. Depending on the severity, you may need to add more than one layer. Research "Garden Fleece" or "Horticultural Fleece".
 
^ This. Depending on the severity, you may need to add more than one layer. Research "Garden Fleece" or "Horticultural Fleece".


I'm north of Mark in a subtropical environment so was totally unaware of this product! I am really blessed to have this environment...
 
I have a young red dacca banana plant and a young mango sapling that needs frost protection, and we've had some nasty frosts locally here so far this winter in my area, and they seem to be surviving it all okay. I used Mark's suggestion in his video 4 Cheap & EASY to Make Raised Garden Bed COVERS - YouTube to cover them with, but unable to get hold of greenhouse plastic covering in time for our first frost warning, I used any and all clear plastic I could get my hands on - it looks a bit odd but the sunlight gets in and they have a cover over them so frost doesn't touch them, and it only needs to survive until spring. Although in raised garden beds like in the video, I had to use steel rebar as my garden stakes (it's what I had available) and drive them into the ground not just push them into the garden bed as they're only 40cm high beds and that's not quite deep enough to create a good enough support to survive the strong winds we often get here. Driven into the ground does the same job as pushing them into a garden bed, the trick is getting them deep enough to not fall over.
 
I have seen people use all kinds of covers, and if the plant is small enough to even put buckets over the plants during nighttime or snow/frost.
I can see a lot of people have answered this question as well, and in great enough detail that I don't think I can add much to it. If you have any more questions do ask! :D
 
Apologies all! I was expecting to get an email to let me know of any replies but didn't see one. I might have to check my email filters.

Thanks so much for all your suggestions and advice, I really appreciate it!

I ended up building a tent using bamboo poles, heavy duty tent pegs to make sure they were held securely, fencing wire going from pole to pole to give the poles each other's support and then to create a peak as my bamboo poles weren't tall enough, and then frost cloth the cover the whole thing.

We've had a few light frosts so far this winter, and no damage at all to the tamarillo! :twothumbsup:

Frost protection
Frost protection
 
Apologies all! I was expecting to get an email to let me know of any replies but didn't see one. I might have to check my email filters.

Thanks so much for all your suggestions and advice, I really appreciate it!

I ended up building a tent using bamboo poles, heavy duty tent pegs to make sure they were held securely, fencing wire going from pole to pole to give the poles each other's support and then to create a peak as my bamboo poles weren't tall enough, and then frost cloth the cover the whole thing.

We've had a few light frosts so far this winter, and no damage at all to the tamarillo! :twothumbsup:

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Hi LeahB, glad you found your way back either way!
There are settings in your profile to change your 'preferences' as well, but if you haven't unticked anything you should get emails. Might be in your junk/spam folder?

Looks like a good idea! How easy is it to access the plant (if needed at all)?
 
Hi LeahB, glad you found your way back either way!
There are settings in your profile to change your 'preferences' as well, but if you haven't unticked anything you should get emails. Might be in your junk/spam folder?

Looks like a good idea! How easy is it to access the plant (if needed at all)?



Thanks, I'm glad to be back :)

I checked my preferences and they're all still checked, so I'll definitely have to investigate my spam folder.

Fairly easy. The frost cloth is draped vertically, and there are a couple of "seams" that are held together with pegs that are easy to pop off to investigate and reach inside, though the tent is too small for me to enter entirely. And, though I have buried the frost cloth ends in the mulch to seal that from cold air, it's easy to slip a hose underneath. Though I haven't watered much as it's my supposition that the plant will be hibernating as much as it's able and won't need a lot of moisture.
 
Thanks, I'm glad to be back :)

I checked my preferences and they're all still checked, so I'll definitely have to investigate my spam folder.

Fairly easy. The frost cloth is draped vertically, and there are a couple of "seams" that are held together with pegs that are easy to pop off to investigate and reach inside, though the tent is too small for me to enter entirely. And, though I have buried the frost cloth ends in the mulch to seal that from cold air, it's easy to slip a hose underneath. Though I haven't watered much as it's my supposition that the plant will be hibernating as much as it's able and won't need a lot of moisture.
So cool! Very smart.
Do you think it'll stand through a winter storm?
 
So cool! Very smart.
Do you think it'll stand through a winter storm?

Thanks!

I believe so. There are old canvas tent pegs (the really big heavy ones) stabilising the bamboo poles at about 15cm clear of the ground, and the wire further stabilises them. The biggest factor in storm survival though, is that the tamarillo and tent are situated in a corner that is pretty well protected from the wind. We regularly get wind here (Manawatu, NZ) and it's sometimes quite strong; neither tent nor tamarillo has taken any wind damage so far. There was one occasion when a downpour of rain bent the wire holding up the peak and it crushed the top few leaves of the tamarillo, but that was easily corrected and hasn't happened again. Probably stronger wire would hold up better.
 
Thanks!

I believe so. There are old canvas tent pegs (the really big heavy ones) stabilising the bamboo poles at about 15cm clear of the ground, and the wire further stabilises them. The biggest factor in storm survival though, is that the tamarillo and tent are situated in a corner that is pretty well protected from the wind. We regularly get wind here (Manawatu, NZ) and it's sometimes quite strong; neither tent nor tamarillo has taken any wind damage so far. There was one occasion when a downpour of rain bent the wire holding up the peak and it crushed the top few leaves of the tamarillo, but that was easily corrected and hasn't happened again. Probably stronger wire would hold up better.
Sounds good! I've been struggling myself to try and trellis honestly, my plants grew much taller than I anticipated... oops. I've noticed that a trellis and a cover have similar structure :D
 
Sounds good! I've been struggling myself to try and trellis honestly, my plants grew much taller than I anticipated... oops. I've noticed that a trellis and a cover have similar structure :D

That's very relatable! I don't think I've ever successfully trellised any member of the pea family in the last year. My sugar snap grew way bigger than I anticipated and the support structure kept hastily being added to and ended up a total mess, and the free standing trellis for my sweet peas was blown over and so ended up uprooting and killing most of the plant. Oooops
 
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