How to Protect Sensitive Crops from Frost/Freeze
By Stephen Gode on October 11, 2012, 4:00pm
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The growing season is continuing, for now. A freeze is possible this Saturday morning. There were some reports of isolated frosts in parts of the state of Connecticut already this Fall. With additional frost/freezes in days ahead, what are some ways to protect sensitive plants from a frost or freeze?
Radiation frosts can form on strong radiational cooling nights with calm conditions (less than 5 mph). A clear sky and calm winds allow a temperature inversion to develop for surface temperatures near the ground to be below freezing during a radiation frost. The thickness of the inversion layer varies from about 30 to 200 feet.
A freeze can still form with windy conditions when temperatures fall below 32°F. An advection freeze occurs under windy conditions when a large, dry, cold air mass, several thousand feet thick, moves into an area. A radiation freeze occurs when a dry cold air mass settles in an area with little or no wind and an absence of cloud cover during the night.