Frost/Freeze Protection: Commercial Horticulture
- Watch local forecasts to determine the risk level in your area. If the risk is present and you have cold or frost sensitive transplants it’s best to wait until after this weekend to get them in the ground.
- It’s also a good idea to hold off on fertilizer applications between now and then. This will help keep plants a little more hardened, and avoid pushing new tender growth that will be most sensitive.
- Avoid cultivation until after the cold spell.
- Row covers (or something of the like) will offer frost protection but are only practical on the small scale.
- Overhead irrigation, if done properly, can also work, but must be continuous. Center pivots or traveling guns won’t work for this purpose as they will not provide continuous water over the entire field at one time.
Here is a document from UGA that goes into more detail of protection for fruits & vegetables: UGA – Commercial Freeze Protection for Fruits & Vegetables