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Freeze Protecting 101

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

It’s that time of year where early growth and blooms can be plagued by the onset of freezing night. When the temperature drops, it’s time to fire up the pumps!

The table above shows the critical temperatures of different growth stages of the Blueberry buds up to early green fruit. To protect from these damaging temperatures, we run overhead irrigation. When you think of protection for plants, most would say ice is bad. Ice is a good thing when it comes to protection, to a certain degree….pun intended. When ice forms as we irrigate to “freeze protect”, it creates an insulating layer from the outside temperature. When we use irrigation to prevent freezing injury, we use the energy that water releases when it freezes, changing from a liquid to a solid, to keep the temperature in the ice at the freezing point 32 degrees. As long as you keep the ice WET, the ice temperature will stay at 32 degrees. Which is above the injury temperature for blossoms and early fruit. So that is freeze protection 101. We’re definitely looking forward to warmer weather! Stay warm out there and have a wonderful day!

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