What is frost for plants?
When the temperature falls below 0 degrees Celsius, the water freezes and the flow of fluids in the plant stops completely. The process of water crystallization takes place, thus breaking the tissues of plant cells. This will damage the plant.
Frost protection systems simply and environmentally friendly increase the ambient temperature by several degrees, preventing the plant from freezing. The entire installation works up to minus 12 degrees Celsius. This is done by water frost irrigation.
Good quality systems are equipped with a temperature sensor which will activate the anti-frost sprinkling process when the temperature drops below the set temperature. The sprinklers are placed on the lances above the crop (e.g. in orchards). Falling water prevents the flowers, branches and other parts of the plant from freezing when the temperature briefly drops below zero. Let’s see how to cope with the frost in orchards and plantations. Today we are talking about frost sprinklers.
Frost-free irrigation in practice
When we talk about frost-free irrigation, we need to divide it into three types of protection:
They protect plants against temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius. Irrigation is carried out with short intervals (max. 2 minutes, preferably every 15-60 seconds). The water intensity must be adapted to the frost and the type of crop to be cultivated. A higher amount of rainwater should be used in orchard protection systems, while a lower amount should be used for low plants.
Pre-drinking is used to replenish the soil moisture. It consists in abundant moistening of the substrate, thus anticipating upcoming frosts. Early irrigation increases the thermal capacity of the soil and increases conductivity. Wetted soil has a better dry substrate and cools much faster than wet substrate. When introducing warm water into the substrate, the temperature in and above the soil is much higher and drops much slower. This type of treatment is performed up to the temperature of -3 Celsius degrees. Note: Pre-spray spraying is only suitable for protecting plants up to 70 cm high.
Intermediate sprinkling is carried out during frost. Blocking cold air masses in neighbouring areas and preventing cold air from entering the protected area. Using this method, the substrate of the frost protection area and the plants shall be kept dry.
When to start?
The most important factor in frostbite spraying is time. Do not hesitate to switch the system on until the temperature drops. About 2-3 days earlier we start pre-watered irrigation. The entire anti-fog spraying system shall be triggered before the temperature falls below zero, based on meteorological data. Please note that if the wind speed exceeds 5.0 m/s, irrigation must stop. Why? At this wind speed, the water jets are drifting and the accuracy and uniformity of the coating is limited.
Consequences of frostbite irrigation
Depending on the type of irrigation, different effects are obtained. In the case of direct irrigation, the positive effect is that the plants are protected against frost by an ice-coated coating. Unfortunately, the negative effect may be the damage caused by the ice load on the plants. It is therefore worth monitoring the ice conditions.
In the case of pre-watered irrigation, the effect is to store heat in and just above the soil. As a result, the plant is protected from slight frosts up to a few degrees below zero. This is not accompanied by any negative effects or risks.
Indirect irrigation blocks cold air masses and prevents frost from entering the protected area. In addition, a supporting method is often to expose the hot air supply.
You already know the effects of frost and how to protect plants in orchards and plantations from it. Now all you need to do is buy a professional frost protection sprinkler kit. Visit our shop and buy the modern frost sprinklers from the best manufacturers.