What is a Frost Fabric?
Frost fabrics are usually synthetic or even organic covers made of various polymers with materials like frost blankets, grow netting and bird netting is made from. The basic use of these coverings are essentially for protecting the plants from the extreme colder weather conditions such that frost does not built up on them. These blankets or fabrics can be put on the plants in a particular or desired manner such as to avoid frost built up on the leaves and stems of the plant by keeping the moisture content in a consistent manner between the ground and the plant cells. Additional advantage of frost fabrics is that it can also help in preventing pesticide or fertilizer burns thereby prolong the harvesting season for any farmer.
Frost Fabric and its importance
In extreme weather conditions, especially in winter there is always going to be a built up of crystals as there won’t be enough clouds to radiate back the heat. This frost or crystal buildup not only affects you but can have a drastic effect on certain type of plants which are quite intolerant to it. Plants which are actively growing when exposed to lower freezing temperatures are susceptible to frost damage by “hardening off”. Common damages to the plants include death of dormant flower tender buds, shoots, along with the flowers and fruits.
The importance of Frost Fabrics is at such times that they stop or aid in preventing the buildup of frost on the plants. As the temperatures plummet to freezing crystals starts to build up of the leaf surfaces which eventually lead to plants to being dehydrated. The use of plastic covers is not advised because they allow moisture build up within them even if covered. A properly woven and cover of the right fabric can protect a plant from frost to temperatures well below to 30 F or sometimes even to 20 F. Frost Fabrics white color can be of great asset as well as they allow for irrigation, sunlight and some of the vital nutrients and components to filter through them. Ultimate aims of the frost fabrics are eventually to trap the heat that is being radiated of the ground.
Installation of frost fabrics
As previously explained above the main of frost fabrics are to trap the heat being radiated of the ground in order to prevent frost build up. Properly installing the covers is vital to this process.
The plant is to be covered completely from the top all the way down to the ground in order for this. The main aim for doing this is in achieving a properly moist and humid atmosphere around the plant. A metallic or plastic frame can be used for the covering process as the covering should not necessarily touch the plants and should create an atmosphere around it. The crucial this to be noted while doing is that the fabrics should not be damaged by tearing or folding too much such that its lifetime is reduced. Importance of saying this is that any damage to the fabric would allow for the heat or warmth to escape through the opening created. The covering should touch theground or at least until the drip line.
Use of heavy objects like bricks and staples allows for the fabric to be secured it to place properly, ensuring for a proper seal with the ground. The bricks or staples will also secure the cloth on the plant in the case of heavy winds and or rain and reduces chances of it blowing off the plant. If the frost fabrics are used to make blankets then it is important that you note the temperature under them. If it gets too hot that is around about 50 Fahrenheit, usually in the mornings it is advised that you change the covers regularly. It is also important to note drape the covering around the trunk if the coverings are done for the trees.
One can also use the fabric along with grow netting, along the same frame work for efficient use space. Ultimately, frost fabrics can be considered one of the best solutions for extreme cold weathers and locations.