Frost Protecting with GroWeb
Well I think most weather forecasters could predict that we've had a freeze just by looking at these tomato plants. They've gone down big time and as you see this farmer's lost a pretty big field of them.
If you look though you will see there is obviously a difference between cold susceptible vegetables, those which will freeze, and cold tolerant vegetables such as the cabbage and cauliflower that we see over there behind us. I put out this little demonstration for both our viewing audience and the farmers to show you what a little bit of protection will give you on even a cold night into the twenties.
This is a product called Grow-Web that we've talked about in the spring and the summer and it's nice to throw over a plant that you want to give a little protection to, a little cold tender plant. As you can see we covered these plants before the freeze and we had a little burn back of course, but the tomato foliage is still in good shape. More importantly the fruit itself is still firm and hard even though the green ones are firm and hard.
If you look at some that haven't been covered they're soft and discolored and will go ahead and rot, whereas these you take them in the house put them under the bed in a box and they will ripen over a period of time.
The key to this thing is this material will only give you about five degrees of protection so into the twenties the mid twenties you would think would freeze something but actually it won't because it slow thaws it. That's the most important thing, not whether it freezes or not, but if it slow thaws. So keep this material in mind for next spring and I hope you covered and will have some wonderful Christmas tomatoes for this year.
This has been Jerry Parsons, Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Weekend Gardener.
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