Friday, May 22, 2009

Frost Event- Vegetable Transplants and Strawberries

Monday night we had some very cold temperatures. Asheville Airport reported a record low of 35 degrees F and the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville reported 31 degrees F. That is pretty cold for the third week in May!

Vegetables/ Vegetable Transplants:
Most commercial growers were out in their fields early Tuesday morning taking precautionary measures to protect their young vegetable transplants. Some growers sprayed water, while others lit fires in drive rows.

Because most vegetables are planted on plastic, they remain somewhat warmer than air temperature. But, I did see some tomato transplants that had some minor frost damage. In the pictures below, notice the tips of the leaves looked burned. Also, we saw some speckling on the leaflets (bottom picture). Luckily, these plants didn't suffer severe damage and will be able to grow out of the damage. Pepper plants and cucumber plants in the same field didn't exhibit symptoms of frost damage.

Most strawberry growers were able to put on row covers to protect blooms.

Did you know? Just 10-15 minutes of ice crystals on strawberry blossoms can cause serious damage, such as irregular shaped fruit, resulting in economic injury. Temperatures don't need to fall below 32-33 degrees F to result in damage.

Revisit my blog entry "Cold Damage Strawberries" for more information and videos on assessing damage.

I want to hear from you:
Did you experience any frost damage this week?
Have you experienced any damage this season?

Use the comment feature to post a comment.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

I had frost damage on my tomatoes - the sungolds were hit hardest, there was also a little damage on the BHN-444s. My farm is in Swannanoa just east of Asheville.