Wednesday, February 29, 2012

recent installation of canes and vines and fear of frost through March 15th

I am excited about recently planting my raspberry canes and grape vines in our backyard last week! However, this recent weather has me a bit concerned about frost. If you wonder as well, here is a tip from the UCCE Santa Clara County Master Gardener Program:

Well-watered plants are a good defense against frost
It almost sounds counter-intuitive, but plants that have moist soil are more prepared for extreme temperatures. Soil that is damp can hold more heat than soil that is dry, and dry soil is likely the case with the lower-than-average rain this season. Here's an article from Cornell Cooperative Extenstion (PDF) that explains the science behind the theory. "In a study performed years ago, the air temperature above a wet soil was 5 degrees F higher than that above a dry soil and the difference was maintained until 6 a.m. the next morning. Thus, plants should be well watered the evening before a frost."

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