In Winter’s’ as we humans adopt ways of protecting us from the changing temperature, plants too need protective measures. The cold damage during the winters can cause big harm to crops. During winters, as the air temperature approaches freezing, the surface temperature of plants also dips below freezing. This causes the formation of ice crystals.
Effect of freezing temperature on Plants
The plants are mostly damaged when the cold temperature is for a long duration instead of high intensity. Light freeze causes damage to only tender plants. Ice forms on their outer surface. Moderate freeze damages both the foliage and the blossoms. The ice that is formed inside the plants causes the bursting of plant cells. Mostly all the plants are damaged due to drying due to Severe freeze.
Ways to Protect Plants
Given below are certain ways that can be adopted to protect the plants from freezing:
- Cover the plant – Plants can be covered with fabric, old bed sheets, or commercial frost clothes available in the market. The use of plastic should be avoided. The cover should be removed in the morning when the temperature starts rising.
- Check for Losses – The damaged portion should be removed immediately to prevent the spread of infection. However, hardy perennials, trees, and shrubs may recover from a late spring freeze, even if visibly damaged.
- Artificial Source of Heat – To protect the plants, 100 watts bulb should be used under the crops. Smoke should also be done in the evening on all four sides of the field.
- Prevention is better than cure – Use of fertilizers should be restricted in the winter season to avoid new growth and exposing it to damage.