Learn How Water Can Protect Your Berry Plants from Frost
Did you know you can actually protect your berry plants from frost in the cold months ahead by using water? The concept might seem confusing at first, but the science behind it is really not that complicated. Who knew that using freezing water could protect your berry plants from frost? If you are a home gardener who grows berries in colder climates, you really should read on…
The first thing you need to know is water transfers heat. Water that is sprayed directly on your berry plants can protect your berry plants from frost due to the fact that the water actually warms the air surrounding the plants because the water is warmer than the outside temperature. The scientific name for this concept is called radiation (as in radiant heat).
Another way water can protect your berry plants from frost relies on conduction. When you think of conduction it might conjure up images of your high school physics class and terms such as molecules, atoms, and kinetic energy. Recalling your high school physics lesson on conduction might be helpful in understanding how this process can actually help berry plants. Unless, of course, you were absent that day! Heat transfer can occur via conduction, and that is what is happening when warm water is sprayed on plants. The plant’s temperature will rise because of the transfer of energy that occurs between the plant and the water.
Another way water protects your berry plants from frost is latent heat. You might also recall this term from high school classes. Latent heat refers to the heat needed for a material (in this case water) to change states. In order for water to change from a liquid to a frozen state, energy is required. This energy warms the plants.
Many plants can endure all sorts of temperature variations and weather disturbances. Properly caring for your plants requires vigilance and educating yourself on the type of plants you are growing. With careful monitoring and sensible effort, you can protect your berry plants from frost without much ado.