Freeze Watches/Warnings

Freezing cold weather is set to wash over the state of Florida tonight into tomorrow night, so please be prepared!

A few comments about freeze protection in orchards:

  1. Be sure that your orchard is well-watered – we will be getting sun each day, and wet soil has a greater capacity to absorb heat, and also release it during the night, offering a few degrees of protection.
  2. Watch the weather – and keep your coffee pot going.  For those in Central Florida and to the south, it looks like the temperature will drop to a critical period around 2 a.m. on Friday morning.  However, if the wind is too high, you may induce evaporative cooling rather than protect the fruit, which can do more severe damage.
  3. Know what your irrigation system capabilities are to be able to meet the appropriate water output.
    1. See: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ch182 – this is for citrus, but the principles that they go over, like reading a sling psychrometer are useful to understand.
  4. Hold off on any orchard related activities, like thinning fruit – the cold weather may do a good job of that for you!

Weather Related Resources:

  • The National Weather Service – http://www.noaa.gov/ – just put in your city or zip.  I find that the best resource is a graph like this which gives you the temperature and wind speed which is important:

CitraNOAA_2-20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you that might be stressed – have heart!  It won’t be as cold as it will be in Citra, FL at our research plots for peaches and blueberries!

As always, if you have any questions, please contact me – mercy1@ufl.edu.

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