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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Effects of Frost

Posted by John Fulton -

There has been much concern about recent frost and the potential damage to several crops. We do have to remember it is still April, and the last spring frost date with some certainty is about May 7 in our area. In general terms, it usually takes temperatures below 28 degrees to really affect fruit crops, rhubarb, etc. If you had tomatoes out early on a gamble, then you may have lost that bet.

Fruit trees most at risk would include the apricots and peaches. Bloom and early fruit set are critical times for frost and freeze damage. That's one reason peach orchards aren't very common in our area of the state, with an anticipated crop about every third year. Of course, the flip side is a late frost or freeze at a critical time can kill the flowers of other trees as well. We experience this a couple of years ago with sweet gums, and I didn't hear one complaint about not having to pick up the sweet gum balls that fall.

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