Potato Leaf Freeze Damage

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A freeze came through this morning and 30F will definitely kill potato leaves and stems poking out of the ground unlike this article suggests. I used a calibrated thermometer sitting on the ground to check the low temp. Watering the ground the day before and rinsing the frost off the plant before the sun came up did not help them either. That might work with temps 32 and above and a very light frost. I've actually done these things before and I knew the freeze was coming so I decided to test it out to see if it actually works.

Carrots, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, brussels sprouts, beets, and radishes were not harmed and also not watered or rinsed off.

I do think the upside bucket thing works the best. I'll have to test that out next since when I plant my tomatoes there will be another freeze after I plant them.
 
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I don't know how hard your frost gets, you are continental, we are an island, it makes a difference. I have an old net curtain rolled up in the back of the shed that comes out to cover anything fragile if a freeze is predicted, seems to work.
 
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A freeze came through this morning and 30F will definitely kill potato leaves and stems poking out of the ground unlike this article suggests. I used a calibrated thermometer sitting on the ground to check the low temp. Watering the ground the day before and rinsing the frost off the plant before the sun came up did not help them either. That might work with temps 32 and above and a very light frost. I've actually done these things before and I knew the freeze was coming so I decided to test it out to see if it actually works.

Carrots, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, brussels sprouts, beets, and radishes were not harmed and also not watered or rinsed off.

I do think the upside bucket thing works the best. I'll have to test that out next since when I plant my tomatoes there will be another freeze after I plant them.
The upside down bucket works pretty good, especially if you line the inside of it with newspaper.
 
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The upside down bucket works pretty good, especially if you line the inside of it with newspaper.
Never thought of that. How do you put newspaper in it and it not fall back out? Hold a sheet centered over the hole and push it in the bucket?
 

NigelJ

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Could use newspaper, instead of net curtain or agricultural fleece.
Also have you considered earthing them up so the soil covers the shoots. That worked when I was growing up in Eastern England. They'll grow through the soil in a few days.
 
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Also have you considered earthing them up so the soil covers the shoots. That worked when I was growing up in Eastern England. They'll grow through the soil in a few days.
Yes sir. In the past, I have covered my taters with sawdust and the next morning blow the sawdust away with a leaf blower.
 

NigelJ

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Yes sir. In the past, I have covered my taters with sawdust and the next morning blow the sawdust away with a leaf blower.
Soil was cheaper where I grew up and I don't think I'd have made enough sanding down oold bits of pine.
Didn't have leaf blowers then either just spring rakes which are quieter by some way.
Commercially they used to plant them deeper than most gardeners did, firstly so emergence would be laterand secondly so they didn't have to earth them up.
These dats some of the earliest potatoes will be planted under polythene, or similar this gives just enough protection, most of the time.
 
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It took me a long time to sand down enough pine dust to have enough but as you can see I finally got finished. Hehe. There are sawmills that will give you sawdust for free.

CLh_SOVUAAAisaf.png
 
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A freeze came through this morning and 30F will definitely kill potato leaves and stems poking out of the ground unlike this article suggests. I used a calibrated thermometer sitting on the ground to check the low temp. Watering the ground the day before and rinsing the frost off the plant before the sun came up did not help them either. That might work with temps 32 and above and a very light frost. I've actually done these things before and I knew the freeze was coming so I decided to test it out to see if it actually works.

Carrots, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, brussels sprouts, beets, and radishes were not harmed and also not watered or rinsed off.

I do think the upside bucket thing works the best. I'll have to test that out next since when I plant my tomatoes there will be another freeze after I plant them.
I am in 6a and dont put potato's in until last week of April.
 

Meadowlark

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In East Texas, we "hill up" potatoes more to prevent green spuds (light causes the potato to produce chlorophyll and also solanine) and improve production than damage from frost. Frost damage is best done as prevention i.e., planting at the right time to avoid having shoots vulnerable to frosts.

Matter of fact, I just hilled my potatoes up this very day.

potatoes hilled.JPG
 
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That is some good lookin taters and garden too.

How in the world do you have bulbed onions this time of year? Looks like you put the nitrogen to them as green as that stalk is.
 

Meadowlark

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Thank you for your comments and question, YumYum.

The way I get bulbed onions (some 3+ inches currently going to 5 or 6+ inches by May harvest if I'm lucky) this time of year is to start in Nov. with 1015 sets planted in soil enriched with alfalfa green manure. They don't need additional nitrogen, but I do provide a steady diet of fish emulsion increasing as the weather warms.
 

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