Sheets Over Apricot Trees
Even though we had a mild winter last year, we also had a last hurrah of cold weather right after my compact dwarf apricot trees bloomed. As our climate continues to rapidly change, we can expect even more erratic weather patterns so knowing how to protect plants from radical temperature fluctuations will come in handy.
Freezing temperatures are not good news for any blooming plants and trees but anything below 27F means there will be no fruit later in the year.
Having missed several years of fruit because of late frosts, I have tested a number of combinations of items around the house to protect the fruit blooms during freezing weather. Last year, I tried bed sheets by themselves. This year, I combined bed sheets with the lightweight fleece blankets I use for furniture covers to keep cat hair off my chairs.
I first carefully draped the compact dwarf apricot trees with the fleece blanket, then draped them with the sheet I then tucked underneath and pinned closed with quilting pins.
Only once did I sneak outside at night to double check that the pins were holding the sheets closed. They were. That next morning, there were good signs that the combination of fleece and sheet was working.
Peeking out of the corner of the sheet, I saw the end of one of the tree branches still showing the lovely pink blooms of the apricot blossoms. It was day 3 of the 5 days of cold weather so we still had a couple of more days to go but that was encouraging to know they had made it this far.
Peeking under the sheet, the apricot flowers inside looked even better.
By the time the low front had moved through, the flowers had pulled through safely and my bees were once again pollinating the apricot tree flowers.
The sheets by themselves are not enough but the combination of sheet wrapping around the lightweight fleece did work.
To recap then, winter jackets work, and so do bed sheets over lightweight fleece blankets. Next, checking on using corn sacks as frost protection for compact dwarf fruit trees.