Chapter 27

Vineyard Frost Protection

(book excerpts)

The best protection for avoiding a spring frost is locating the vineyard on a proper site. However, most sites are not perfect, and may benefit from additional frost protection. In the spring, frost has the potential to kill young vines, reduce or destroy the crop for that season, and reduce the potential yield for the following season. In general, younger tissues tend to freeze at a higher temperature because they have a greater, water content, hence shoot tips, emerging leaves and developing inflorescences tend to be most sensitive to a frost. Vines that have not broken bud are less prone to damage. In the fall, frost before harvest will lead to premature leaf fall. This effectively prevents any further photosynthate accumulation by the vine, the transfer of nutrients from the leaves into the vine, and the accumulation of sugars in the berries. The focus of this chapter is on practical considerations related to what has been traditionally called spring frost protection.

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