Citrus can be grown in USDA zones 8-11. It means that citrus grows best in subtropical climates, which Florida already has. However, subtropical climates occasionally experience cold weather below 32°F, which can harm citrus trees, especially if it lasts for a few hours. Some citrus varieties, such as satsuma, may be more resistant to cold temperatures than others, such as limes and lemons. Depending on the size of your citrus grove and your access to some of the following options, these tips may assist you in protecting your citrus trees from cold weather or freeze.
- In cold weather, keep the soil beneath and around citrus trees clear of mulch and grass. Also, water early in the day before the cold weather arrives. During the day, bare, moist soil absorbs more heat. During the night, this stored heat radiates upward, keeping the citrus a little warmer.
- Citrus trees can receive partial or whole protection from water. Low volume under tree microsprinkler irrigation is an alternate frost protection approach that can be more cost-effective than others. Microsprinklers can give some protection to leaves and wood, especially in the lower and inner canopy regions. Since fruit is more susceptible to cold, microsprinklers are ineffective in protecting it. At higher volumes, spray jets protect fruit more effectively than without watering. It is preferable to protect trees rather than fruits. The efficiency of microsprinklers is limited. Survival of trees is determined by factors such as tree health, rootstock, and cold adaptation. Once the microsprinklers are turned on, the system must keep running all night.
- Insulating tree wraps placed around the trunks of young trees slow the rate of temperature fall. Tree wraps in combination with microsprinkler irrigation provide even better cold protection insurance. Wrap the trunk with tree wrap up to 2 feet around the base of the tree. This will defend the young tree’s graft against freezing. Therefore, even if the branches freeze, the graft union will remain intact.
Wind machine (Fan)
- Frost fans transport air from the inversion layer to the ground, where it mixes with the freezing air. They have recently increased in favor because of their versatility and energy efficiency. Fan should be started when the ambient temperature is still above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to radiational cooling, it is possible for bud temperatures to be several degrees below the air temperature, and damage can occur even if the air temperature is above freezing.