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25 May 2023

Frost candels or Frost Ovens under a protection system

Frost candels or Frost Ovens under a protection system

Protecting crops from frost can be done in several ways, by sprinkling, candels, ovens and by closing the protection system.

Frost candels and frost ovens are unmissable in the fight against frost. But can these 2 also be lit under a closed hail net or rain system? Won't there be too much smoke? Won't my foil/hailnet discolour?

In this blog, I share our knowledge and experience on frost protection under an closed system.
 

Frost Ovens under a protection system

Frost Ovens should (according to specifications) only burn outside the protection system. This is so that the smoke from the Frost ovens can escape properly. But in reality, we have a number of growers who do.  

Frost Ovens outside the system can be lit with your own pruning wood, wooden briquettes or peat briquettes.  

If peat briquettes are used, and starting the Frost Ovens is done correctly, the hail nets and foil will not discolour. As a result, the Frost Ovens can also be used under the protection system. It is important that the lid never comes off the Frost Ovens to prevent sparks from getting onto the foil or the hail nets.

We have no experience with wood and strongly advise against it. Wood is less easy to regulate, and gives more and blacker smoke, also wood sparks more.

Growers who use Frost Ovens under their protection system say they only need 50-150 instead of 200-300 Frost Ovens per hectare (depending on frost).
 

Frost candles under a protecion system

Like frost ovens, there are many different frost candles available on the market. FruitSecurity Holland recommends only 1 type under a protecting system: Stopgel candles. Do you have questions about another kind of candle? We will gladly find out about their suitability under a system for you!

As shown in the picture above, the stop gel candles barely smoke. This is because the candles are made from 100% biofuel. This makes the candles suitable not only for under a system, but also for along a busy road, or if your plot is in a busy residential area.

Candles do not spark, so when using Stopgel candles, you can be sure your foil and hailnet will not be damaged!

In conclusion

Using frostcandles or frost ovens under a fruit protection system is always at your own risk. Protecion systems, for example, are not snow-proof.

Research on temperature in orchards has been conducted in northern Italy since 2004. Temperature measurements were taken in cherry orchards by Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM). These measurements showed that candles could raise the temperature by 1 degree. However, if a foil system was fitted then the temperature gain could be up to 5 degrees! Studies by PC fruit (Belgium) also show such measurements.

So combining candles or ovens under a protection system does pay off.
In the end, not one night frost is the same and you should always be prepared for the worst.
Do you still have questions about frost protection under a protection system? We will be happy to help!


Wilbert Hendriksen    

Wilbert Hendriksen

Productspecialist fruitprotection

My mission and duty is to help as many fruit growers as possible get a good harvest.

So that fruit damage can be prevented, no delivery problems occur

and that fruit growers can harvest successfully!

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