Here's the good news. Gardeners might soon have a new tool to fight freeze damage. A team of botanists working in Alabama and Ohio have developed a spray that can make plants more tolerant of the cold!
Sprayed plants can survive at temperatures down to nearly ten degrees colder than what they normally can endure. The spray uses a combination of ingredients that help lower the freezing point of the plant.
The effectiveness of the spray depends on the species. The formula works with a plant's genetic pre adaptation for cold protection and improves it. The solution enters the plant through the leaves, and stimulates the plants' own cold weather defense mechanisms.
The spray helps the plant increase the natural antifreeze compounds made inside its cells. It also helps protect cells from damage caused by freezing. Then if some of the cells freeze anyway, the damage to the plant is reduced. A single spray can last from four to six weeks. It's expected to be available for purchase by spring of 2010.