Seasonal Gardening: Frost Prevention Foam, Stretchy Tree Paint and Cooled Compost Piles

The Seasons of the Garden column shares seasonal gardening news briefs on frost prevention foam, stretchy tree paint and cooled compost piles.

| November/December 1987

  • 108-026-01-im3
    With more carbon dioxide, lima bean plants grew faster and were eaten faster by cabbage loopers. In fact, the extra growth was about offset by the extra looper feeding.

  • 108-026-01-im3

The Seasons of the Garden column shares seasonal gardening information and tips with MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers. 

Seasonal Gardening Research Briefs

Foam away frost? According to East German experiments, an eight-inch layer of nontoxic, biodegradable foam protects strawberry, tomato, bean and potato plants from several hours of subfreezing temperatures (even down into the teens). The product is not yet commercially available.

Stretchy tree paint.Tree-Max, a paint specially formulated to protect the trunks and lower branches of fruit trees from sun scald, contains an elastic material that allows it to stretch and grow with the tree. The permeable paint is available from Associated Technical Consultants, Toledo, OH.

Freeze herb pests. Dr. A.D. Tucker of the Delaware State College Herbarium says that freezing harvested herbs for 48 hours at 0°F should kill all insect pests and egg clusters. Dried-on-the-vine raisins are now feasible, at least in fairly arid regions. For details, write to H.E. Studer (Dept. of Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA) for a copy of his paper, "Raisin Production by Natural On the-Vine Drying."

Death to multiflora rose. If you've ever struggled against that invasive briar, multiflora rose, you'll be glad to hear about rose rosette. This disease causes deformed stems, altered leaflet development and bright red spring shoots one year—and kills the entire plant the next!

Cool compost, please. According to research at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, soil mixes containing materials composted at moderate temperatures can help suppress damping off of seedlings. However, compost cooked at high temperatures (above 140 degrees Fahrenheit) can actually pro mote such fungus diseases. Apparently, the beneficial microorganisms that attack damping off are killed by the higher temperatures.

Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: April, 27-28 2019
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters