Irrigation in some countries is a horticultural practice mainly used only to supply water. At the same time the use of microsprinklers have a powerful infl uence on the changes of temperature in orchards. When the air’s temperature is high (about 20 °C or higher) the evaporative cooling irrigation signifi cantly decreases the plants’ surfa...ce temperature and air temperature. The cooling effect is stronger when the air is dryer. By using cooling irrigation regularly, canopy temperature can be decreased so that the beginning of blooming can be delayed. Also if the blooming is early and frost probability is high, serious damages can happen in orchards. The benefi cial effect of cooling irrigation is the temperature reduction and frost protection. In March 2010, one month earlier than the expected blooming an irrigation system was established to produce anti-frost treatment and regulate the micro-climate of a Bosc pear orchard which belongs to the University of Debrecen (Hungary). The objective of sprinklers was to cool the air by increasing water evaporation and relative humidity. The position of the micro-sprinklers was planned in three levels (around the tree trunks, a few cm near to the soil surface, in the crown region and above the crown, a half meter higher). The results showed that the water sprayed in the orchard by micro-jets infl uenced decisively the temperature of the plantation. At higher temperatures (around 20 °C), the drop of temperature may attain 5–7 °C. A low relative humidity of the air may increase the relative effect. When water was applied at intervals of 15 minutes for ten times a day from 8 am to 18 pm, the air, fl owers and bud’s surface temperature could be kept low. At certain days when the temperature was higher than 10 °C, irrigation was used at night time in similar 15 minutes intervals, from 18 pm and 6 am. The beginning of bloom could be delayed for more than ten days. The Bosc pear variety blooming dynamics was characterized by a logistic curve in the treated as well as in the control plot. In the treated plot, the curve was steeper than in the control one in spite of the equal temperatures measured in the plots. Under Hungarian climatic conditions, the method was successfully used to delay blooming dates. The main result was the diminution of the frost damage in the spring that assured pears yields.
The aim of the study was to fi nd out which of the methods used to avoid damages of late frosts would be the most effective for the fruit growing practice. Three technologies have been tested in the regions of Siófok and Debrecen-Pallag. The antifrost irrigation proved to be the most advantageous. For that purpose microjet sprayers are used, w...hich are thrifty and do not need for that purpose large containers. With the aim to secure an even distribution of water, the sprayers are distributed on three levels: above and inside of the crown as well as on the level of trunks. On a large scale, a single microjet above the crown level would be suffi cient. By means of a detailed analysis served to set the optimum intervals between spraying phases: with each 15, 10, 5 and 3 minutes during half a minute. The synchronous presence of water and ice below the freezing point, the released freezing heat plus the water used much above the freezing point (9–10 °C) altogether maintains the temperature above around 0°C near the fl owers or growing fruitlets, meanwhile, the surrounding air cools down to –8 °C. The effectiveness of the generally used anti-frost would be increased substantially by the former application of cooling irrigation, which delays the blooming date. The Frostbuster represents a new technology developed for the same purpose of frost defence. It uses butane burning and produces high (80-90°C) temperature with a strong blast of air. On the protected area sensors have been distributed for measuring temperature and relative humidity. The means of the measurements proved a rise of temperature, which was suffi cient to save the fruit trees until the difference is less than –3–3.5 °C. Our analyses stated that paraffi n candles avert the frost until –4 °C. Its success depends largely on the intensity of air movements. A small wind would be enough to frustrate the effect. The results show clearly the utility of Frostbuster and paraffi n candle combined is approved.
Most of the risk in Hungarian fruit growing is the damage caused by late spring frosts. The frequency of late frosts seems to increase nowadays. The aim of the study was to check this contention: what is the real probability of the damages. Based on earlier experiences, the physiological LT50 function has been elaborated for new fruit varieties..., which are eligible to moderate the danger when being threatened by frost. By means of this technique, the probability of freezing is distinguished between frost susceptible, frost resistant and medium frost resistant fruit species and varieties around their blooming time. The degree of frost damage depends on the duration and severity of the low temperature and not at least on the frost tolerance of the plant. For that purpose, the frequencies of frost damages were studied at two Transdanubian and two Trans-Tisza fruit growing sites by means of a meteorological database for the 60-year-long period 1951–2010. Being aware of the LT50 values changing during the phonological phases of the fruit trees from budding, bloom, fruit set and fruit growth, the number and date of critical (frosty) days could be settled. An important role is attributed to the orographic relief and the height above the sea level of the site, as 20–30 m differences and expositions may become decisive within the same plantation. The spatial distribution of damages is also dependent on the air circulations within the Carpathian basin. At the southern and northern borders of the country, especially valley bottoms represent additional risks of frost. Most spring frost damages are experienced in April 20–22, and cause heavy damages by temperature minima between – 3°C and – 6°C. The severity of damage depends largely on the temperature of the preceding few days. The earlier bloom the heavier damage is expected. The study is emphasising the importance of the varieties. Frost tolerance of some varieties may lower the risk of spring frosts by 40–50%, as experienced on the plantations. The quantifi cation of the risks based on data raised during the last years will be suitable to defi ne the security of yields of each growing site successfully.