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hard freeze and beets

daninthedirt (USDA 9a, HZ9, CentTX, Sunset z30, Cfa)
2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

I always thought that beets were somewhat freeze tolerant. We had a bizarre couple of days when the temp went down to 15F. I mean, it hardly ever even freezes down here. I had beet seedlings that were an inch or so high. Even covered, they were destroyed. Interestingly, beets that were planted a week or two before but had not yet come up were also destroyed. They never came up.

Interestingly, I am reading that seedlings are indeed less frost tolerant than mature plants. The "antifreeze" of salts, sugars, and other organic compounds haven't yet fully developed in seedlings. As an aside, beets can tolerate about half of the internal water being frozen as ice. Frost intolerant plants like beans can only tolerate 10% or so of the internal water being frozen.

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