Gardening Tips: Protect Plants from Early Bud Break

Like me, you may have been hearing the buzz about early bud break lately, and it hasn’t been good. There are some serious fears floating around about this early bud break thing, particularly from our grape growing friends. I’ve always enjoyed a taste or two of the liquid nectar, so their fears have quickly become mine.

Some of you may ask, “What is early bud break?” To truly know the answer, you must first understand the word “dormancy”. So here is the definition of dormancy according to Biology-Online.

“Dormancy is a period in which a plant does not grow, awaiting necessary environmental conditions such as temperature, moisture, nutrient availability, etc.”

The dormant bud can be induced to break for various reasons but, as stated above, one of the biggest factors is temperature. Now we could really talk some plant science here, but let’s keep it simple. An unseasonally warm-snap can induce early bud break. Bud break is great, but only if it’s at the right time.

If it comes too early, that can be hazardous to our plants, particularly grapevines! These unseasonally warm days are often followed by some cold frosty weather. Old man winter is not through and his frigid ways may damage your new buds, and nobody wants their buds to be hurt.

So how to we protect those little buds from cold damage? There are many ways to do this and I encourage you to do the research, but one easy solution is to use a foliar antitranspirant. An antitranspirant will put a protective coat on your plants that will protect them from the elements. Little baby shoots need coats in cold weather just like we do, so cover up and don’t let old man winter wreak havoc on your new plants!

Stay warm and until next time, happy gardening!