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Extra Chill Hours

Posted by Truman Henson 
Extra Chill Hours
January 15, 2017 10:18AM
There is a way to get extra chill hours! For all of my fellow warm or tropical growers out there gaining chill hours can make all the difference in getting a good set of flowers. The answer is KAOLIN CLAY! We use two to three applications at a full rate for complete coverage of the tree when they drop leaves. Even if they haven't dropped leaves we get in there and coat everything. We turn our trees white. Spraying a good layer of clay and keeping it on during our short winter is the key to getting more chill hours. Because the bark is now white it is slower to heat up when that wonderful morning sun hits the bark. It makes perfect sense! So in turn those extra minutes it takes to warm up the bark add up over the course of the season, and those minutes turn into hours. I have recently read about almond growers in California using this method. They have done trials and found over a 50% increase in fruit due to the extra accumulation of chill hours from the clay. It is a multi purpose remedy. In addition to protecting those bare parts of the tree from sun burn or scald you can gain some much needed chill hours. With the years that growers encounter milder winters kaolin clay is a solution to curb warmer weather trends. I think that using kaolin clay for extra chill hours can be a way for people to push the limits of what they can or couldn't grow in warmer climates. On the funnier side of things... when 49 out of 50 states have snow to look at out the window. We can look out our window here at our pretty white trees and pretend there is snow... yet another benefit! Take getting extra chill hours into your own hands and get out there and spray some clay!

Clover Meadow Nursery
Zone 9A in Florida
Re: Extra Chill Hours
April 18, 2017 04:13PM
do you use diaphram pump or roller or other for spraying kaolin? is it the branded Surround product or some other? thanks
Ian G
Dundas 6a
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