Tue, 13 Nov 2007 11:28:05 PST
Usually Americans mean just the white coating to refer to frost and if the 
whole tissue is frozen it is a freeze usually in reference to meaning that 
it means it is time to clean up the vegetable garden because the tomatoes 
are killed.  When less that amount of freezing we are still in denial and 
say "not in my yard"  while the non plant people (American car culture and 
sports  mentality people who think the whole world belongs to them.) 
Unfortunately I live in a Big Ten town (major university football) with the 
stadium down the street.] think there was a frost just because the had frost 
on their windshield even though the ground warmth has kept all the plants 
warm  A freeze usually lasts more than a couple hours.  So many plant 
tolerate frost as long as the leaves don't freeze solid. Europeans refer to 
frost as all freezing as in "degrees of frost".  Of course then there is the 
next level of freezing where the soil freezes.   When we have a freeze 
without frost the damage is severe because of the frost has some insulating 
effect.  Ever notice how we don't have frost in winter?  I think that is 
because the frost forms on warm surfaces and in winter there is less 
temperature between the surface and the air temperature.  I think a hoary 
frost is when you have fog at below freezing.  That is very rare in non 
maritime areas.  I remember one time it was near 0F with a heavy fog and 
frost was piling up very fast of everything
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim McKenney" <>
To: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 10:30 AM
Subject: Re: [pbs] FROSTS

Isn't there some ambiguity in the way we use this word "frost"?

In the usage I'm familiar with, "frost" is something observed at above
freezing temperatures: the light dusting of white observed on mornings when
the air temperature is above freezing but maybe well down into the 30sF.

Yet many other people seem to use the term "frost" to refer to below
freezing temperatures, as in "we had five degrees of frost this morning".

What some people call "frost damage" I would call "freeze damage". Basil and
coleus are prone to frost damage in the terminology I'm used to; lilies
which sprout too early are prone to freeze damage but are rarely bothered by

How are others using these words?

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where 65ยบ F is predicted
My Virtual Maryland Garden

Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS
Editor PVC Bulletin

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