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the falling of the air temperature below 0°C in the evening or night when temperatures during the day are above freezing. They are caused either by the invasion of cold air masses from other regions, generally from the arctic (advective frosts), or by radiant cooling of the soil surface and vegetation at night (radiation frosts). In most cases, however, both preliminary advection of a mass of cold air into a given region and subsequent night radiation that cools the soil and, through it the air, to subzero temperatures play a part in the occurrence of a frost. Such frosts usually occur in the central zone of the USSR in spring (until mid-June) and fall (beginning in the second half of September).

Frosts can substantially lower yields of field, vegetable, and fruit crops. Their destructive effect on crops is due to the direct action of low temperatures on living cells: it freezes water out of the cell sap, causes the formation of ice crystals in the interstitial spaces, and dehydrates the protoplasm. The hardiest plants, early spring grain crops and early-planted beans, can withstand a brief frost ranging from -7° to - 10°C; soy, Italian millet, and Chinese bellflower are moderately hardy and can withstand temperatures of -4° to -3°C; corn, millet, sorghum, potato, and rustic tobacco can tolerate frosts from -2° to -3°C; kidney bean, rice, cotton, melons, sesame, peanut, and buckwheat are tender plants whose shoots are injured by temperatures ranging from -0.5° to — 1.5°C. The reproductive organs are particularly sensitive to frosts.

The introduction of early-ripening crop varieties into regions with a short frost-free period, the breeding of plants for hardiness, the use of potassium fertilizers, timely cultivation, and the correct choice of the sowing site, taking the micro-climate into account, are very important in combating frosts. The best known and most popular method is smudging, which is widely used to protect flowering fruits and shoots of heat-loving vegetables in the central zone and southern regions of the USSR. Open heating, in the air between plants by the combustion of oil and coal in special heaters, is used on citrus plantations in the subtropical regions of the USSR. Lemon and orange trees are sometimes covered with three layers of gauze. The heating of plantations by electric heaters or warm-water or steam units is effective but costly and is used only for valuable produce.


Berliand, M. E., and P. N. Krasikov. Predskazanie zamorozkov i bor’ba s nimi, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1960.
Gol’tsberg, I. A. Agroklimaticheskaia kharakteristika zamorozkov v SSSR i metody bor’by s nimi. Leningrad, 1961.


References in classic literature ?
Elinor was alternately diverted and pained; but Marianne persevered, and saw every night in the brightness of the fire, and every morning in the appearance of the atmosphere, the certain symptoms of approaching frost.
After this season of congealed dampness came a spell of dry frost, when strange birds from behind the North Pole began to arrive silently on the upland of Flintcomb-Ash; gaunt spectral creatures with tragical eyes--eyes which had witnessed scenes of cataclysmal horror in inaccessible polar regions of a magnitude such as no human being had ever conceived, in curdling temperatures that no man could endure; which had beheld the crash of icebergs and the slide of snow-hills by the shooting light of the Aurora; been half blinded by the whirl of colossal storms and terraqueous distortions; and retained the expression of feature that such scenes had engendered.
A bright fire was glowing in the old-fashioned Waterloo stove and blue-white frost crystals were shining on the windowpanes.
All the glow and radiance and joy at earth's heart seem to have broken loose in a splendid determination to express itself for once before the frost of winter chills her beating pulses.
Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe, through Paris and London, through New York and Boston and Concord, through Church and State, through poetry and philosophy and religion, till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake; and then begin, having a point d'appui, below freshet and frost and fire, a place where you might found a wall or a state, or set a lamp-post safely, or perhaps a gauge, not a Nilometer, but a Realometer, that future ages might know how deep a freshet of shams and appearances had gathered from time to time.
I want it to be a succession of glories from May till the frosts, and the chief feature is to be the number of "ardent marigolds"-- flowers that I very tenderly love--and nasturtiums.
In the fall one walks in the orchards and the ground is hard with frost under- foot.
Further on, from the bright red windows of the Sword-Fish Inn, there came such fervent rays, that it seemed to have melted the packed snow and ice from before the house, for everywhere else the congealed frost lay ten inches thick in a hard, asphaltic pavement, --rather weary for me, when I struck my foot against the flinty projections, because from hard, remorseless service the soles of my boots were in a most miserable plight.
In all weathers, in the snow and frost of winter, in the bitter winds of spring, in the hot sunshine of summer, in the rains of autumn, and again in the snow and frost of winter, Lucie passed two hours of every day at this place; and every day on leaving it, she kissed the prison wall.
Living so lone here, you lose your count, I daresay; and then, when your loom makes a noise, you can't hear the bells, more partic'lar now the frost kills the sound.
I dare not,' said the other, 'for if I were to put my hat on straight, there would come such a frost that the very birds in the sky would freeze and fall dead on the earth.
The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver.