Frost Protection

For New Zealand frosts, overhead frost protection is the most reliable solution.

Overhead systems cover the vines and trees with water, which freezes and encapsulate susceptible tissue in ice. The plant tissue is effectively insulated from the severity of the frost by the ice.

Under-vine/tree sprinklers are also worth considering for frost risk reduction. Sprinklers on the ground reduce the heat loss by radiation from the ground surface, maintaining a higher temperature over the protected area.

Sound engineering, design and installation is critical, with the effectiveness of protection depending on the water application rate and uniformity.

We can assess and monitor the following factors to optimise the performance of your frost protection system:

  • Air movement
  • Sprinkler alignment
  • Start-up temperature
  • Dew point temperature
  • Water volume calculation is vital
  • Losses due to radiation, convection and evaporation

We have vast frost protection and irrigation experience, particularly in the frost-prone Hawke’s Bay and Central Otago areas. We are New Zealand’s leaders in drip and micro-sprinkler irrigation and frost protection systems using overhead water sprinklers for orchards and vineyards. We deliver quality results – on time and within budget.


Comprehensive frost research in New Zealand specific conditions was undertaken with the help of The Sustainable Farming Fund by Irrigation Services Ltd, Lincoln Ventures, wine companies and component suppliers from 2004-2007. Irrigation Services designed, installed and managed the trial, and were responsible for data retrieval along the way.