Protecting moringa trees from frost damage is the #1 thing you can do to ensure an early spring harvest of nutritious young leaves.
In the northern half of Florida, moringas will often freeze to the ground, then grow back again from the roots sometime in spring. If you let this happen, you’ll be waiting on new leaves for a lot longer than necessary.
Want a shortcut that will give you much better yields? It’s easy. I’ve written on this method before, but it’s time for a better demonstration. Here’s how I do it.
Step 1: Chop ‘Em Down!
Chop your moringa trees down to 4′ trunks in late fall or early winter. I wait until the first frost is coming, then do this the day before.
It hurts to cut the trees down, but you can take away some of the pain by drying leaves to use through the winter. See?
I usually put away a couple of dry gallons of leaves… that’s a LOT of moringa. We never run out.
Step 2: Make Rings!
Got some old chicken wire or other fencing? Get snipping and bending!
It’s easy and fun. Just watch yourself on the sharp wires.
I make my rings about 16 – 20″ across, depending on the size of the tree. You can see one of the trunks above is a lot thicker than the other little moringas – that one is over two years old and was protected last winter. The others are only a year old.
Once you have your rings, move on to step three.
Step 3: Stuff Those Rings
I buy straw for this step but you could easily use leaves instead. Last year I used pine needles. All you want to do is make sure you get plenty of protection between the wires and the trunk of the trees. I stuff them tight, like so:
And that’s it! Once all danger of frost has passed, pull the rings off and rake away the straw. The moringas will shoot up like rockets from the intact trunk and you’ll be harvesting new leaves in no time… while your friends wait sadly for their moringa trees to return from the ground.