Keeping your plants safe during overnight freeze

Keeping your plants safe during overnight freeze

(KFVS) - Spring is here and that means....winter weather? Okay, so maybe the weather has been mixed up a little bit lately, but that's what Mother Nature has in store for the Heartland, anyway.

The entire Heartland viewing area is under a freeze warning Sunday night, March 20, and with a possible overnight freeze, your plants could be impacted by it.

Sunny Hill owner Paul Schnare of Cape Girardeau said a freeze at this time of year isn't really rare.

"Several times in my lifespan, you'll have some beautiful weather in March and then all of a sudden at the end of March, first of April, we'll have a deep freeze," Schnare said. "And of course people are already doing some planting and stuff and they're concerned about their plants. It's not uncommon at all."

So, if you're worrying about the cold weather affecting your plants tonight, you probably need to make sure to research on which plants can handle the cold and which plants can't.

"Pansies, they'll take some frost and some cold weather. They'll actually take some freezing weather. So they'll do fine. You don't have to do anything for them," Schnare said. "The same thing with a lot of the bulb plants that are up right now. They'll handle some frost and some freezing. They may lose their flowers but it probably won't affect be plant itself."

Cole crops, however, can be a little bit trickier.

"Cabbage here can take some frost and some light freezing," Schnare said. "But if you decided to plant a tomato early, then you're going to have problems. Because that can't take frost or freezing weather."

However, there are some things one can do to protect their plants from the predicted freezing conditions.

The best way is to cover them with something, or even bring them inside if they are able to be transferred.

"You just want to make sure the foliage if it all possible doesn't touch the outside of the crown here (when covering the plant)," Schnare said. "You can get a grow cover. It's a very light weight material. You cover your plants and this will protect them from frost, not necessarily from freezing."

However, Schnare said putting a plastic sheet down over them isn't always the best solution.

"You don't want to put plastic over your plants simply because if the plant touches the plastic layer, it could easily freeze," Schnare said.

If you don't have any kind of cover for your plants, there are alternatives that could work.

"You might take a light weight sheet and cover your plants with that," Schnare said.

It's now spring, and people are going to want to start wanting to go out and get started on their gardens. Schnare said it's not a bad idea to have your garden already started, but you need to be prepared just in case a freeze were to happen. This will help you save your plants and, in the end, more money in your pocket books, according to Schnare.

"A lot of time people will plant too early and then the would have to replant," he said. "That will cost a few extra bucks, too."

Overall, it's about keeping your plants healthy and safe in order to achieve the best outcome of your investment.

"You're always wanting to maintain the health of plant because what you're looking for is a beautiful set of flowers or a nice vegetable, or some fruits and things like that you want to pick later on," Schnare said. "So it's really important to protect their health."

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