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Protecting Your Spring Plants from Frost

After spending hours and hours planting and fertilizing this spring, you don’t want to fall victim to a late frost. That white glaze may look beautiful, but it can be devastating to your flowers, vegetables, and even young fruit trees. If you know the warning signs and a few simple tricks, though, you’ll be able to keep your plants happy and healthy despite any temperature fluctuations. What is Frost? Frost is a layer of ice crystals that forms as water vapor condenses and freezes. When most people talk about frost, they are typically referring to a light frost, which occurs when the temperature dips below 32° Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops below 25° for four straight hours, it is called a hard freeze. Your young, tender plants may be able to survive a light frost without help, but a hard freeze would mostly likely kill them. Warning Signs of Frost We’ve compiled a list of frost indicators to help you know the weather patterns and planting features that support – and don’t support – frost. Keep in mind, though, that your garden and flower beds have their own unique microclimate. Your neighbor may experience a frost when you don’t, and vice versa. Note: According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, there’s a 50% chance every year that there will be no frost after April 6th in our area. If you don’t like those odds, check your local weather forecast every evening for frost warnings. Signs that Frost may be Coming: The dew point is below 45° The sky is clear There’s no breeze You’ll Probably be Safe if: The daytime temperature reached over 75°, making it unlikely to dip below 32° at night. The sky is