Saturday, September 24, 2016

Get Those Plants Covered: Frosty Weekend In Vermont, Northeast

Don't let your Vermont garden look like this over the
weekend. Unless you live close to Lake Champlain,
better cover up tender plants and veggies
because a lot of places have a chance of frost both
tonight and Sunday night. 
The autumn chill has settled in for the weekend, and it's time to start worrying about the outdoor plants you want to save.

Frost is a fairly good bet across much of Vermont, northern New York, New Hampshire and parts of Maine this weekend.

Here in Vermont, the cold spots in the Northeast Kingdom will certainly go below freezing tonight and Sunday night, so the growing season is kaput there. Same is true for valleys in the Adirondacks, like Saranac Lake.

Elsewhere, there's generally a 50/50 chance of frost, tonight and Sunday night, unless you're right near Lake Champlain.

The warm waters there influence the airn and make you safe from anything that will nip your plants.

The chances of frost are even higher than 50/50 once you get into the valleys of northern and central Vermont away from the Champlain Valley.

Which leaves us to ponder the relatively heavily populated suburbs and towns in the Champlain Valley that are more than, say five miles away from Lake Champlain.

Will communities and sections of communities like St. Albans, Milton, Williston, Middlebury, and Rutland with those zillions of backyard or front yard gardens get any frost this weekend?

Maybe, maybe not. It really will depend on local conditions. I mean very local. A back yard might get cold enough for a light frost, but the front yard is just dewy.

The rain we got Friday in northern Vermont might help a tiny bit. Wet ground holds the heat a little more than dry ground. But don't count on the Friday rain to save you from a chilly nip in the flowers.

My advice: Whether or not it will frost, get tender plants indoors or cover them up both tonight and Sunday night.  Just to be on the safe side. Old sheets or blankets will do.

I know this would be extra work, but remove the covers from the plants during the day Sunday, then cover them back up in the evening. Plants don't do well covered up all day.

By the way, the kind of cool weather we're getting this weekend is perfectly normal for late September. We're just not used to it because it's been so warm for so long.

If your plants survive well over the next couple of nights, the good news is that frost looks highly unlikely all of next week

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