Widespread frost is expected Friday night, but there is still time to add some edible crops.
UT Ag Extension Agent Wayne Key said potted plants should be brought in, and flowering plants in a second bolt should be covered though. However, Key said the overnight frost will not damage cool season plants.
“Say by Halloween what ever kind of plants that you’ve got out there, that you’re planning on harvesting or getting set out for the Fall,” Key said. “For example, any kind of cool season crops, you’re getting close to the end, but many of our recommendations call or the middle of October as those last planting dates on any of our cool season crops.”
Key said there is still time to plant broccoli, lettuces, carrots and onions. Key said the good news on frost and freeze, is a slow down on allergy inducing weeds as cold temperatures continue.
“Our weed pressure from allergies and allergens that are into the air and in the atmosphere around us, those will certainly diminish as we get into colder temperatures,” Key said. “Those kind of plants will die off, and they go into their dormancy as well and they die off for the year, especially those perennial weeds that will come back year after year.”
Key said there are still colder temperatures to come that will bring on freeze, not just frost. Key said more freezing temperatures bring on less day light, which affect growing cycles.
“It affects the tissue deep into the plant, so that really sets us into our dormant season in most parts,” Key said. “Along with that cold freeze and colder temperatures that we’ll see on freezing nights and freezing temperatures we also see our day light hours have diminished.”
Key said landscape plants and trees are going into dormancy on their own because of getting less daylight and more cool temperatures. Key said fruit trees and lawn trees like maples, will have sugars and carbohydrates work their way into the roots, and the upper tree will go dormant.