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GardeningTown Updates

Frost advisory issued for majority of Massachusetts

The National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory from 2:00AM to 8:00AM for the Bay State, excluding the south coast, Cape Cod, and the Islands for Saturday morning. For Blackstone, temperatures are expected to fall into high to mid 30s by today, October 4.

What does this mean?

Frost occurs on clear, still nights. As the air temperature approaches freezing, the surface temperature of plants can dip below freezing, causing ice crystals to form in the same manner that dew forms on warmer nights. Because temperatures vary just a few feet above the ground, frost can form when your thermometer reads above freezing. Freezing temperatures may or may not be accompanied by frost.

It is important to remember that frost could kill sensitive outdoor vegetation if left uncovered. Take steps today to protect tender plants from the cold.

Steps to take when frost or freeze threaten tender plants

Before nightfall today, make sure you take precautionary steps to protect your plants.

Bring them indoors: Frost-tender plants in containers should be brought inside during cold weather. Dig up tender bulbs and store them in a cool dry place. If you are unable to bring the plants indoors – bring them under the eaves, into the garage, or onto the porch. Anything overhanging them will help. Also, the thermal mass of a building or a large structure will help moderate temperatures near it since the heat from the sun is absorbed all day.

Water plants: Water plants thoroughly before a freeze to prevent desiccation and to add insulating water to the soil and plant cells.

Protect tender sprouts: You can protect tender plants overnight with an inverted bucket or flower pot, or with a layer of mulch. Be sure to uncover them in the morning when the temperature rises above freezing.

Cover larger plants: Larger plants can be covered with fabric, old bed sheets, burlap, or commercial frost cloths. Avoid using plastic to cover. For best results, drape the cover over a frame to keep it from touching the foliage. Fabric covers help trap heat from the soil, so make sure your cover drapes to the ground. Uncover them in the morning when the temperature rises.

As a note from the Blackstone Parks and Recreation Facebook page:

I know some of you may have heard that there is to be a frost this weekend. Hearing that news, we reached out to the Board of Health regarding the Park and Field ban. We were notified that the frost this weekend in our area will NOT be a killing frost so the ban remains.

Again, the closing of Parks and fields remain from dusk to dawn until we hear different from the BOH.

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