It’s May, and the temps are forecast to drop to 30 degrees next week.

Well, today is May10 th, and I’ve got two “Early Girl” type Tomato plants already planted in the ground.  

According to the literature, May 15, is the date  to start planting your annual garden plants in the ground; called ” the last average frost date” 

Eek, I just read on a weather forecast through “Facebook “from Adam Joseph on the Philadelphia news page that a frost is impending on Monday coming; the temperature with drop from 80 degrees to 30 degrees.

What is the plan ? Protect those tomato plants.  Check all the resources ( on-line , of  course, Google is my BFF).

Steps to take when frost or freeze threaten tender plants:

    • Bring 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.

    • Protect Tender Sprouts: Cover 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 Shrubs and Trees: Larger plants can be covered with fabric, old bed sheets, burlap, or commercial frost cloths (avoid using plastic). For best results, drape the cover over a frame to keep it from touching the foliage. Fabric covers help to trap heat from the soil, so make sure your cover drapes to the ground. Uncover them in the morning when the temperature rises above freezing.

Irrigate during the potential frost


people claim that watering the frost off plants

prevents frost damage. This is partially true.

As mentioned above, watering plants helps

raise their temperature and the air around them

to that of the water. In addition, as water

freezes, heat is released; 80 calories for each

gram of water that freezes. Therefore,

watering plants before they are injured from

frost can help keep their internal temperature

above freezing. A single application at the

coldest part of the night (generally just before

sunrise) may be enough on 30- to 32-degree F

nights. On colder nights it may be necessary

to apply overhead irrigation for an extended

period of time, allowing actual ice formation on

the plants. In this case, irrigation must

continue until morning temperatures rise above

32 F and the ice melts. It is important to note

that once frost damage occurs, watering does

not help.

Resources:   Understanding Frost

From Cornell Cooperative Extension, Chemung County

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