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Freeze warning tonight, cool all weekend

Posted by David Epstein  April 27, 2012 08:00 PM

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Chilly air for the time of year continues to flow into the region overnight on a strong northwesterly wind. That means the winds are coming from the northwest and these winds carry the cold dry air. After a few clouds melt away tonight, temperatures will fall rapidly and by morning most of the area will be below freezing. The impact to people tonight is just that you have to wear a heavier coat an probably will have to put the heat back on. Plants on the other had can be killed.


After the warm winter and early spring, many of us got a jump the past few weeks on planting in the garden. I even have many of my house plants outside already in containers. I just spent the past hour having to move the house plants back inside or cover them or put them in the garage. If you can't get your plants back inside an old sheet works wonderfully to protect you plants. The cold will settle on the sheet and the temperature under the cover can be up to 4 degrees warmer. If we hit 29F that puts your plants at 33F, just warm enough to protect them.

Lower spots in the yard are also going to be more susceptible to frost and freeze tomorrow morning. Cold air is a bit heavier than warm air so it sinks and thus ends up in lower spots around your home. I have one area that slopes down and then levels out. That low spot in the yard can have frost when much of the rest of the yard is frost free. Since all areas are not same, your neighbor may have a frost tomorrow, but your gardens are frost free.

Some garden centers have been selling plants that are not hardy in cold weather. If you have any warm weather vegetables outside, get them covered or pull then into the house for the night. These types of plants include tomoatoes, peppers, melons, cucumbers and eggplants. Cold weather crops, lettuce, kale, peas, radish, collards and spinach will not be harmed by the freeze overnight.

In terms of flowers, pansies as many people know, are a cool weather flower and will be fine in a hard freeze. Other flowers that you may have set out, petunias, marigolds and geranium should be covered well. The cells of the cold weather plants behave differently and therefore are not killed by the cold.

There may be a few clouds around Saturday night to help prevent another freeze, but Monday morning will also be chilly. After this chilly weekend, temperatures look to warm into the 60s for much of next week.

Gardening tip of the week
This week I am sharing with you a video that shows how raised beds can be used to create usable space for a garden. The beds you will see in the video are part of a project at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. They have the luxury of a lot of space,but you could try this on almost any scale.

Follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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