Frost/Freeze Alert for Montgomery County Oct 31 – Nov 2

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The National Weather Service has forecasted upcoming frost and freeze conditions. Develop or review your cold weather protection plan for crops, pets and property now to take action before next week’s cold nights.

This weekend will stay mild, but the NWS forecasts frost conditions Tuesday night (Halloween/Nov 1) and frost and possible freeze conditions Wednesday night (Nov 1/ Nov 2). Below are some informative tips.

  • cold weather gathers first in valleys, which is why we observe frost first in ditches and low lying areas. Cold falls, heat rises.
  • cover frost sensitive plants with a sheet of fabric or frost cloth
  • water plants prior to freezing temperatures (Wednesday night)
  • mulch roots to limit temperature fluctuation
  • bring sensitive potted plants under cover, in a garage, or against your dwelling. Placing potted plants against a heated building is a protective temporary measure while we still have periodic frosts. Moving plants to a southern exposed area can also increase protection. Combine both methods to extend your growing season!
  • disconnect and drain exterior water hoses
  • turn off water pipes that are exposed outdoors
  • remove ice from bird baths and pollinator feeders
  • If you do fall garden cleanup, try and leave some or all dead stems and leaves of plants. This organic material is crucial for insect overwintering, food, and survival. If you can, delay part or all cleanup until the last spring frost at the earliest. Beneficial insects will thank you in the coming years by helping mitigate more damaging pest species.
  • Besides the garden, make sure kids and pets have the proper protection for fall outdoor activities!

Wind should also be factored into your gardening decisions. Even without freezing temperatures, wind can lower air temperature and humidity. Exposed potted plants are especially vulnerable to dehydration in these conditions. Just as wind wicks away human warmth and heat from our skin’s surface, it does the same for plants and their respiring leaves. Give your sensitive plants that will stay outdoors a “jacket” by wrapping them in old bedsheets or burlap. This measure can help them retain much needed moisture and warmth in the cold months.

Statistics: Check out the N.C. Environment & Climate Observing Network website to monitor in real time current air temperature, dew point, soil temperature, hourly precipitation, and wind speed/direction across our Old North State.