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Preparing warm-season crops for frost

With the chance for frost next week, you might want to start harvesting this weekend.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — According to the National Weather Service in Columbus, our average first 32-degree temperature usually falls around Oct. 27. 

It’s possible to have a frost or hard freeze before that date. For example, the earliest we have seen 32 degrees in Columbus was Sept. 21, and the latest on Nov. 27.

Credit: 10TV

The Farmer’s Almanac classifies levels of freeze temperatures based on their effect on plants:

  • Light freeze: 29° to 32°F (-1.7° to 0°C)—tender plants are killed.
  • Moderate freeze: 25° to 28°F (-3.9° to -2.2°C)—widely destructive to most vegetation.
  • Severe freeze: 24°F (-4.4°C) and colder—heavy damage to most garden plants.

Educators at OSU Extension are suggesting those who have crops and warm-season crops prepare to harvest. 

Mike Hogan from the Agriculture & Natural Resources department at OSU Extension says “next week is going to be the end of our warm-season crops if you got some tomatoes, peppers, I think I would get them harvested you know Monday at the latest or over the weekend if we get some decent weather”.

Before the frosty conditions arrive, Hogan suggests using a light fabric or row covers to protect your sensitive plants.

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