Tips to protect tender plants from frigid temperatures - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Tips to protect tender plants from frigid temperatures

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Frigid temperatures could put spring blossoms in jeopardy. But there are some key ways to protect your plants before it's too late.

Forecasters predict the temperature will drop into the lower 20s early Wednesday, and that could endanger some tender flowers and plants in Middle Tennessee.

"I would expect this fresh bloom not to make it through our 22 degree weather," said Austin Lohin, with the Valley Growers Garden Center.

That could include fruit trees that have started to bloom.

"The tree will survive. It's not the trees you're worried about, it's the bloom," Lohin said. "With a fruit tree, if you lose those blooms early you're going to lose some fruit."

Horticulturists say you can cover your flowers and fruit trees to protect them, but most are still dominant, meaning they are hibernating and haven't broken bud.

Another tip is if your fruit trees are too large to cover, you can sprinkle water on them before the temperature drops. This will encase your plants in ice and actually protect them.

"That will keep that bud right around 30 degrees, and most of your fruit crops will be able to deal with that just fine. It will put an insulated layer on the vulnerable part of the plant," said Dr. Nathan Phillips, a horticulturist at Middle Tennessee State University.

Experts say cool weather crops like broccoli, cauliflower, greens and cabbage are able to take the cold weather and will survive the bitterly cold temperatures.

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