Yep, the alert just came through on my phone. Patchy frost probable overnight in New York. It's just a reminder of our short growing season in our part of the world. One minute you've got an abundant jungle, and the next, NOAA is telling you the following:
Temperatures will drop to the mid and upper 30s in many areas overnight in north central New York. Some of our normally colder valleys will fall to the low to mid 30s leading to frost formation. The frost will be localized but if you live in a normally colder area, you should take action to protect sensitive vegetation.
What To Do With Plants During a Frost Advisory?
A frost advisory comes around when we're looking at temperatures of 36 degrees to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. While it's not just the cold temps that wreak havoc on plants, it's also good to consider the length of time that plants will be exposed.
When making plans pre-frost, be sure to prioritize your plants. Vegetables that are considered hardy will be just fine as well as those pretty new mums you just picked up, leave them where they are. Ornamental plants in pots, herbs, legally grown cannabis, tropical plants, and flowering plants should probably come inside. I have an amazing pitcher plant that's been gorging itself on hover flies all season that will need to come in out of the cold as it's used to warm, wet places.
My Plants Are Planted!
If your plants can't come in or are planted in the ground, there are ways to protect them. Water them! When you moisten soil, it behaves as an insulator, and will defend against the cold. Plants can also be covered. Use anything from commercially sold covers to old sheets, tarps, burlap - whatever you have on hand.
Goodbye summer, your stay is always too short!