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How to protect your plants from the upcoming freeze

Temperatures dropping down into the 30s this week could damage your plants. We spoke with Frey's Greenhouse in Lancaster to learn how to protect them.

LANCASTER, Pa. — After a warm weekend with sunshine and temperatures in the 70s to near 80 degrees, many gardeners are anxious to start planting. 

However, a potential freeze and frost in the forecast this week could harm any plants that have already been planted. 

Michelle Fritz of Frey's Greenhouse in Lancaster says if possible, bring anything you can inside during these cold nights to protect them.

“Hanging baskets you can bring in," she says. "Pots you can bring in if they’re not too heavy. If you have heavy things or if you already have things in the ground, you can cover them with a blanket, a sheet, a towel, a piece of burlap, just not plastic.”

These cold nights could damage or even kill some trees and plants. If you’re still holding off from getting started on your garden, Fritz has a good rule to follow.

“Mother’s Day is the rule of thumb for our area," she says. "Average last frost date is mid-May."

There are some hardy plants that are cold-tolerant and will do okay in this weather, such as lettuces, spinach, peas, and more. 

However, the rest of your garden should stay inside for a little bit longer.

Fritz says, "no tomatoes, no peppers, keep those inside, let us grow them in the greenhouse where they’re warm until it’s safe to bring out.”

If you’re a first-time gardener and looking to get started, Fritz says to ask as many questions as possible.

“Go to your local greenhouse, ask your neighbors who have things growing that appear to be good gardeners. Ask questions. Google, Google’s your best friend.”

And keep an eye on the WeatherSmart forecast so you know when you’re good to plant!

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