Frost Advisory: Cover Plants Or Bring Them Inside

By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer

BOSTON (CBS) – One of the most popular gifts for Mother’s Day is flowers.  All the garden centers load up for Mother’s Day weekend and it is typically their biggest business all year.

I am sure that many of you were either delivering or planting flowers Sunday after the sun broke through in the afternoon. Well, you may want to give mom a call tonight and tell her to take extra care of her Mother’s Day gift or else it may not last another 24 hours!

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Temperatures are set to plunge into the low 30’s overnight in most of the suburbs, perhaps just cold enough to damage or kill some tender vegetation.

If this seems too late in the season for a frost it really isn’t.  The average date of the last frost in the ‘burbs is right around May 10th and many seasoned farmers and gardeners would tell you that it is not truly safe in southern New England until the last full moon in May or better yet, Memorial Day.

But for many, including myself, the 70-degree days in early May are just too tempting, after a long winter we’re all anxious to get in the gardens and start work on our flower and veggie beds.


So my best advice for tonight if you live outside the city and away from the immediate coastline (where temperatures will remain well above freezing) would be to take no chances.

If your plants are mobile, bring them in the house or garage. If they are in the ground already, cover them with a sheet or blanket.

Some of the more vulnerable plants include the veggies: cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers eggplant, zucchini and squasH and also the tender annuals like the New Guinea Impatiens.


By the way, don’t be fooled by the frost advisory maps you will see on TV and online from the National Weather Service which show just the immediate suburbs of Boston in the frost zone.

The only reason why places like Worcester County and Southern New Hampshire are not included is because their growing season has not officially begun yet.

In fact, those locations are actually most susceptible tonight, the farther north and west you go and the lower your elevation (valley locations), the lower your temperatures will go.

So before you go to bed and pull up the covers tonight, take a few minutes and tuck in your plants as well, you’ll be glad you did!

You can follow Terry on Twitter at @TerryWBZ.

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