Long-running advice in southwestern Pennsylvania:
Don’t plant your annual flowers until Memorial Day
There’s good reason for that, as last night’s temperature drop made clear, with temps at daybreak hovering 4-degrees F above freezing — and Memorial Day was 8 days ago!
Luckily, we dodged a bullet — no frost, no freeze.
It’s easy to get ‘lulled to sleep’ on frost and freeze damage when you have a month of May like we just had… with precipitation on two-thirds of the days in May, which kept at least some cloud cover in place for “protection.” It’s nights with a clear sky and no wind when frost usually strikes.
A light covering over tender plants —newspaper, an old sheet, or fabric leaf tarp— will protect plants from frost, but all bets are off when it drops far enough for a freeze.
If you see frost on tender plants in the morning, when your plants weren’t protected the night before:
Spray plant foliage with water for a couple minutes
It’s sure nice to see the clear blue skies, but not the risk of frost damage!