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Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Posted by wxcrawler none (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 2, 12 at 10:52

There is an increasing likelihood that this coming weekend will bring an early frost or even a freeze to parts of Oklahoma. The official forecasts from the NWS haven't caught on to trends in the computer models, which seem to be a little colder with every run. If you need to protect your gardens from the cold, go ahead and make your preparations now. We will likely see frost advisories (and maybe even freeze warnings) issued by the NWS offices in Norman and Tulsa by Thursday. Right now, the coldest night looks to be Saturday night.

Lee Crowley
NWS HydroMeteorologist
Tulsa


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Lee,

Thanks for the heads-up.

I've been watching the cooling trend for a couple of days now and wondering how low it might go here in OK.

Last night, something in the NWS system was messed up and my point forecast briefly showed an overnight low of -80 for our location on Saturday night. I showed it to my DH and we had a good laugh. This morning, the point forecast was back to normal, showing a low in the 40s.

I've got Agribon row cover for my in-ground plantings, though I don't know that I'll feel compelled to use it this far south (Love County). If I was further north, I'd be using it for sure this weekend.

I hated to comment here because that will cause this thread to move down the page, but just resolved that if it started sinking down the page, I'd keep bumping it back up.

Dawn


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Well, Dawn... domino effect! I didn't post thinking the same thing, but now it's open season. :)

Thanks for the info. I'd been wondering how bad it will get here in OKC. Luckily had already scheduled a charity pick-up for Wednesday, so will let me clear space in the shed/garage so I can drag my pots with hibiscus and palm trees in if needed. I don't have floating row cover - don't think it would be great on potted trees like that, since so much would come into contact with the plant, but have lots of king sized sheets purchased at the thrift store last year for just such a reason - might be able to pull pots to the fence and rig something up there.


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Mia, We'll just bump this back up every time it moves down the page.

I am afraid floating row cover might not work on the palm trees either since their leaves are likely to slice right through it. Even the strongest floating row cover, which I think is DeWitt's Ultra Supreme 3 oz. probably couldn't handle the palm fronds.

Often, if we can cover up tender vegetation and get it through the first cold spell lasting a night, two or three, then we tend to get another month or so of relatively mild and warm weather. Let's hope it works out that way this year. I'll cover up the warm-season plants that are in the ground this weekend with Agribon just in case the temps drop lower than forecast, but I won't cover up the cool-season stuff. I may drag the large containers--all 15 of them--into the garage for the night and then back out the next morning. I really don't want to move them to the greenhouse yet because it still is getting really hot on sunny days when we are in the 80s and 90s. Maybe the 90s are done with us for this year, but we sometimes have them even deep into October, so I'm not sure they're done for the year.

I think your king-sized sheets should provide enough frost protection. If a hard freeze seems likely for your location, you could put 4 mm or 6 mm clear plastic over them for added frost protection, but remember that any foliage that touches the plastic will freeze. I've lost the tips of tender plants that way, but most of the plant was unscathed and I just pruned off the frozen branch tips.

If your plants are near the swimming pool, maybe it will act like a heat sink---absorbing sunlight and heat all day, and releasing the heat at night, which might keep plants by the pool slightly warmer. The plants in my lily pond often don't suffer damage as early as in-ground plants do. They often survive until we hit the lower to mid 20s.

Dawn


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Lee, same here, thanks for the heads-up. I checked the Ft. Smith forecast and it stated low 40s, sometimes I get frost when Ft. Smith gets 40 degrees.


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Not yet! Ugh I knew this was coming sooner or later. The DW is due to have her baby any day now so the garden has been put on the backburner while we try to get a last few things finished up. Looks like ill need to get things in gear!

Josh


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

We get 8 degrees lower than Tulsa on calm nights, so I am expecting a frost. I actually kind of want one. The pecans are so early that they are immune from freeze damage this year luckily.


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

I am not liking the sounds of this. I was expecting frost around Halloween, not now! I can cover the little things, but there is no way I can cover 25-30 feet of squash growing over an 8 foot tall trellis. I have seen one forecast that has already been raised 2 degrees, so maybe it will come up again. Sometimes I avoid the first one when my friends that are further from the lake get hit hard. Later in the Winter we lose that advantage, but in the early Fall the water keeps us a little warmer. I sure hope so because I would like to save my winter squash. I will probably pick the summer squash and make a little more squash relish because I don't have room to freeze anymore.


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

OH MAN! I am for sure dragging in the tomatoes! and covering everything else up. I was not thinking this early for a freeze! We typically don't freeze until after Halloween here.


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

I dont like the way this is sounding either, but we have already received near normal number of growing days. I think we are over 210 days already, my data gives 223 and 246 as the normal days between frost. My growing season is always shorter because I live in a cold hole. I dont want to lose my peas and green beans, and I am not ready to dig the rest of my sweet potatoes, but I dont have much control over the weather.

Larry


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Our seasons seemed to have shifted by 15-20 days this year so this would cap the year off appropriately. Our forecast is now for temps in the 30s at least one night this weekend.


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Josh, Well, congrats to you and your DW on the impending arrival of your little one. I hope everything goes perfectly smoothly.

Scott, After all your pecan trees have been through this horrible growing season, at least the early frost cannot ruin the crop.

Carol, I was looking at my Seminole winter squash and thinking the same thing. I do have four heavy mover's blankets in the garage that I might be able to use to cover part of the squash plant using hoops as supports to suspend the blankets over the foliage, but since it climbs a trellis and roams and rambles into adjacent beds and across the tops of tomato cages, I'm not sure I could cover it all. I'll use floating row cover for every part of it that I can cover one way or another.

The purplehull peas are producing beautifully and the bush beans are just coming into production. If I can keep them warm enough to survive these first two cool nights, I expect to be able to continue harvesting them through the end of October, weather permitting. Today I've harvested all the peppers, tomatoes, purplehull peas and winter squash that are mature but I'll do another sweep of the garden in a couple of days, searching for any other ripe produce I might have missed today.

Ezzirah, Same here. Our first frost normally occurs around mid-November and often it is just a day or two before Thanksgiving, but since my fall/winter garden is gorgeous and producing well, I figured the cold weather would arrive early. It never fails. Had I been too busy to put in the fall garden, the first frost probably wouldn't come until December.

Larry, If only we could control the weather. Imagine how easy it would be to garden here. It has been a good, long growing season thanks to the early last frost in March, but that doesn't mean I'm ready to concede and let the weather win this round. : )

I'll cover up everything I can, drag container plants inside, etc. and cross my fingers.

Since I'm in a low-lying creek hollow in the already low-lying Red River Valley, I often get my first frost up to a month earlier than our friend, Fred, who gardens on higher ground less than a mile away. He can plant earlier than I can and can harvest later than I can, but if I protect plants with my Agribon row covers, I often can stretch my season to just about match his.

Scott, This cold front wasn't worrying me excessively because when Lee posted this thread, I checked my weather and saw a low Sat. night of 46 and Sun. night of 44. OK, the 44 worried me a little. The last time I looked, which was at breakfast time this morning, they showed 47 for Sat. night but 41 for Sun. night. The 41 degrees worries me a lot more. I probably would have covered up everything I could with row cover even for 44 degrees, but for 41 I certainly will.

The unknown factor that makes me crazy is that cold air sinks and we often go 10 degrees (and once 18 degrees lower, as some of you will remember) lower than forecast, so I have to expect a frost or freeze even when my forecast doesn't seem to indicate one is likely.

For all you new gardeners who think that the point at which you worry about your plants is 32 degrees, I'd like to explain this one thing: if the conditions are right, frost can form and settle onto plants even when temperatures are in the upper 30s. I've had it happen often at any temperature of 37 or below, have had it fairly often at 38 degrees, and once or twice even at 39 degrees. So, even if your forecast is for the upper 30s, be aware that frost could occur and cover tender vegetation if you wish to shield it from damage.

Because of the approaching cold front, I finally moved all the container plantings of tomatoes, peppers and herbs, plus the potted citrus and figs, from the east side of the garage where they have had wonderful shelter from hot sun and high temps all summer and so far this autumn to the sunnier south side of the garage so they can benefit from more hours a day of sunlight and the heat/light reflected from the garage wall and concrete apron. I'll have to cover them with row covers on those two cool nights, but hopefully the increased light and warmth in their new location will help them stay warmer longer. I really am not ready (mentally not ready, the greenhouse itself is fine and is ready) to move everything into the greenhouse yet, but I can do it if conditions so dictate.

Unless my forecast has changed, we're forecast to hit about 88 degrees tomorrow, so the greenhouse still will be over 100 degrees in the afternoon. After that, as the cold front arrives, the greenhouse will stay cooler and likely won't be too hot for anything except maybe the lettuce in containers.

If my forecast low drops any lower than the 41 degrees currently in the forecast, then into the greenhouse all the containers will go.

Dawn


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Intellicast is showing 38 for Saturday (but maybe rainy) and 37 for Sunday night following a sunny day. So looks like Sunday night might be my biggest problem.

I am leaving everything as long as I can but will need to pick peppers, southern peas, melons, and all of the summer squash that is big enough to use. I have some young crops under Agribon which will probably OK, but I could stretch plastic over the top if it looks like I need to. A lot is going to depend on tomorrow's weather. I may be doing a lot of things in the rain, but hopefully it won't rain all day. I don't want to cover today because it is still warm and sunny.


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

I know, I still need to go and get clamps for the plastic and and pvc pipe, that is my Friday.


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Carol, I think Sunday will be our worst night here, though they now have raised the forecast to 43.

Ever since that May night several years ago when the NWS said 50 and we went to 32 and my warm-season plants suffered incredible freeze and frost damage, I find it hard to believe the forecast low. Whatever they say, I mentally subtract 18 degrees and figure my low will be somewhere between the forecast low and 18 degrees below it. This year, I think on our worst night (so far) we only went 10 or 12 degrees below the forecast low, but since the forecast low was 32, it was a significant anomaly.

We're still supposed to be 88 degrees today and 78 or 79 tomorrow, so I won't begin covering up stuff until tomorrow evening or maybe on Saturday. It depends on how I feel tomorrow about whatever our projected low is.

I'm not looking forward to working in rain to cover plants, but it still will feel more pleasant than trying to do anything this summer in high temps ranging from 105-112.

I picked so many tomatoes, peppers, southern peas and winter squash yesterday that our kitchen looks like a produce stand. The refrigerator is full of big, lumpy, bumpy bags crammed with produce. My goal today is to deal with all that stuff as much as possible. I guess I'll be eating cherry tomatoes all day long like they are candy, and probably will make BLTs for lunch and likely will spend the afternoon roasting jalpenos to freeze.

I do not expect that yesterday was the last harvest by any means because I expect to be able to cover up the warm-season plants well-enough to get them through this cold spell. Still, I stripped off all the usable produce that was mature or close to it, just in case the cold front is significantly colder than expected.

I haven't seen a hummingbird in 2 days, so feel like they're well south of here now. I have seen monarchs in small numbers migrating south/southwest all week so they seem like they are getting out of here too (and it usually is the first week in Oct. when I see them moving through, so they are right on time). I'm not talking about a big wave of migrants, but just small groups of 2 thru 5 that are flying through busily and not nectaring too much as they do so.

Ezzirah, Isn't it nice that Mother Nature plans our schedules for us?

Dawn


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Seems like the predictions are all over the place for me. They went up a little, then down even more. One now says 31 for Saturday night. Al and I picked a Braum's paper bag of peppers today and could have picked more. Tomorrow I will finish picking the melons, I guess. I'll wait as long as I can to pick the last of the summer squash, then make relish.

I have some pole beans that are just getting their first beans this week and I doubt that I can save those. I'll cover a few things, but will probably just let most of the summer crops go. I picked some other beans, and some southern peas in addition to the squash and peppers today.

The only thing I really hate losing are my winter squash. I have three that are very large and I think they have finished growing, but only one is barely showing signs of a color change. I don't think I could cover enough of the vine to make a difference. It would be very difficult to provide enough protection for that vine since it grows on a trellis 8 feet tall, but also goes out 16-18 feet on the ground. This is almost a month sooner than I expected to have frost, and especially not a freeze.

I will decide tomorrow if I want to leave the winter squash and try to cover the vine. Sometimes the lake protects us, so I would hate to pull them all, then it not get as cold as they are saying. We have an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms tonight, and 70 percent chance of rain tomorrow, so we are dealing with more than one problem.

The garden has gone through drought, excessive heat, a large tornado-like storm, a fallen tree, heavy wind and rain, then an additional golf ball size hail storm, and now an early freeze. I think I have about had enough for one season.


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Let's keep thinking positive thoughts. Sunday night is still a few days away and the forecast low can fluctuate up and down a lot between now and then.

I'll cover everything I can if conditions warrant, but I've already decided I'll only cover one of the three pepper beds--and the one I will cover is the one that is producing most heavily. I picked all the large peppers, but left a lot of babies on plants in that bed. In the other two pepper beds, if they freeze, they freeze.

I cannot protect my pole beans. Well, I could do it by putting row cover up along both sides of the trellis and folding it over the top and pinning it closed with clothespins, but that's more effort than I am willing to expend. I will protect the bush beans.

Can you pile up leaves or straw or something over the portion of the winter squash vines where those three melons are? I've done that before in November when I actually had fallen leaves to use. Leaves really aren't falling here yet because it is too early, but I'm going to pile up hay on top of the part of the winter squash vine that is on the ground. The part on the trellis may get covered, if I figure out how. I have Agribon frost blankets and I have heavier moving blankets that are really heavy and might bring down the trellis.....

In light of the approaching cold front, I pulled out all the hanging-basket style cherry tomato plants that were growing in the cattle trough. They still were producing and blooming, but I just really wanted to put the back-up lettuce plants in that trough so they can get established and grow. I already have lettuce in the ground and in three large containers, but I wanted to do something with those leftover lettuce plants, and I had a lot of them. I still have cherry type tomato plants in two molasses tubs and SunGold in the ground, and I'll cover up all those. The tomato plants I removed had produced well all year, but were looking pretty tired and ratty, though still covered with fruit. I picked about 2 or 3 gallons of cherries from them, and then put the plants out at the deer feeding area for the deer to eat. I hope they like green tomatoes.

It has been a long, hard garden year, Carol, and y'all had that horrible storm plus the hail on top of all the other wild weather. I can understand why you've had enough!

I'm stubborn and so I will protect the warm-season stuff and try to keep it going until at least November. Apart from that, I've put in a big fall garden with lots of cool-season stuff and the grasshoppers have been eating everything down to the ground. I'm grateful for these 2 back-to-back cold fronts and hope they KILL some of those hoppers so my cool-season stuff stands a chance. Apparently, at least in our garden, grasshoppers prefer Wild Garden Kale from Wild Garden Seeds and Purple Sprouting Broccoli above all other cool-season veggies. I had some success hiding the Even Star Farms Smooth Kale from the hoppers by planting it between taller rows of purple hull pink eye peas, and did the same with Falstaff Brussels Sprouts by planting a row of it between rows of bush beans. I'm not sure if hiding those cool-season crops between rows of warm-season crops is why they haven't been nibbled, but I think it might be.

Carol, I have the most green Seminole winter squash I've ever had this late in the season but they just sit there and refuse to break color. It is driving me crazy. If they freeze before they ripen, it is their own fault for being slowpokes.

Oh, I forgot the Sugar Snap Peas or, as they now are known here, the Grasshopper Chow. They've devoured every plant down to the ground. I am so happy to know that somebody enjoyed eating those pea plants, but wish it had been our family eating them instead of those grasshoppers.

Dawn


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Dawn, I have several small squash at ground level but those three that I need to protect aren't. One is only a couple feet off the ground on a cattle panel, and the other two are 4-5 feet off the ground on an arched cattle panel. I have been thinking of a couple of ways that I might try, but I'm not sure they will work. Just depends on how cold we really go. I have lots of work to do tomorrow. Hope it doesn't rain all day.


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

I have lots to do today too. Our weather has shifted a little in terms of the timing of the colder temperatures so I'll be covering up plants today with the floating row covers and moving the containers into the garage. Instead of Sunday night, our coldest night now is forecast to be on Saturday night, and the forecast says 41 so I expect at least 38 or 39 in our microclimate.

On the bright side, our forecast for Sunday nights is a little better--currently showing 45 degrees. At one point it showed 41 but has come back up a couple of degrees a couple of times. Of course, out of an abundance of caution and in order to prevent my growing season from ending a month prematurely, I'll have stuff covered up on Sunday night as well as tonight and Saturday night.

It is unfortunate that your 3 large winter squash are hanging so high up there. Doesn't that just figure? I do have some on the trellis that will be hard to cover, but I'll just do what I can and hope for the best.

Our rain forecast has dropped from 70% for tonight to only 40% for tonight, and the % is even lower for the daytime today and tomorrow, so I ought to gave some dry weather today that will allow me to get the floating row cover out and pegged down to the ground. I hope you have some dry weather so you can get your garden protection chores done today without being soaking wet the whole time.

I just hope it isn't too windy because that makes spreading out row cover more difficult if it is flopping around and trying to float away before I can get it secured to the ground.

I was so hoping that we'd have a long mild autumn without an early freeze or frost, but as it has so many times this year, the weather just refuses to cooperate.

Frost and a hard freeze are not likely to be widespread in Love County unless the forecast worsens, but those of us here in very low-lying areas near the river probably will have some patchy frost.

Apart from being ready to cover up the garden, I am ready for the cold. While at the store I bought chili meat so I could make chili using the chilibase canned with fresh tomatoes in June and July, have cocoa and marshmallows, a jug of apple cider and mulling spices, and apple muffins and apple pie jam. It will be cold outside, but we'll be inside enjoying the first cold-weather meals.

Who knows? Maybe I'll get to wear that new winter coat than hung in my closet all of last winter and still has the tags on it. I know we were cold enough for coat weather a couple of times, but I never was out when it was cold enough that I thought I needed to wear a heavy coat. If this early blast of cold air is any indication, that coat will get used this fall and winter.

Dawn


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

I have lots to do today too. Our weather has shifted a little in terms of the timing of the colder temperatures so I'll be covering up plants today with the floating row covers and moving the containers into the garage. Instead of Sunday night, our coldest night now is forecast to be on Saturday night, and the forecast says 41 so I expect at least 38 or 39 in our microclimate.

On the bright side, our forecast for Sunday nights is a little better--currently showing 45 degrees. At one point it showed 41 but has come back up a couple of degrees a couple of times. Of course, out of an abundance of caution and in order to prevent my growing season from ending a month prematurely, I'll have stuff covered up on Sunday night as well as tonight and Saturday night.

It is unfortunate that your 3 large winter squash are hanging so high up there. Doesn't that just figure? I do have some on the trellis that will be hard to cover, but I'll just do what I can and hope for the best.

Our rain forecast has dropped from 70% for tonight to only 40% for tonight, and the % is even lower for the daytime today and tomorrow, so I ought to gave some dry weather today that will allow me to get the floating row cover out and pegged down to the ground. I hope you have some dry weather so you can get your garden protection chores done today without being soaking wet the whole time.

I just hope it isn't too windy because that makes spreading out row cover more difficult if it is flopping around and trying to float away before I can get it secured to the ground.

I was so hoping that we'd have a long mild autumn without an early freeze or frost, but as it has so many times this year, the weather just refuses to cooperate.

Frost and a hard freeze are not likely to be widespread in Love County unless the forecast worsens, but those of us here in very low-lying areas near the river probably will have some patchy frost.

Apart from being ready to cover up the garden, I am ready for the cold. While at the store I bought chili meat so I could make chili using the chilibase canned with fresh tomatoes in June and July, have cocoa and marshmallows, a jug of apple cider and mulling spices, and apple muffins and apple pie jam. It will be cold outside, but we'll be inside enjoying the first cold-weather meals.

Who knows? Maybe I'll get to wear that new winter coat than hung in my closet all of last winter and still has the tags on it. I know we were cold enough for coat weather a couple of times, but I never was out when it was cold enough that I thought I needed to wear a heavy coat. If this early blast of cold air is any indication, that coat will get used this fall and winter.

Dawn


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

Dawn, Al said it was a long drive, but it sounded like it would be worth it, so let him know when dinner was going to be ready. LOL

It's 51 here right now, and not going to be a lot warmer. Everything is so green and pretty in the garden, that it is hard to think of it being gone in a couple of days. I need to get the plastic over my young crops, cover my lettuce container, try to protect my winter squash, and say good-bye to the rest. We are closer to the event and the prediction is for 31 for us. Ugh!


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RE: Frost and/or Freeze coming this weekend

I got out there today and covered everything. I am hoping that some of it makes it. Particularly my bush beans. I covered them with a green frost blanket and the one lettuce plant I got to grow, and brought the tomatoes in the house.

We are all tucked in here. I am not ready for the season to end. I am hoping my winter garden experiment comes through.


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