PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Recent spring-like weather in Region 8 likely spurred many people to start planting some flowers and vegetables, but freezing temperatures and possible wintry weather in the forecast mean those plants might need some protection.
Neal Adams, the co-owner of Adams Nursery in Paragould, said he took several calls Friday from people concerned about their plants.
Adams said most plants will be okay until we get below around 28 degrees.
"If it's gonna get in the mid-20s, even upper-20s, they can use cloth," he said. "We sell a commercial product called frost cloth. It's a white, breathable cloth. That is going to be best to cover."
He did say, though, that snow is a natural insulator, so the precipitation itself will not hurt the plants.
A big concern people have is for fruit trees that have already bloomed.
Adams said if we stay below 28 degrees for about 8 hours, fruit is going to be greatly diminished but the tree will be fine.
"We've lost this season," Adams said for if the blooms are knocked off the trees. "Of course, they'll bloom and produce fruit again next year, but yes that is the fruit that is set for this year. And a lot of times it doesn't knock all of it off, but it will take 30% to 80%, it just depends on how long it stays below 28 degrees and how cold it does get."
He said cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale should be okay through the cold, though.
"You shouldn't even need to cover those items," Adams said.
The USDA puts our area's last frost date around April 10 typically, so closer to that date is a better time to plant summer plants like tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.
"A lot of people plant those things a little bit earlier, and you can do some protection measures if we have weather," Adams said. "I think last year we didn't even have a need for that."
Adams said, though, you can almost never know what to expect in Arkansas.
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