The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for the entire region Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Sub-freezing temperatures are expected, which could damage susceptible plants.
The NWS’s Morristown weather forecast office is forecasting a low of 30 degrees for Oneida by daybreak on Thursday. Partly cloudy skies are expected to give way to clearing conditions overnight, which will aid in frost development. The NWS is forecasting widespread frost Thursday morning.
Patchy frost is in the forecast again for Friday morning, with a low of 35 degrees. A warming trend is expected to begin after that. Friday night’s temperature isn’t expected to drop below the mid 40s, which will prevent a third night of frost threats.
In addition to protecting tender plants, people with in-ground sprinkler irrigation systems that have been activated for the spring season are urged to drain them to prevent freezing. Above-ground pipes should also be covered.
Tender plants that aren’t potted can be protected from frost and the cold by covering them with a fabric shroud. Bed sheets and towels are suitable options.
Gardeners who have prematurely planted for the season and have too many plants to make covering them a feasible option can consider using sprinklers through the night to prevent frost formation. Growers who don’t want to go to that extreme can water their plants in the afternoon, before the sun has set and temperatures begin to drop. Wet soil will radiate heat as temperatures drop, which can provide some protection against freezing temperatures.