LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - On Monday morning the area will see its first frost of the season. News 18 Meteorologist Jessie Hawila said the frost is on an average track our way.
"Our typical average first freeze, here in Tippecanoe County, is actually Oct. 9," Hawila said. "So we're actually just one day shy of average."
We may be saying goodbye to summer temperatures, but you don't have to say goodbye to your summer garden. However, you do need to protect it in order for it to survive the frost.
"You can use old blankets and sheets [to cover the plants]," Bennett's Greenhouse Store Supervisor Cheri North said. "You can use an old milk jug filled with hot water, and put in around the inside of where you put the plant. You can put tarps or sheets over your plant to keep the heat in there. You'll also want to water really well before the freeze."
North said there are plants that can be protected outside, but your summer "patio plants" may need to come inside.
"Those are really Southern plants," North said. "They're not even zoned for this area. Those things are more tender, and won't withstand a cold at all. You'll have to dig them up, and bring them in. If you have house plants outside, those things have to come in. They won't take anything less than 50 degrees."
North said the key to protecting your plants is to cover the whole plant so the warmth can surround the whole thing. And, remember, uncover them after the frost.
There isn't reason to panic about losing your garden. Many plants are able to take the freezing temperatures.
"The broccoli, the Brussels sprouts, the cold crops, that have a cabbage-like leaf on them, will actually withstand a hard frost," North said.
Even in the winter, it's possible to have a healthy garden, but you may need to get the construction tools out and build a cold frame.
"You can build them from the size of a small box with a piece of glass above it, to a 4-by-6 foot [box]," North said.
Hawila said he and other meteorologists are predicting snow levels and temperatures to be about average this winter.
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The drop in temperatures brings the potential for health dangers, such as hypothermia and frost bite. The bitter temperatures can pose a threat for children, adults and pets.
As it stands Wednesday, there will be no FEMA aid for tornado survivors in Howard County.