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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Morning frost impacts plants in low areas

  • Deep into the spring season, frost continues to strike local yards and gardens.
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  • Deep into the spring season, frost continues to strike local yards and gardens.
    George Driver, Horticulture and Youth Development Educator at the Pottawatomie County OSU Extension Center, said higher areas likely dodged any harm lower areas may have experienced in recent mornings.
    “It was just the tiniest bit of frost, but I don’t think it was long enough to do any damage,” Driver said. “If someone was in a low place, it might have done some damage.”
    Wednesday, Driver took the temperature of soil, four inches into the ground, and observed a reading of 61.
    “The soil temperature doesn’t change much,” Driver said. “Lately, we’ve had enough warm weather. It would take a lot of cold.”
    Despite a considerable level of soil temperature stability, community members are insistent on acting proactively.
    “I had several calls yesterday,” Driver said. “One specifically about corn and one about watermelons.”
    The man with watermelons utilized Styrofoam cups for protection, while the corn grower made use of sprinklers. Driver recommends sprinkling if temperatures are forecast to remain below freezing for more than 30 minutes.
    “Plants close to the ground, people can water those, especially at 5 in the morning, right before frost hits,” Driver said. “There is enough heat in the water.”
    Driver said trees are too big to protect but naturally encounter warmer air, since cold air settles.
    “I did hear of a few trees that may have had leaves nipped a little bit,” Driver said. “A little freeze damage, but they’ll recover.”

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