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Navigating Halloween Weekend’s Killing Freeze

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Navigating Halloween Weekend’s Killing Freeze

Sunday and Monday night will bring killing freeze temperatures to lawns and gardens around the Upper Cumberland.

Overton County Agriculture Extension Agent Jason Garrett said these temperatures will mean the end of production for warm season crops. Garrett said plants like cabbage, spinach, carrots, onions and more can handle these temperatures, but some might need covering.

“There’s other cool season vegetable crops, such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, beets, that will tolerate frost but may be damaged if temperatures stay below 28 degrees for several hours,” Garrett said. “To correct this you can cover them up right before dark and when Sun comes up the next morning, take the cover off.”

Garrett said it is not just vegetables to be concerned about, he said cattle should stop grazing on Summer grass for at least two weeks. He said the outcome could be fatal, if cattle is not removed from the pasture.

“After a killing frost it can set up a poison, so you need to get those animals off that for at least two weeks,” Garrett said. “It can be very deadly when those warm season grasses are accumulating, like a poison after a frost, that can kill cattle if they’re grazing that.”

He said the killing freeze will slow down insects, and summer weeds will die. However, Garrett said that means the start of the season for Winter weeds.

“You’ll see a lot of your stinging insects, such as wasps, if it’s a warm day later in the winter, you’ll see those out,” Garrett said. “A lot of the weeds you’re going to see in lawns will be like henbit, thistle, wild mustard.”

Garrett said it is too late in the year to try and start any gardening. Although, he said there’s still a small amount of time left to plant grasses like tall fescue.


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