Plants and flowers could be at risk for frost, experts offer protection tips

AKRON, Ohio - Unseasonably cold temperatures Friday night and early Saturday morning could put some of your plants and flowers at risk for frost damage.

Dan Klettlinger, owner of Klettlinger Greenhouse in Mogadore, strongly encourages gardeners to bring in their hanging baskets and cover planted, tender annuals with sheets, towels or newspaper. He said don't use plastic because frost can penetrate it and the plants could burn.

"A frost can retard plants or actually kill them if they're too sensitive," Klettlinger said.

On Friday morning, he noticed some of his plants were already damaged. Some of his sweet potato vine, black-eyed susan and peppers wilted from the cold and wind.

"We have sold a tremendous amount of vegetables already, and I'm sure a lot of people have them in the ground and they will look like that," Klettlinger said.

NewsChannel5 meteorologist Trent Magill said areas south of the turnpike, including most of Summit County and Stark County will be more susceptible to the possibility of frost. He said temperatures in rural areas could dip as low as 33 degrees.

While the risk could be lower in the city of Akron, some folks aren't taking any chances. Greg Bond, who lives in the Ellet neighborhood, is covering some of his more delicate backyard plants before he leaves for a trip to Charlotte.

"We've got a yard full of plants and it's expensive if you start losing them," Bond said.

Keep Akron Beautiful plants about 50,000 flowers in 45 city or county-owned beds each year.

Polly Kaczmarek, the flowerscape director, said she will turn on irrigation systems at sunrise to rinse off the frost from the flowers that have been planted so far.

"That will just keep the leaves from being killed from the frost. If the frost stays on the leaf, when the sun hits it, they'll burn," Kaczmarek said.

Klettlinger said residents should consider the same option if they aren't able to cover planted flowers such as impatiens.

"At dawn, go out with a hose and rinse. Try to sprinkle them all down. Rinse the frost off, if there is frost," he advised.

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