by Connie Oswald Stofko
The official first day of autumn arrived last Thursday, and immediately, it seemed, Western New York temperatures took a nose dive.
An overnight frost advisory was issued last week for Cattaraugus and Allegany counties.
This week overnight temperatures may dip into the 30s in many parts of Western New York. That’s significant because frost can occur even if the air temperature is above freezing, according to our previous article. The article also explains why even 36-degree weather can damage your plants.
Here’s what you should do now:
- Protect any tender plants you still have outside. You can get great tips on how to do that in the same previous article.
- If you haven’t already, bring in your houseplants. Get tips on getting rid of bugs before bringing plants indoors and what to do about mealy bugs.
- Bring in plants that you want to overwinter. See how to decide which plants to overwinter.
- Other potted plants can come inside, too, even if they won’t survive the entire winter. This gardener gets tomatoes through the end of November! I took that idea and brought in my pot of sweet red peppers, which don’t like cool temperatures, much less frost. I now have one ripe pepper! I hope to get more. (The peppers are maturing late because–surprise!–we now have deer in our neighborhood. The deer chomped on the pepper plants before I even had flowers.)