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Early Spring cold snap

By Meredith Machen, mmachen@wcyb.com
Published On: Mar 21 2013 04:51:20 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 21 2013 08:37:43 PM CDT

After three long months of Old Man Winter, many are ready for budding and blooming to remind us warmth is on the way.

The calendar may say it's spring, but Mother Nature is making it feel otherwise with temperatures nearly 25 degrees below normal and near record lows expected tonight in the teens.

Our thawing-out season is throwing people and plants for a loop. Temperatures near freezing today, and well below freezing tonight, can absolutely do some damage to plants.

After three long months of Old Man Winter, many are ready for budding and blooming to remind us warmth is on the way.

The tiniest of blooms can be deceiving. It might officially be spring, but in the elements it may as well be winter according to Angela Smith. "It's cold and the sun's not out. It kind of gives you that gloom and doom feel," she said.

Would-be sun-soakers like Linda Joaquin are bundled up to get fresh air. "It's too cold for this time of year! It's spring," she laughed.

Even spring's beauty -- blooming plants -- are taking refuge indoors. Temperatures dropping as low as the teens are a danger if fragile flowers want to stick around.

If you have plants already in bloom, you'll want to protect them from these colder temperatures. You can do that by using a sheet or something like a frost cloth; just drape it on top to prevent frost from getting on your plants.

"Never use any kind of plastic, because plastic will tend to burn [plants]," Gibson suggested.

We learned heartier trees and shrubs could lose some luster with this chilly start to spring. "If it does get as cold as they say it's going to get, you will see a little browning towards your blooms that have popped open," Gibson told us.

Garden experts tell us it's nothing that a second round of blooms won't fix, which is good news for those needing a season of change from a wet, cold and arguably miserable winter.

For those of you who are anxious to get plants in the ground before the weather warms up, we found out cold crops are a good option if you're wanting to start growing vegetables. Those are plants like broccoli and cauliflower.

They can withstand colder temperatures, but you still need to cover them if frost is in the forecast.