Crops in danger overnight as temperatures expected to plummet overnight across New England
TYNGSBORO – A Next Weather Alert is in effect for Wednesday night and Thursday morning, with a strong possibility many towns away from the water fall at or below the freezing mark.
This is especially crucial to farms around the area, as many crops are at the full-flower or post-bloom stage in the spring.
Ellen Parlee of Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro spoke to WBZ-TV. She said her husband will have about 40 acres of farm under irrigation tonight. It may seem counter-intuitive, but drip irrigation, or watering of plants, is one way you can help to stave off a frost.
Parlee says their strawberries are most vulnerable as they are in full-flower stage and close to the ground, where the coldest air settles. The critical temperature for strawberries is about 30 degrees.
Parlee is also very concerned about blueberries. They are also in the full-flower stage, but the critical temperature is a bit colder at 28 degrees.
Apples are of less concern to Parlee Farms. Different varieties have different critical temperatures at the moment due to their budding stage. But generally, apples' critical temperature right now is about 25 degrees.
Southern New England's apple crop should remain relatively unscathed, but that probably won't be the case for northern New England.
Their trees are just now flowering, and air temperatures will likely be lower than the critical temperature. After a one-day shot of February cold ruined much of the peach crop, it's possible that a one-day shot of cold wrecks the apple crop.
At home, there are a few things you can do to keep your own plants safe. First, consider covering any plants that you may be worried about, but stay away from using plastic sheets. Those could actually make the frost problem worse.
You could also consider misting your plants to prevent them from freezing.
Lastly, if possible, you could always bring them inside.
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