First frost could wreak havoc on your garden

(WTNH)--A warmer than average early fall has meant a longer than normal season for many plants and flowers. Mid-October looks more like mid-August at many nurseries and in many gardens all across Connecticut.

"Things are just doing really well," said Nancy Dubrule-Clemente.

Nancy has owned and operated Natureworks in Northford for 34 years. With portions of the state getting ready for white might be the first frost she says now is the time to start getting your gardens ready.

"32 is frost. 28 is killing frost," said Nancy. "When it gets into the 20's things die. Not perennials and not shrubs but annuals die and house plants die so don't wait for the last minute for that."

Nancy says you should allow ample time for your plants to adjust from the outdoors to the indoors.

"Bring your plants in now. Don't bring them in the house bring them in an outbuilding. Clean them up, pot them if they need it. CHeck them for bugs," said Nancy.

If frost is in the forecast Nancy says you can extend the life of some outdoor plants by covering them up for the night. Cotton sheets are the best choice but there are special products like floating row cover that can also be used. Nancy says never use plastic as it traps moisture and can cause serious damage to plant tissues.

As for pumpkins this time of year, Nancy says they have a hearty shell and can stay outside most of the time.

"If you're going to go into the 20's and you want your pumpkin to go through Halloween or perhaps longer you might just cover it for the night," said Nancy.

Now is also the time to harvest remaining tomato plants and delicate herbs like basil.

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