Frosty Morning in Minnesota

frosty marigolds

These marigolds were covered in ice after last night’s cold temperatures.

baptisia leaves

Leaves of baptisia (false indigo) are speckled with dots of ice after the frost.

Many Minnesota gardeners woke up this morning to a blanket of white on their yards and gardens — and it wasn’t snow.

It was a frosty morning in Minnesota, and many parts of the state had what is called a hard freeze, when temperatures go below 28 degrees Fahrenheit for more than four hours. A hard freeze usually indicates the end of the growing season, though some plants (root crops, Brussels sprouts) actually taste better after a freeze.

A frost is usually defined as temperatures between 32 and 36 for several hours, while a freeze (as opposed to a hard freeze) is when the temperature is between 28 and 32. Here’s a bit more on the distinctions between frosts, freezes and hard freezes from Kathy Purdy of the Cold-Climate Gardening blog.

According to the current weather forecast, even the heat island of the Twin Cities will experience lows in the mid to upper 20s most of this week, with highs in the 40s. This may be the end of the gardening season. Do you still have lots of chores to do?

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