Drop in temperature puts crops at risk

EDEN, N.Y. (WIVB) – With temperatures dipping Wednesday night, many people are worried about plants and crops getting damaged.

Bill Zittel, one of the owners of Amos Zittel and Sons in Eden, has a plethora of crops growing on 100 acres of land.

Zittel said he’s concerned about the freeze warning, “Hopefully it’s going to be a close call, but not be a devastating scenario.”

Before nightfall crews made sure the crops were watered to try to protect them.

“Water will create an ice coat on there if it does get below freezing, and we’ll hold it at 32 degrees. It will create a thin film of ice  which will hopefully save the plant,” he said.

If the temperature hits 34 degrees, Zittel and his brother will be up each hour, starting at midnight, watering the plants. “Just before sunrise is when it gets the coldest. We’ll have to start and save what we can.”

For people at home that may have Mother’s Day flower baskets hanging or gardens in their yards, those plants are at risk too.

“That frost will kill back all of the foliage and possibly kill the whole plant,” Guy Berberich, the store manager at Menne Nursery and Garden Artistry said.

Experts say it’s best to cover tender garden plants when temperatures hover around freezing.

“Hanging baskets, bring them in. Put them in the garage. If you have plants that are planted outside, they should be covered,” Berberich said.

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