With temperatures predicted to drop below freezing, LaFayette's apple growers are already planning on a sleepless night, protecting their very vulnerable trees. And there are warnings for homeowners, too, who have already planted, or who have hanging baskets out.
The CNYCentral forecast calls for a low of 30 degrees Monday night, but in LaFayette it could go down even lower. Mark Fleckenstein, who manages the apple trees for Beak and Skiff, says the cold could kill apple blossoms, and for the trees that already have small apples, frost could diminish the crop's value by marking the apple skins.His crews, like those at McLusky Orchards, also along Route 20, plan to be out overnight protecting their trees.Using wind machines is one traditional method, but they'll be watching the temperatures to ensure they're not blowing colder air onto the fragile blooms. The will also use heaters in the orchards, and at McLusky's they're planning on wetting down the trees--ice can form a protective crust.
The cold weather can also be an issue for Central New Yorkers who've gotten an early start on planting spring gardens.Some plants, like pansies, will stand this much cold, but others need protection, like covering with cloth or paper (not plastic!).Hanging baskets, like the thousands that were Mother's Day gifts, should be brought inside.