The Q&A Archives: Protecting from Freeze in SE Florida

Question: I live in southeast Florida and start planting my vegetable garden on January 1. Freeze and frost are uncommon toour area, however windchill concerns me. If the air temperature is above freezing (33 - 40 degrees) but the wind chill drops to the low to mid 20's, do I need to protect my crop from freezing? Tom Meisenzahl Stuart, FL

Answer: Even temperatures well above freezing can damage tender plants, let alone a sharp, cold wind. For example, at temperatures below 58 degrees F, the blossoms on pepper plants will fall off before they've had a chance to pollinate and set fruit. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, pumpkins, and basil are just a few garden plants very sensitive to cold. Cool weather crops, like broccoli, spinach, and kale would be better able to withstand chilly temperatures, but young plants might be damaged by temperatures near freezing. You might want to look into getting a cold frame, row covers, individual hot caps, or other season-extending products if you plan to..

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