Will A Late Light Frost Kill My Sunflower Seedlings? - Knowledgebase Question

Wading River, NY
Avatar for sojay
Question by sojay
April 16, 2001
We are expecting 31/32/33? tonight in my area. I was a bit early in planting out seedlings (sunflower and morning glory). Will they survive? should I protect them, and how? Can petunias survive that temperature? I am in zone 7, but very close to the water and protected from wind.

Answer from NGA
April 16, 2001
Photo by Paul2032
Unprotected transplants of sunflower and morning glory would really be a gamble with that kind of a forcast. Usually the morning glories and sunflowers are planted outside by seed rather than as transplants, this helps ensure they are not up and growing until a bit later in the season when the soil is warm enough for them to germinate and indirectly, there is no more risk of frost. Although petunias are somewhat tolerant of cold, it is stressful for them, especially if they are recently out of a greenhouse and not yet fully acclimated.

To protect them all you could try covering them with a garden "frost blanket" or row cover of spun bonded fabric, or you would cover them with overturned cardboard boxes, flower pots, an old sheet or whatever you have handy. Remember to remove these in the morning. If it is cloudy or there is a slight breeze it can help keep the frost from settling. If they are near the house or other heat holding reservoir, that can also help. Good luck!

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