PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Despite earlier summertime weather, a frost advisory will go into effect for Pittsburgh Saturday.
The National Weather Service has set the advisory from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday morning, with temperatures between 32 and 35 degrees.
It warns that sensitive plants might be damaged.
At noon on Friday, May 24, the temperature was 44 degrees and falling.
“All of a sudden this frost advisory comes across, and it was like, ‘Is this a mistake or what!’” farmer Reed Soergel said.
It’s no mistake, and there’s a lot on the line for farmers like Soergel who was checking out the acreage in Wexford with his dog, Dozer.
“If it’ll stay windy through the night, then we’ll be okay,” said Soergel. “Generally speaking, if it’ll just keep that breeze it won’t frost.”
We’ve been basking in high 80 degrees days recently. Now, tender tomatoes and peppers are at high risk.
“We’ve got 10,000 tomato plants out there because we were not supposed to get to a low temperature,” he said.
They’ll have to be covered.
“You don’t have to cover broccoli, cabbage, peas,” Soergel added.
Meanwhile, rows of strawberry plants are under straw.
“Now with strawberries and stuff, if they freeze off, you’ve lost the crop,” he says.
Water is being sprayed on basil and okra because it generates heat as it freezes.
“You don’t sleep at night anyhow. You just keep getting up every half-hour, every 45-minutes, just checking,” Soergel said
Diana Knapp is working overtime.
“Lots of extra work, things need covered, things need moved in under shelter,” she said.
At Hahn’s Nursery and Garden Center on Babcock Boulevard, Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest.
Marilyn Scott, of McCandless, was in the market for marigolds and geraniums.
“I have a few things in the ground, just a few annuals, not too many, but I’ll be covering those up tonight,” she said.
“You should really be concerned for anything that’s tropical,” says Knapp.
Vinca is vulnerable, sweet potato vines and impatiens won’t survive a frost without help.
So, before you turn in tonight, save those flowers. Bring them in if you can, cover them with newspapers or get some frost cloth.
The National Weather Service says the average date of the last killing frost is April 21.