A hard freeze is forecast across most of the Midlands tonight, with lows in the 20s expected from Scottsbluff to Omaha and beyond.
The impact of that freeze on flowering plants and the effect of this spring's prolonged cold on lawns and vegetable gardens was clearly on the minds of Omaha.com readers during today's live chat with University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension horticulturists Kathleen Cue and Mary Anna Anderson.
Here's a quick rundown of highlights from the chat:
Spring flowering plants: If the buds have opened, tonight's freeze could burn them, according to Cue. The flowers on most tulips and other spring shrubs have been slowed by the cold, so they should be OK, she said. If you're worried, cover the plants tonight and wait until mid-morning to remove the cover.
Lawns: Grass seed that has already been planted but not yet germinated should be fine – despite the disappointment homeowners may be feeling. It should still germinate. Avoid using a pre-emergent herbicide while planting new grass seed – the herbicide can't tell the difference between weed and grass seeds, Anderson said.
Cool-season vegetables: As with grass seed, early season vegetables should germinate once temperatures warm up, Cue said. Whether there's enough time for the plants to mature before summer's heat arrives is another issue. Only time will tell.
For answers to other common questions, including when to plant impatiens, begonias and tomatoes, check out today's chat below.
Our Tuesday lawn and garden chats continued with weather reporter Nancy Gaarder and UNL Extension's Kathleen Cue and Mary Anna Anderson.