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Local Nurseries Face Challenges Amid Spring Sub-Freezing Temperatures

Plants that can withstand the colder temperatures remain outside during a late freeze. (Alex Eady, WTIU/WFIU News)

The unpredictable shifts in weather this early spring season are creating some challenges for local Bloomington plant growers.

With temperatures in the 70’s just last week and now temperatures dropping below freezing, nurseries and greenhouses are doing extra work just to keep plants alive.

Jessie Kennedy is a perennial attendant at Bloomington Valley Nursery. She says although she always expects fluctuating spring temperatures, maintaining sensitive plants is more challenging this season.

“Anything budding out real new is still really tender so with a lot of the freezes and the snows coming in we’ve had to do a lot of cover up, moving in and out of the buildings,” she says.

Kennedy says flowering hanging baskets, ferns and annuals are most at risk.

Most flowering plants and hanging baskets are moved inside to keep safe from the sub-freezing temperatures. (Alex Eady, WTIU/WFIU News)

Kennedy says especially with late freezes, some trees won’t push out new buds as well after a freeze as they did before. She encourages gardeners to keep planting this spring, but to use extra precautions.

“I would definitely hold off a little bit especially until after these freezes if you are planning to plant tomatoes or anything like that cause the cold will ruin them unless you’re putting them under cover,” she says.

The National Weather Service issued a freeze warning for Monday night in Monroe County and surrounding areas until 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

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