Late season frost threatens local gardens


Late season frost threatens local gardens

BUTTE, Mont. - Temperatures near and below freezing can threaten young flowers, fruits and vegetables. NBC Montana headed out to a local nursery to find out what you can do to protect your garden.

With an elevation of more than 5,000 feet, Butte has one of the shortest growing seasons in Montana. That means a frost in June is not uncommon.

We headed over to the Continental Divide Greenhouse to speak with some folks familiar with protecting plants.

Holt Bodish cares for plants at the greenhouse.

"It's so short anyways," he said, "we really don't get much sun or time to grow flowers or vegetables or what we like in our gardens. To hear that it's going to freeze in late June is sort of a bummer."

We wanted to know more about how frost affects plants. According to Cornell University, frost is hard on plants because it can break down the cell walls. Plants hit by frost can appear wilted and discolored.

Holt explained there are only a couple of way to protect your plants.

"You can either try to cover them or bring them in if they're in a portable pot," he said.

You can also avoid frost-tender plants -- like marigolds or tomatoes -- and choose hardier plants. Bodish recommended something like peonies for our area. He also told us plants that do freeze should be replanted or replaced.

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