Cold weather in Kansas impacts crops and plants

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Winter weather has farmers and gardening centers doing what they can to protect their plants from the upcoming freezing temperatures.

Local nurseries are thankful for having indoor storage for the majority of their seasonal plants.

“Last Saturday, I had a lot of people tell me they already moved their house plants outside and I said, ‘ooh, that’s awful early.'” explained Cathy Brady from Brady’s Nursery. “I never do it until the end of April first part of May.”

Cathy Brady has been working in the family business all of her life. She says these cold spells can be bad for many of her stores’ plants, but even worse for homeowners who have already planted outside flowers.

“Any tender flowers or tomatoes or peppers or anything like that that has been planted, you need to cover them up,” she added.

The store manager for Hong’s Landscape and Nursery Inc., Lori Hong, says there are several things homeowners can do to protect their plants.

“You can always cover them with a plastic pot if you have them and they’re small enough. Just turn the pot upside down and put it on top of the existing plant, ” said Hong. “Or there’s also frost blankets that you can put on top of the garden.”

Kansas farmers, especially those in the northwest that are experiencing snow, are not so lucky.

KSNW Agriculture Analyst John Jenkinson says the cold can be bad for many crops, especially wheat, because of the growth period that crops are currently in. Since some of the wheat crops are already above ground, Jenkinson says they can’t sustain temperatures lower than 24 degrees for more than a couple of hours.

“That jury may be out until we have the wheat quality tour later on in May,” said Jenkinson. “But it is devastating to the fact that we won’t know the extent of the damage if we would receive it. If we would see anything 24 degrees or below for two hours length we can do substantial damage to the wheat crop.”

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