By Molly Rosenblatt

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The coldest air of the season is moving into Minnesota as a frost advisory goes into effect for Monday night through Tuesday morning in the Twin Cities.

Not only could Monday night be a crop killer for local farms, but if you don’t take proper precautions, you could lose sensitive outdoor plants.

“As a gardener it’s time to start thinking about slowing down, too, and dormancy is just part of that,” Scott Endres, owner of Tangletown Gardens in south Minneapolis, said.

Endres explains what can and what can’t survive a frost:

“The tropical plants that just aren’t quite wired that way — they’re not used to it,” he said. “They’re like, ‘Whoa, what’s this all about? Minnesota, we really like the hot summers, but now this cold — no, we’re not going to do that.”

If your tropical or cold sensitive types are potted, just bring them inside. If you don’t have room to bring in everything, pick what you love the most.

And as for what you can’t bring indoors, Endres says it’s just a matter of keeping them covered.

“Just throw a towel or a bed sheet or a blanket over them — that’s probably just enough protection to give a degree or two a difference on those first frosty nights,” he said.

If left uncovered, it’s game over for those tender plants. On the bright side, Endres points out that many outdoor plants — like ornamental cabbages and kale — become even more vibrant after the first cold snap.

“Colors that you don’t see during the growing season — they actually need that cold to make them come to their full fruition of beauty,” he said.

And don’t forget to embrace the beauty in the change of seasons.

“Let’s celebrate the beauty of fall for what it is, and Jack Frost is just one of the things that ushers in that in — so maybe we should welcome him,” Endres said.

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