MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gardeners who took advantage of the beautiful weather last weekend might want to protect some of those plants.

Sue Hustings looks like she’s shopping, but she’s actually busy protecting the spring blooms that can’t handle the upcoming winter chill.

“I would never have believed last week from what the forecast was that it was gonna go down quite this low,” Hustings said.

It’s why she and her staff at Highland Nursery in St. Paul are loading up carts of flowers to bring indoors.

“Anything that has a lot of water in the leaf won’t come back at all. It just turns to mush,” Hustings said.

Winter blowing in this late is annoying for gardeners but not necessarily surprising in Minnesota. Hustings remembers an even later spring frost in 1990.

“When Gorbachev was here way back when it was I think the 3rd of June and we had a frost, and we lost our morning glories,” Hustings said.

Avoiding a loss this year can be pretty simple.

“The best thing is to just have things portable enough so that you can bring them inside if you have to because you just don’t know,” Hustings said.

If your plants aren’t portable, she suggests covering them with a light sheet.

“I would actually put bamboo or something underneath it so it doesn’t crush the plants, especially if it’s gonna rain,” Hustings said.

Temperature drops like the one Monday morning can be hard to predict, but Hustings has a hunch about where the weather is headed.

“It’s gonna pop right back up and hopefully stay up,” Hustings said.

Hustings also says to avoid using plastic to cover up plants. She says that material can actually attract cold temperatures.

Jeff Wagner