By Mike Augustyniak

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We haven’t seen cold weather like this in more than 20 years. While it does happen, it is uncommon.

WCCO director of meteorology Mike Augustyniak says that parts of Minnesota could see below-freezing temperatures overnight going into Friday. Augustyniak says that the forecast calls for 28 degrees in Hibbing, 32 in Duluth, and 39 in the Twin Cities.

Aside from being an annoying way to kick off summer, it also puts at risk those outdoor plants or flowers you may have just put in the ground.

P.J. Pizarro works at Sunnyside Gardens in South Minneapolis. He says customers are asking about what this cooler weather means for their yards and gardens.

“This is like the very beginning of spring — where some people have already been putting in their veggie patch, basil, tomatoes, so like anything fresh — new leaves will get hurt,” Pizarro said.

The most at-risk plants are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, sweet potato vines and basil, but there’s something you can do to protect them.

“We always suggest you put like a nice blanket, like an old sheet cloth, anything with cotton. Try to stay away from plastic because actually plastic doesn’t do much,” Pizarro said.

Woody herbs and perennials are hardy, and expect changes in weather. If you just planted new perennials, keep an eye on them but they should be alright.

If you aren’t able to get your plants covered in time, don’t worry too much. It’s likely they won’t be a total loss, even if they look a little wilted. When it doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry and cover what you can.

“It’s like a cold snap, so the new growth can potentially get hurt, but something will pop at some point. So if you are not able to cover, it should be fine,” Pizarro said. “Extra love doesn’t really hurt and extra support. And it’s also so early in the season it will also extend the time of the plants a lot more.”

If you have large planters outside you can cover them. Any potted or hanging plants you can pull into the house or garage.

Mike Augustyniak