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Prepping Gardens For The First Freeze

Pat Kight
Iowa has been issued a freeze warning for tonight.

The first freeze of the season is expected to occur in Iowa this weekend, ushering gardens across the state into a new phase. 

Ajay Nair, ISU associate professor and extension vegetable specialist, and Richard Jauron, ISU horticulture specialist, join Talk of Iowa  to discuss the best practices for preparing gardens through the upcoming dip in temperature. 

Nair says now is the last time to harvest any summer vegetables still growing in gardens, such as tomatoes or peppers. To prep for the next growing season, he also recommends cutting and tilling over the remains of vegetables plants and completely removing plants with blight or other illness. 

However, Jauron says strawberry plants do not have to be covered up yet to withstand the cold. They should be covered with straw once the temperature at night is consistently in the 20s, he says.

Later on in this weekly edition of 'Horticulture Day,' the experts answer questions from Iowans about the problems facing their plants and gardens. 


  • Richard Jauron, Iowa State University horticulture extension specialist
  • Ajay Nair, Iowa State University associate professor and vegetable extension specialist
Hort DayHorticulture
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River