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Protecting your plants from fall frost

There's still one more full week of summer, but it is starting to feel much more like fall during the mornings.

GIBSON, Pa. — At Marcho's Florist and Greenhouses, owners are focused on winterizing the greenhouse this week. 

It was almost all cleared out in the greenhouse Tuesday morning, getting ready for what is to come.     

"It got really cold, it was about 38 degrees here last night. We rolled the sides down on the greenhouse to help keep the heat in there for the tropical plants," said Michelle Marcho; she owns the greenhouse nursery with her husband. 

There was no frost just yet at the farm in Susquehanna County, but now is the time customers come in with questions about how to plant in the fall and how to protect those plants from frost. 

"So frost just sits on top of the leaves so then when it thaws out it breaks up the cells the outer edges of the leaves which causes them to soften, and then they die back," Marcho explained. "If you cover it with a blanket, that frost will lay on the blanket, and then your plant will stay safe for the most part."

Another thing to keep in mind, if you are planting a fall flower like a celosia, put it in a planter rather than right in the ground, so you can easily move it inside if you have to.

"They're tender, they're gorgeous to look at. They are nowhere near done growing, so I would give them that opportunity to be moved versus putting them in the ground," Marcho said. 

And of course, the biggest seller this time of year, mums. 

The Marchos planted nearly 1,800 of them so far this year. 

Mums are hardy and can survive a frost. 

"I would recommend getting your mums right now before they are gone. If you want them to last into the season, clear into fall, several frosts, get something that is just cracking open or still budded up."

The lowest minimum temperature mums can survive is around 25 degrees, something the Stormtracker 16 team is not forecasting just yet.