How March cold weather is affecting peaches and plants

State / Regional

ALABAMA (WIAT) — The below freezing temperatures in central Alabama are causing some farmers and plant experts to worry. 

Sallie Lee, an urban regional extension agent with Alabama Cooperative Extension System said plants and crops can survive with the cold for a few days, but if rain is added, there can be a serious threat to their condition. 

One of Alabama’s most precious crops, peaches, are at risk.

“Peaches are the biggest crop in the state and very sensitive because they’re in bloom right now,” Gary Gray, a regional extension agent, said.

Easterling Farms in Chilton county sent video to CBS 42 showing a helicoper hovering over the orchard. 

They are using helicopters to bring the warm air down. 

“When we’re at below 28 degrees, we’re expected to get some damage,” Gray said. 

At the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham, the vegetable garden is being closely watched. 

“Your smaller ones are more vulnerable,” Lee said. “The little ones that just come up are at risk.”

Lee said anything in the soil should be ok, but some of our pretty flowers that are now blooming might be hurt. 

“There was a nice warm spell, then it drops again and then goes back up. It’s the up and down thats hard on the plants. It’s hard on people too,” Lee said. 

Lee says they will not know for sure how much the cold will affect the blooming until next week when it gets warm again.

She recommends for anyone who just planted some flowers to cover them up with a sheet but do not lay the sheet directly down on the plant. She also recommends patting down more mulch around plants.

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