NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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FrostThe frost last week was variable across the county.  It did appear to drop below freezing temperatures in much of the county.  The signs of frost showing up in the beans and corn fields were very random.  Now only time will tell how much effect the early frost had on soybean and corn yields.  From what I could tell most of the beans and corn were mature enough to only have little to no yield deficits.  Some of the later planted fields may have a small yield drop.  Producers are gearing up to begin soybean harvest.    

The freezing temperatures last week also effected much of our gardening efforts.  The most sensitive plants such as tomatoes, peppers, melons, cucumbers and squash seen the effects of the frost.  If you did not cover these frost sensitive garden plants they likely seen some damage from the frost.  Some common signs of frost damage may have been the leaves curling up or turning brown or black.  You may also see damage on the fruits themselves with the most common sign that you can see is water soaked spots. 

When freezing occurs, water expands and can burst cell walls.  However, leaf and root vegetables are generally more capable of withstanding hard frosts, less than 28 degrees, and have more room to spare in their tissues for water expansion and internal ice-formation. 

After the frost I have also had questions about lawns turning brown.  The annual grasses in your lawn, such as crabgrass, died with the frost, which causes the brown areas. There is no need to worry about this problem now in the fall.  The best time to control crabgrass is in the spring before it emerges.  Crabgrass is a warm-season grass that will start emerging in the spring when the ground temperature reaches about 55 degrees.  If you have any questions about frost damage in your lawns, gardens, trees, or crops feel free to contact our office.   

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/frost-frozen-flower-marigold-3638915/ (downloaded 9/18/20)





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