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We are all anxious to get our plants and gardens started. However, you may want to stick with container gardening for a few more weeks. With frost and freeze dates still ahead, it’ll be easier to protect your outdoor plants if they are in pots.

But what is the difference between freeze and frost? Many people use them interchangeably, but Pat says that’s not the case.

“People get frost and freeze confused. A freeze is when temperatures go below 32 degrees. Just covering it (outdoor plants) isn’t enough to save it, unless you’re trapping heat from the ground that can warm your plant. If it’s sitting on a table, when we throw frost cloth on it and it goes down to 28, the plant will still feel the cold air.”

A freeze happens when the air temperature drops below freezing as Pat said, and when the ground itself gets cold. Despite how long the freeze lasts in the day, even a short freeze can do a lot of damage. Even hardy plants and early annuals, like pansies, will get their color burnt off from the cold air. If you do get an early start, make sure your flowers and edibles are in containers so you can bring them in at night.

Luckily, the freeze-free date is near!

This year’s freeze-free date is April 25th.

A frost, however, can occur when temperatures are above freezing temperatures. Frost is also more about the amount of water in the air. It layers on plants (like dew) instead of affecting the root system.  Many plants can survive a frost. You can take precautions for your more vulnerable plants by covering them with bedsheets, drop cloths, blankets, and plastic sheets the night before.

The last frost date for the season is May 10th.

For more Home and Garden tips, check out highlights from last week:

Tune in to the Home and Garden Show, every Saturday, 9 am-1 pm right here on WIBC