Gardeners beware: Temps will drop into 20s. Follow these expert tips to keep plants alive

The Jackson area is experiencing another early cold weather snap with strong winds with the likelihood of freezing temperatures in the low to mid-20s on Thursday and Friday. This below-normal weather continues throughout the week according to the National Weather Service. 

Logan Pole, a weather forecaster at The National Weather Service in Jackson said we're heading to pretty frigid temperatures in the lower 20s that could cause harm to plants.

"The first cold day will be late Thursday evening until early Friday morning with constant winds," Pole said. "The additional frost from the weather could pose a threat to summer vegetables if the temperature drops lower."

No freezing precipitation is expected.

Local gardening stores and experts provided helpful tips on how to protect plants as well as preserve them. The good news is you still have time.

Felder Rushing, a local horticulturist with more than 40 years of experience said some plants actually need the cold weather to thrive.

This photo taken on May 16, 2010 shows cherry tomatoes in New Market, Va. Tomatoes are tender plants, susceptible to damage from frost.  Like most warm season crops, they can be started indoors or protected by such season extending tools as cold frames, row covers or hoops until the threat of frigid weather has passed. Wait until soils have warmed to at least 55- or 60 degrees before transplanting. (AP Photo/Dean Fosdick)
This photo taken on May 16, 2010 shows cherry tomatoes in New Market, Va. Tomatoes are tender plants, susceptible to damage from frost. Like most warm season crops, they can be started indoors or protected by such season extending tools as cold frames, row covers or hoops until the threat of frigid weather has passed. Wait until soils have warmed to at least 55- or 60 degrees before transplanting. (AP Photo/Dean Fosdick)

"Rosemary, oregano, parsley, lettuce, kale, cabbage, and garlic can withstand the cold weather and need it, "Rushing said. "When relocating plants you should always use gloves to prevent any damage.

"Clustering plants together near windows after relocating them is a helpful way to maintain them through sharing humidity. Due to the change in light and humidity and temperature, most plants will drop their leaves, which is good if you cut them back prior."

Experts said if plants are not brought in when temperatures drop, the best way to protect those plants is to water them and cover them with plastic.

Joel Edwards, manager at Hutto's Home and Garden in Jackson said newly planted vegetables should be brought in if they are not covered.

"Watering plants before temperatures get too low is a great way to prevent them from drying out," Edwards said. "If vegetable plants are fully matured leaving them out won't cause any damage, but if they aren't, I'd recommend moving them into a greenhouse.

"Fruit such as apples, peaches, and pears should withstand the cold weather."

Citrus plants often do not fare well in freezing weather.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Freezing temps to hit Jackson. Follow these tips to keep plants alive