WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 17, 2012, 05:59 PM

Gardeners preparing for first frost of the season

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Chances are, someone in the area will wake up with frost on the ground.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Chances are, someone in the area will wake up with frost on the ground.

After a hot dry summer, we're looking at a frost about two weeks ahead of average and we may be dipping below 32 tonight.

Here at the community gardens in North Fargo people have been stopping by today to pick what they can ahead of the frost. And while we've had a little rain today this dry soil may help us get a little colder tonight.

Frank Kohoutek, gardener: "If stuff doesn't get done it gets nipped."

Frank Kohoutek is surveying what's left of this summer’s bounty at the community gardens north of Yunker Farm in Fargo.

Kohoutek: “Some tomatoes left and that's about all we have around here.”

Besides the abundant green and red tomatoes other plots have giant orange pumpkins and winter squash waiting to be brought in.

Our warm spring meant that gardeners got an early jump.

Kohoutek: "I had peas earlier over there. Got those in around April 15th. It was an early year.”

And that means much of the harvesting has been done before this first round of frost.

Gen Eidem and her Fog Oliver are out as well.

Gen Eidem, gardener: "Being the depression era baby that I am I can't let anything go to waste and so I'm picking the last of the harvest.”

She too has had a bumper crop this year.

Eidem: “Dry as it was, it was a good year for a lot of the veggies.”

And the dry soil and weather is actually contributing to the chance that these crops will be dusted with white in the morning.

Daryl Ritchison, Stormtracker Meteorologist: “I think this would be an air mass. If the ground was more moist like much of the last decade we would probably be one of those 33, 34 degree mornings.”

That moist air by the plants helps hold on to the heat at night but we don't have that advantage this year so the scramble is on to bring in those green tomatoes to ripen inside.

Kohoutek: "Jack Frost is coming.”

Last year we actually had a frost slightly earlier on the 15th. That came after seven straight years with the first frost not coming until October.