It may be autumn, but Carolina Weather Group Meteorologist Scotty Powell said this weekend is going to feel more like winter.

“This weekend is going to be cold for this time of year, and we will probably hold to this cold snap into mid-November,” Powell said.

He said a cold front will push blasts of cold air into the Catawba Valley beginning Thursday evening. “There is a small chance of rain Thursday evening and possibly isolated thunderstorms as well. You’ll be able to tell a difference in temperatures by Friday morning, with temperatures in the 20s,” he explained.

He added that the high temperatures for Saturday and Sunday will be in the 50s with morning temperatures staying in the 20s.

Low temperatures will continue to hang around the Catawba Valley early next week, with daytime temperatures in the 40s and morning temperatures in the high teens and low 20s.

Powell said he does not expect the Catawba Valley to see any winter precipitation, but with the cooler morning temperatures frost will be present.

George Place, the director of Catawba County NC Cooperative Extension, shared tips for preparing plants and other vegetation for cold weather.

“There are a few tasks that gardeners can prioritize in anticipation of the first frost of the season,” Place said. His list:

» For our vegetable gardeners be sure to pick the remaining “cold tender” veggies that may be lingering in your garden such as pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes.

» The weather has been cold enough that if you had any basil out it has probably been damaged but if it has survived to this point it is at the end of its season, so harvest anything worth using. Oregano is another tender herb worth harvesting now.

» Mulch your carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips and rutabaga so that they won’t be damaged by the cold. You can continue to harvest those cold hardy roots through the season. Your leafy greens like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce will continue to be productive but watch the forecasts. If temperatures threaten to drop below 25 degrees, you will enjoy a longer harvest from those greens if you cover them with a sheet or Agribon plant cover in the night.

» Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are also cold hardy but perform better with some protection when temps drop below 25 degrees. Remember that you can get multiple cuttings from your broccoli so don’t abandon those plants after the first cutting.

» Remember that this is not a good time for pruning woody ornamentals. Pruning causes the plant to try to put on new growth which is more susceptible to cold damage which will stress the plant and possibly provide for parasite infection opportunities.

» Now is a good time to apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet to your fescue lawn if you have not already done so. Feel free to call the extension office at 828-465-8240 for more direction in how to do this with the fertilizer that you have.

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