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  • The Columbus Dispatch

    Freeze watch in parts of central Ohio Saturday night as temperatures drop below average

    By Cole Behrens, Columbus Dispatch,


    Residents of parts of northern central Ohio should prepare their gardens and plants for a possible freeze warning overnight Saturday into Sunday.

    According to the National Weather Service Wilmington office, a freeze watch is in effect beginning Saturday night into Sunday morning for Hardin, Union, Delaware and Licking counties, including the cities of Kenton, Ada, Marysville, Delaware and Newark.

    Residents of those parts of central Ohio can expect sub-freezing temperatures as low as 30 degrees, and the weather service warned that freezing conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.

    Temperatures throughout the region will remain below average on Wednesday.

    When is the last frost date in Columbus?

    If you've already planted a garden, chances are it was before the area's last frost date or the average final spring frost, a date that helps gardeners avoid frost damage on their plants from temperamental spring weather. Frost is predicted when air temperatures reach 32 degrees, or the freezing mark.

    According to National Weather Service climate data, the average last frost date for final frost in Columbus is April 18, although it is more likely the final date will be around May 5, according to 1991-2020 data.

    The Farmer's Almanac suggests the final frost date is April 27.

    It's worth noting that the dates are based on averages of historical data and are not set in stone, and you should check weather forecasts before planting.

    How can frost damage your plants?

    According to the Farmer's Almanac, plants are affected differently by their type and temperature:

    • Light freeze: 29 to 32 degrees — tender plants are killed.
    • Moderate freeze: 25 to 28 degrees —widely destructive to most vegetation.
    • Severe freeze: 24 degrees and colder — heavy damage to most garden plants.


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