Freeze Warning Worries Farmers - WSET.com - ABC13

Freeze Warning Worries Farmers

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Reporter: David Tate

Franklin Co., VA – A freeze warning is in effect Friday night, and for many already into the planting season it means you may want to think about covering those plants.

Local farmers are paying attention to swings in the weather, and when the words "freeze warning" come out, it's time for farmers to make some decisions.

For more than a decade, the Dansbys have been growing strawberries on their Franklin County farm. But this year they decided to take a year off, which is a good thing too.

With a freeze warning in place, had they been growing strawberries, they would be too busy to talk.

"Because strawberries need to be covered or protected either by water or by a polyester blanket, which I use," said John Dansby.

That's because the blankets of cloth-like material would be needed to be spread across the four acres of strawberries, which is no easy task, but it does keep things ten degrees warmer.

"It's just the blossoms. Once there's blossoms…several years ago we had a frost on April 17 and that did some damage," said Elaine Dansby.

With each acre costing $17,500 to plant, it's damage they don't need. So this year the Dansbys are growing asparagus so they aren't too worried about this freeze warning.

Asparagus is a bit more hardy. In fact, they're not even covering some of their green-leaf goodies either. So what do they suggest you cover?

"If they have already started some plants outside or if their perennials are coming up, I certainly get 'em covered with just about any blanket or light material they can find," said John Dansby.

That is about all they'll be covering as well to make sure their early flowers and parsley make it through the night.

That freeze warning is in effect just for Friday evening, and while it is expected to get into the 30's Saturday night as well, it won't make it into the freezing temperatures.

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