An unexpected late frost this year surprised many New York gardeners. It also wreaked havoc on some Hudson Valley farms, with at least one local favorite losing an entire crop.

The temperatures on Wednesday night and Thursday morning dipped below 30 degrees in many parts of the Hudson Valley, and the summer-like temperatures of the previous weekend seemed like a distant memory as budding plants were covered to protect them from the approaching weather. Unfortunately, large farms can't simply drape a few towels over their massive crops and call it a day.

Dressel Farms in New Paltz, NY (Google)
Dressel Farms in New Paltz, NY (Google)
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Frost Damage at Dressel Farms in New Paltz, NY

Dressel Farms in New Paltz, NY, one of the oldest and most-celebrated local farms in the Hudson Valley, shared a painful update after they took stock of their frost damage. "The mood around here is pretty somber today", they began. "We saw 27° last night. Damage to the apples, strawberries, and peaches is inevitable but won't be evident for a while. But clearly our grapes for the year are gone..." The photos they shared (below) show the extent of the damage.

Dressel Farms via Facebook
Dressel Farms via Facebook
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"That’s so sad. I lost one of my 3 grapes plants. Hoping the other two make it", commented a Rosendale resident. "That darn frost. Hopefully some will be spared. Prayers", shared another. While large crops are nearly impossible to protect from frost, there's a few things amateur gardeners can do to help protect their budding plants.

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Frost Tips for New York Gardeners

Some tips, like bringing potted plants inside or covering them with a sheet or thin blanket, seem obvious. Others, like sheltering "frost tender" plants near south or west-facing walls to take advantage of their radiant heat, are more specific. There are even some crops that enjoy frost.

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Vegetables like spinach, garlic, and broccoli can all withstand freezing temperatures under 28 degrees. Others, like celery, cauliflower, and lettuce, can withstand "light frosts" above 28 degrees. Find a full list here.

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