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Got plants? Protect them from a regionwide freeze warning in the Quad Cities

A freeze warning Monday night is causing garden shops like Teske's in Moline to move some products inside.

MOLINE, Ill. — It may be the end of April, but plant and garden experts caution it is not quite time to put plants in the ground for the 2022 season.

A freeze warning, issued by the National Weather Service, for most hometowns in the Quad Cities area for Monday night has forced some garden shops to move some products inside.

"Ever since this morning we've pulling 'em inside, you bet," said Darcy Rogers, an owner at Teske's Pet and Garden in Moline.

Rogers said many of the perennial plants are still outside, but the annuals they have for sale cannot handle the potential freezing temperatures overnight.

Instead, there are plants everywhere in her store.

"Everyone grabs it, put it on a cart, brings it in, put 'em wherever they find space," Rogers said.

It's a process Rogers said happens every year around this time.

Some of those plants are on tables in the entryway. Others are on tables along walls or near displays. Other plants are on a rack placed in a walkway.

"Mother Nature's not done with us yet," said Craig Hignight, WQAD's plant and garden expert.

Hignight said Monday it is still too early to plant.

"I don't encourage planting out until May 15 unless the weather would make a major change in the next two or three weeks," Hignight said.

If you do already have some plants in the ground, Hignight said there is still a way to help reduce the impact of frost.

"Hose everything down first thing in the morning, it's called breaking the frost," Hignight said. "It thaws the plant out real quickly so it's not damaged quite so much."

If you are still waiting to start planting, you'll have to wait just a little longer.

"We're hoping Wednesday when it gets 40, 50 degrees probably then we can put it back outside," Rogers said.

In the meantime, protecting the plants is paramount, Rogers said.

"If they’re out there, you can’t bring ‘em in, cover them with a sheet, not a heavy blanket," Rogers said.

It is a quick, annual solution to help Rogers keep more in store.

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