Tips and tricks to keep your plants healthy this fall

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(ABC 6 News) – Weather in Minnesota can change daily and the best thing you can do for your plants is pretty simple.

Experts say to cover your plants overnight with a cotton cloth to protect them from frost or freezing. This is also a good alternative for summer plants when winter hasn’t fully begun.

“A lot of the trees, shrubs, perennials, they know what to do,” said Neil Imsdahl, assistant manager at Sargent’s on 2nd.

“They naturally settle into a winter dormancy. But it’s the annuals that flower all summer, those things unfortunately upon the first frost, will die back.”

Another tip is to move your summer plants up towards the house. The heat will prevent your plants from a light frost. Once the sun rises, you can leave your plants uncovered until the next night.

When it comes to vegetables, you should harvest them before the first frost and let them finish ripening inside.

“Items like tomatoes, you can harvest when they’re green. They’ll ripen on the counter in the kitchen for up to two-to-three weeks. So, even if they’re green, I’d say pick them and see what happens,” added Imsdahl.

“But you really want to harvest those tender vegetables before the frost sets on them.”

For fruit, apples are one of the only fruits in Minnesota this time of year. Apples can handle temps in the high 20s which can actually bring out more sugars and flavors in apples.

Imsdahl said the best alternative for a summer annual is a fall mum. They can last in temperatures in the low 20s.