Plants unscathed by cold, gardeners say

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 | 1:47 p.m. CDT; updated 4:55 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008
Frost accumulates on dead leaves at Stephens Lake Park early Tuesday morning. Temperatures in Columbia reached the low 30s overnight.

COLUMBIA — Despite a record low of 32 degrees this morning, area gardeners reported no damage today due to the cold.

Linda Lowenberg, president of the Columbia Garden Club, brought some plants indoors to protect them from the cold. But Lowenberg, who lives in Columbia, said her own yard was free of frost this morning.


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Marie Pasley, also a member of the garden club, saw no damage to her plants as there was no frost in her yard this morning. Pasley is the owner of a two-and-a-half-acre yard and grows perennials, including white and yellow daffodils, Virginia bluebells and Bergenia.

“If any damage did occur, it might take a while to show up,” Pasley said.

Milon George, associate professor of forestry, atmospheric science and horticulture at MU, said the thermometer at his home on Crown Point in Columbia read 36 degrees at 7 a.m.

“Temperatures have to reach 29 degrees or lower before significant damage occurs,” George said.

Temperatures did not drop to the predicted 31 degrees this morning, a spokesman from the National Weather Service in St. Louis said. The weather service recorded a temperature of 36 degrees in Columbia at midnight. It dropped to the record-breaking 32 degrees just before sunrise at 6:13 a.m. The weather service's previous low for April 29 was 34 degrees, which was set in 1976.

Tonight's low is predicted to be 45 degrees.

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