The first frost advisory of the season has been issued for tonight by the National Weather Service.
Both the Kansas University Weather Service and the National Weather Service are forecasting a low of 32 degrees tonight, which is the freezing temperature on the Fahrenheit scale. The weather service said a slight breeze tonight should prevent frost from forming on plants in open areas. However, plants in areas protected from wind could get nipped if left uncovered.
Karen Booker, horticulture assistant with the Douglas County Extension Service, said that people should cover bedding plants and other delicate plants with plastic, sheets or rugs to retain the warmth of the soil for the plants. Any plants that can be brought inside should be, she said. House plants already should have been brought in, Booker said, because they cannot withstand the rapid change in temperatures, such as those that hit the Lawrence area last weekend.
People also should harvest vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers, she said.
"We've always heard about `frost on the pumpkin,' but frost is not good for the pumpkins," Booker said.
Sheila Lynch, daughter of pumpkin growers Larry and Janet Schaake, Rt. 2, said her family was harvesting its squash and gourds, but that their pumpkins should withstand a light frost without problems.
Pets should not experience too much stress at these temperatures, according to the weather service, but an older dog kept outside should be given extra protection.
Booker said the average date for frost in the county is Oct. 24. But beginning on Oct. 6, all of Lawrence's record low temperatures through April 24 have been at the freezing mark or below. The record low temperature for this date is 30 degrees, recorded in 1925. The record low for Wednesday is 26, also from 1925.