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Wintertime. Winter background with thermometer in the snow on frosty day.
Leonid Ikan

To answer the question you just asked in your head, or maybe even out loud... "No, we are not kidding you."

We are in the first full week of May and the National Weather Service has issued a 'freeze watch' for the Quad Cities and the surrounding counties. If you are in the middle of planting vegetables or crops for the spring and summer, this should make you very nervous.

According to the National Weather Service's announcement, the following counties and cities in Iowa and Illinois are in a freeze watch which goes into effect late Friday night and lasts until early Saturday morning:

Buchanan-Delaware-Dubuque-Benton-Linn-Jones-Jackson-Iowa-Johnson-Cedar-Clinton-Muscatine-Scott-Keokuk-Washington-Louisa-Jefferson-Henry IA-Des Moines-Van Buren-Lee-Jo Daviess-Stephenson-Carroll-Whiteside-Rock Island-Henry IL-Bureau-Putnam-Mercer-Henderson-Warren-Hancock-McDonough-Scotland-Clark


Including the cities of Independence, Manchester, Dubuque, Vinton, Cedar Rapids, Anamosa, Maquoketa, Marengo, Iowa City, Tipton, Clinton, Muscatine, Davenport, Bettendorf, Sigourney, Washington, Wapello, Fairfield, Mount Pleasant, Burlington, Keosauqua, Fort Madison, Galena, Freeport, Mount Carroll, Sterling, Moline, Rock Island, Geneseo, Princeton, Hennepin, Aledo, Oquawka, Monmouth, Carthage, Macomb, Memphis, and Kahoka

Forecasters are calling for sub-freezing temperatures in the upper 20's to lower 30's. Colder temperatures are expected north of I-80, and there a possiblity for areas to drop into the middle 20's north of highway 30.

This freeze watch is expected to effect parts of northeast Missouri, east central,
northeast and southeast Iowa, and north central, northwest and
west central Illinois.

The biggest impact could be on crops and other vegetable plants. The National Weather Service says that frost and freezing conditions could kill crops and other
sensitive vegetation if not properly protected or brought indoors.

If you have plants, you should take precautions now and protect vegetation now. The National Weather Service also warns that outdoor pipes and sprinkler systems could freeze. They suggest that if you have above-ground pipes you should cover them, or if you have an in-ground sprinkler, drain them.

According to Gardening Know Howthe best way to protect vulnerable plants is to cover them with a bed blanket or sheet. You can add extra protection by putting a plastic sheet over top of the blanket or sheet. Never put just use plastic to cover a plant.

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