SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Our first real frost is expected over the weekend and that means you may want to tuck in those tender plants.

Some plants will need to be covered, but this might actually be the perfect time to start digging and get planting.

At Sixteen Acres Garden Center, the warm weather has brought out some customers later than usual.

"I think we were just all in disbelief how warm it's been,"

With frost in the forecast this weekend, Sixteen Acres manager Nalini Benoit tells Western Mass News throw a cover like Harvest Guard or Frost Protection - or anything pourous for that matter like sheets or towels - over anything with a bloom, including those mums, despite that you may have heard that they're hardy.

"I always feel that if you have blooms, you should cover them because then you're protecting them and you're sure to get them so the next day, they won't die off," Benoit added.

What you do not want to use?

"Just don't use plastic. It's the condensation that will happen under there plus you need airflow," Benoit explained.

If you've been wanting to plant a tree or a shrub, Benoit said not only do most places have them on sale now, but even with frost coming, "Oh, it's a perfect time to plant. The cool weather will help the plant to acclimate into your garden."

In fact, Benoit noted trees and shrubs can go in the ground as long as you can dig a hole.

"If you water when you plant and make sure that you keep watering it well until the ground freezes, so it freezes wet, then you're sure to be successful," Benoit said.

It's a good weekend project, Benoit said, to help delay the inevitable.

"Just take any opportunity to pretend that winter's a while away. We'll just feel better for it," Benoit noted.

One more tip: Benoit said don't forget to uncover all those plants during the day and now is the time to trim back all of those perennials to get ready for the winter.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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