Most of Minnesota sees season's first freeze

And so it begins.

Our first freeze warnings of the season have been posted for the metro and much of greater Minnesota and Wisconsin Friday night as lows get back below freezing. Parts of southern Minnesota are areas expected to stay above freezing, but even there it will be in the mid-30s.

North of I-94 is expected to see temperatures in the 20s.

If MSP Airport can hit the freeze mark, it will be the first time the metro has seen a freeze in September since 2000, and would be just the 8th time since 1974. The average first freeze for the metro is October 11th,

Plants and crops

The early cold snap could complicate things for those with plants in their yards, so experts are saying it's time to cover those plants before the 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. hours tomorrow morning. 

"We sort of expect it this time of year," said Lowell Schaper, owner of Minnetonka Orchards. "Of course, as we get into October it will be more frequent." 

In the apple business, Schaper has to have his apples picked and in the barn so they are protected from the late fall's low temperatures.

As temperatures plummet toward the high 20s and low 30s Friday, it's not just apples that need protecting. 

"Plants for your garden, like tomatoes, tomatillos, chilies, all of those are very susceptible, and I totally suggest you cover those tonight," said Juan Pablo, an agriculture engineer. "We still have some better days coming in the future." 

When it comes to freezing temperatures, said Juan Pablo, it's better to be safe than sorry with your plants. 

He recommends bringing your plants inside and covering the others, but to avoid plastic covers and instead use a soft cotton blanket.