Hardy perennials, such as black-eyed Susan, can withstand a light frost. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

It might seem like months ago, but just last week, on Oct. 24, Iowa hit record-high temperatures, in the 80s. Now, maybe unsurprisingly, the state is hitting the deep freeze.

Hardier flowers, such as zinnias and black-eyed Susan, and even less hardy plants, including tomatoes, may have survived overnight temperatures that dipped into the low 30s Friday and Saturday, but this Sunday, Oct. 29, going into Monday, lows will be sustained in the 20s, which constitutes a killing freeze.

If you haven’t already, pick those final peppers, cucumbers, melons and tomatoes before the frost. Even green tomatoes can ripen on your countertop over time.

Vegetables such as kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and cabbage are cold-hardy and can withstand a frost, but to be on the safe side, gardeners can harvest those, as well, as more wintry weather is not far behind.

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