Columbus urban farmer shares tips to keep crops safe from the cold

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Cold weather coming in is threatening local crops and gardens.

Today, NBC4’s Courtney Yuen visited the Peace, Love and Freedom Urban Farm on the north-side of the city.

Urban farmer Milan Karcic is using straw to protect his crops. He covers lettuce, spinach and other plants with a layer of straw over-night and gently rakes it off in the morning.

“It’s been a challenging spring to say the least,” he says.

Karcic says the straw helps insulate the crops without stifling it too much.

“We’re just raking our straw on there and in the morning when it heats up a little bit, we’ll come out and rake it off,” he says. “Is it the best system? Heck no. Does it work? Pretty much.”

Friday night, he says some of his lettuce will sleep under the cover of plastic. He prefers to use straw to be more earth-conscious.

He says the cold weather is taking a hit on his profitability, but he says his crops are still growing a little bit each day.

“I’m learning from my mistakes and probably going to start a little later next year,” says Karcic.

He also says you can use a blanket or sheet to cover up plants, especially peach trees that may already have blossoms. Karcic says you want to make sure whatever you’re using to cover up the plant doesn’t touch it, so it doesn’t freeze and get stuck to it over-night.

Karcic has been urban farming for 4 years now and gardening for over 25 years.

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