Cold Tolerance in Vegetables
Q. You have often mentioned cold tolerant vegetable crops and those which are very susceptible to frosty injury. Could you list these and temperature lows which they can tolerate?
A. This is very difficult to do and be accurate since cold tolerance depends on preconditioning. For instance, if broccoli has been growing in warm conditions and temperatures drop below 22 degrees F., it will probably be killed. If these same broccoli plants had experienced cool weather, they would probably survive the sudden cold.
In general, a frost (31-33 degrees F.) will kill beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, peas, pepper, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, tomatoes, and watermelon.
Colder temperatures (26-31 degrees F.) may burn foliage but will not kill broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, lettuce, mustard, onion, radish, and turnip.
The real cold weather champs are beets, Brussels sprouts, carrots, collards, kale, parsley, and spinach.
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