The first frost of fall could very well happen overnight. Prepare to protect your pumpkin patch when that happens.

Frost will kill a pumpkin left on a vine. It can also spell a premature end to your outdoor potted plants, including those colorful fall mums.

To keep those potted mums alive a little longer, you'll want to bring them inside if possible. A garage will do. For your planted mums, you'll want to cover them with a cloth, preferably a black cloth. Never cover them with plastic first--that will do more harm than good. You can, however, put a layer of plastic over the cloth if you wish.

If you still have pumpkins on the vine, go ahead and snip them. If they're not quite ripe, you can store them in a covered location for a week or so to allow them to ripen.

If you've wanting to carve your pumpkin, or even if you've already carved it, it's still best to bring it inside. A frost or freeze will cause the skin to soften and they won't last nearly as long.

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