Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hard Freeze Forecast? Here's What to Do.


 The National Weather Service has issued a hard freeze warning for many areas of Northern California for Saturday night - Sunday morning, January 13. 


Freeze Protection for Lemon Tree


Frozen Hosta





Here is that warning, in its original ALL CAPS glory:









THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SACRAMENTO HAS ISSUED A HARD FREEZE WARNING FOR THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY...DELTA AND NORTHERN SAN
JOAQUIN VALLEY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 9 AM PST SUNDAY.

* TEMPERATURES: MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WILL RANGE FROM THE UPPER TEENS IN COLDEST AREAS OF THE VALLEY TO UPPER 20S IN LARGE URBAN  AREAS. DURATIONS BELOW 28 DEGREES OF 3 TO 6 HOURS ARE LIKELY.

* TIMING: LATE TONIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING.

* LOCATIONS INCLUDE: REDDING...CHICO...YUBA CITY...SACRAMENTO...VACAVILLE ... FAIRFIELD ... STOCKTON...MODESTO.

* IMPACTS: LONG DURATIONS BELOW FREEZING WILL KILL UNPROTECTED FREEZE SENSITIVE VEGETATION. EXPOSED WATER PIPES COULD BURST.
 

 PETS AND LIVESTOCK FEEL THE EXTREME COLD AS WELL.

A HARD FREEZE WARNING MEANS SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE IMMINENT OR HIGHLY LIKELY. 

THESE CONDITIONS WILL KILL CROPS AND OTHER
SENSITIVE VEGETATION.


Here's a last minute checklist for your home and garden if the TV weather people (or panicky bloggers) tell you tomorrow's low will be in the mid-20's:
• If it hasn't rained, water plants thoroughly, especially container plants.

 
• If possible, move sensitive container plants next to a south or west facing wall.

 
• Cover citrus and other sensitive plants with burlap, row cover fabric or sheets (be sure to keep the sheets dry). Tent plastic sheets over the plants; don't let plastic touch plant leaves. A light bulb placed in such a plant can offer a few degrees of protection. For best protection, sheets should reach all the way to the ground around citrus trees and other freeze-susceptible plants.

 
• If using an anti-transpirant polymer coating material such as Wilt-Pruf or Cloud Cover, apply at the warmest time of the day, or at least six hours before an expected frost. Read and follow all label directions. If using these products, thoroughly water the plant before applying.

 
• Disconnect hoses and drip lines, removing end caps. Lay out straight.

 
• To prevent broken grass blades, don't walk on a frozen lawn.

 
• Remove the lowest sprinkler head to drain.



Protect exposed pipes around wells and pumps
  



• Cover unprotected faucets and pipes, including any spa or pool equipment.



 
• To prevent frozen attic pipes, let lukewarm water trickle out of the indoor faucet farthest from the inlet. Also, let faucets with pipes running along an outer, north facing wall trickle during the night.  

 
• Open cabinet doors to get more heat to the pipes. Close the garage door if water pipes pass through the garage.

 
• Setting your thermostat nightly at 55 can add needed heat to the attic pipes.

 
• If leaving the house for a vacation during an expected freeze, turn off the water to the house, and open up the faucet farthest from the inlet. Be sure to turn off your water heater.

 
• To prevent cracking tile, run your pool and spa equipment during the freezing hours. 

 
• Don't forget about your pets during a prolonged freeze. Bring them indoors at night. Move or replace their drinking water. Break up any frozen water in bird baths. 


 




• Cover the worm bin, too!

5 comments:

  1. your hostas will make it no problem, they will die back. good luck on the citris.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Will my Lantana survive uncovered?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lantana is iffy. But wait until spring, there may be new growth at the base of the plant.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I’ve used light bulbs to keep the animals warm, but I haven’t tried it with my plants. That is actually a great idea!

    Turning off their water is one thing that most people going to warmer places during winter holidays. It leaves them with frozen pipes and no source of hot water, or any type of water for that matter, in the middle of winter. That’s quite a hassle to fix.

    ReplyDelete
  5. When using light bulbs, use incandescent bulbs. CFL and LED do not produce enough heat, if any!

    ReplyDelete