Frost can seriously damage plants. When ice crystals form in plant cells it prevents the plant for getting water, causing plant tissue damage. Here are some ways to avoid frost damage to your garden.
- Cover plants with blanket, sheets, or frost covers available from your local garden center. Use stakes to keep the frost cover from touching the foliage.
- Remove the covering the next day so the plant gets plenty of sunlight.
- Water holds heat, so water the soil around plants thoroughly. This protects the roots as well as warms the air around the plant.
- Move your container plants close together and position near the house.
- Spray down frost sensitive plants with a anti-transpirant, available at your local nursery.
- Read over this PDF from UC Davis for more information on frost protection.
- Bring garden hoses in from outside.
- Caulk and weather stripe drafty parts of the house. According to the California Energy Commission, improperly sealed homes can waste 10 to 15 percent of the homeowner's heating dollars.
- Cover outside pipes with insulation, here's a how to.
- Check your heater and make sure it's in proper working order; you might want to take this opportunity to swap our air vents.
- Make sure all heating vents are opened and unblocked by furniture or other items. This will ensure that the air is evenly distributed through the home.
- Be prepared for power outages; keep flashlights, candles, and old fashioned books handy.
- Stock up on thick socks, cozy quilts and hot chocolate.
- Have chains ready and know how to install them on your vehicle. Chains are currently required on all major freeways.
- The National Weather Service is recommending drivers avoid traveling from the valley to the high country late Friday through early Saturday.
- Be cautious of downed trees and power outages.
- Decrease your speed and leave plenty of room to stop, about three cars between you and the car in front of you.
- Break gently.
- Keep your headlights on even during the day.
- Don't use cruise control or override on icy roads.
- Find more winter driving tips on weather.com.
Cold Snap Coverage
You may be glad the cold snap we had last week is over. But apple growers in the El Dorado County town of Camino say they wouldn't mind more freezing temperatures.
It was about ten degrees colder than normal this morning in the Sacramento area, and that contributed to icy roads and school delays.
This week's freezing weather could damage citrus orchards in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys and in the foothills. But the current cold snap is welcome in other orchards with other crops.
Forecasters are warning that a storm moving through Northern California tomorrow is likely to dump one to two feet of snow in the Sierra and may make for treacherous driving conditions.
UPDATE: Warming shelters will open in Sacramento and Elk Grove this week. About 800 homeless people in Sacramento County are expected to be without permanent shelter when temperatures drop below freezing.
With lows in the San Joaquin Valley are predicted to dip into the 30's and 20's this week, area homeless shelters are preparing to make room.
A slow-moving, cold winter storm dropped 8 inches of snow north of Reno, and 3 inches in Reno and Carson City before noon. There were more than 30 accidents, state employees and school children were sent home early.
There's a hard freeze warning in effect for the Sacramento area.
The National Weather Service issued a ”Winter Storm Warning” for tomorrow in the eastern Sierra. The cold storm might impact the morning commute and school delays.
Citrus farmers in California's Central Valley are bracing for a cold snap that could see temperatures drop below freezing.
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