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Judy Hedding

Prepare for a Hard Freeze

By January 10, 2013

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The National Weather Service has issued a freeze watch in Arizona for the next several days. That includes our lower deserts.

The Greater Phoenix area will see sub-freezing temperatures as an arctic front comes through our area from Canada. In outlying areas, it will be a few degrees colder than in Phoenix, possibly below 28 degrees. While that happens from time to time during our winters, this weather front promises to last longer than usual, posing hazards not only to people who might be living in unsheltered circumstances, but also to pets and non-native plants or trees.

Help the People
If you can, volunteer at a homeless shelter. They are certain to be busy as people without permanent shelter try to keep warm. Donate coats, blankets, socks, gloves. If you see someone who needs help finding shelter, refer them to Arizona's 2-1-1 hotline service or call for them.

Help Your Pets
Bring your pets inside, or, if that's not possible for some reason, make sure they have shelter, dry bedding and plenty of food help them stay warm.

Help Your Plants and Trees

Cover Frozen Plants
Plastic tarp? Not good.
Sheets? Good choice.
Judy Hedding
Plants need to be protected from frost and freezing. If they do get damaged by frost, don't prune or trim them until the winter is over; they might come back in the spring. Citrus trees will be at risk over the next few days. Do your best to cover them, or provide some warmth (outdoor Christmas lights, shop lights, or landscape lighting). Keep the soil around the tree moist, taking care not to get any electric lights wet. Then hope for the best.
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