Cold nights could prove harmful to San Diego backyards

Homeowners urged to spray, cover foliage

SAN DIEGO - The cold nights may be painful but not necessarily devastating to San Diego landscaping. 

Long-time nursery expert Charles Magana said a short cold spell won’t destroy most backyard plants. 

“First night or second night is not too bad; inland valleys, some of the tender plants like impatiens or some ferns will suffer a little bit but unless this is an extended freeze over the next four or five nights, most things should recover without too much damage,” said Magana.

He told 10News the best thing people can do is go outside and spray down their foliage in the evening. 

That will protect the leaves through the night and rejuvenate them as the moisture evaporates in the morning.  A second spray just after sun-up is helpful, too, he said.

Here's another option:  if you have an old sheet that you can throw over the tree or plant, that will help keep a little heat underneath -- the cold wind can't get at it.

Kim Alvarado, the assistant store manager at a Carlsbad nursery, showed 10News on Saturday how the cover forms a protective barrier between the cold and plants.

"That way the ice or the cold doesn't settle right on the foliage itself," she said. "It actually forms a warm blanket."                     

There was a massive undertaking Friday in strawberry fields in Escondido; specially spun material being spread out to protect those delicate plants.

The San Diego Zoo has installed space heaters for the gorilla enclosure.

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