Protecting plants and pipes in the cold weather

TYLER (KYTX) - It won't quite be freezing tonight, but it will be by the end of the weekend.

So if you haven't already, it's time to save your plants and keep your pipes from bursting.

We always remember to keep ourselves warm when it gets frigid, but don't forget things around your house.

Pipes in utility rooms or under your house that aren't heated should be insulated, and of course, your plants need a little help too.

"They're baby palms, want to protect them," says Carlotta Kingry-Miles.

She and her mother covered these baby palm trees outside of their house early in the fall.

"Set them up just before Halloween, I believe around the first frost," says Kingry-Miles.

So they protected them.

Experts recommend cages around plants and a cloth covering like burlap, never plastic, since if it touches the plant it can freeze.

"If it's something that's just been planted in the fall and maybe something more cold tender than other kinds of plants, they could put blankets over those," says Mark Bickerstaff with Petty's landscaping and Irrigation service.

Bickerstaff says add about 2 extra inches of mulch for outdoor plants to keep the roots warm and bring in potted plants.

"Sometimes just moving it from the north side to a more micro climate on the south side of the house will give enough protection," says Bickerstaff.

And don't forget about pipes.

"First step is identifying what areas are vulnerable to freezing. Could be a back porch washing machine, could be a utility room not heated and cooled, could be outside hydrants," says Milton Vanderpool, owner of American Plumbing in Tyler.

An easy and cheap way to protect exposed pipes outside of your house is to grab a Styrofoam cover at the store.

They're easy to put on a faucet and help hold in heat to keep pipes from bursting.

"Want to conserve what heat is in the pipe or provide a heat source," says Vanderpool.

Making sure all the little things at your house are taken care of in any weather condition.

Vanderpool says you should know where the shut off is for your water heater, in case something does happen.

If you've left plants outside this winter and aren't sure whether or not they're alive, the best time to check is mid-March when we stop having freezing weather and you can prune them.


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