Keeping plants and pipes safe during freeze

Published 11:35 pm Friday, November 5, 2010

The National Weather Service has issued a freeze watch for Butler County in effect from late Friday night to early Saturday morning.

In a statement released by the NWS, overnight lows are predicted to reach lowers 30s and upper 20s. The NWS also warns about potential dangers to vegetation and crops.

Mike McQueen, extension agent for Butler County, said that outside potted plants could be moved indoors.

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“If you have tender vegetation outide, protect it by covering it with a layer of mulch or pinestraw,” McQueen said. “Some of the gardens, you can use a plastic cover to make a tent over the plants to protect them.”

McQueen said turnips should be safe, and other small individual plants can be covered with a bucket.

“For any significant damage to occur has to stay below freezing for several hours,” McQueen said. “I don’t think it is going to stay down long enough.”

The temperature, McQueen said, should rise quickly Saturday morning, so protective measures should be removed from plants to prevent them from getting damaged by heat buildup.

Non-insulated water pipes also stand to be damaged by cold temperatures. offers advice to keep your pipes from freezing. Ideally, pipes would be installed in a warm place, protected from the elements. If rerouting plumbing lines is not an option, however, water can be left slowly dripping. This helps, the website says, not be keeping water moving, but rather by keeping pressure off the line so that if the pipe does freeze, damage will be minimal.