Frost poses threat to plants, pets

Published 1:33 pm Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ol’ Jack Frost may soon be nipping at more than just noses.

With nighttime temperatures dipping into the mid to upper 30s, the possibility of overnight frost is becoming more likely. That poses a threat to outdoor plants.

“I haven’t seen any frost yet, but I’ve heard forecasts where they are predicting some,” said Anthony Pinkston, Butler County Extension Coordinator. “I think they expected the first frost on (Wednesday) night, but I looked at my garden and I didn’t see any. If frost does hit it can hurt plants, especially if they are young tender plants.”

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Pinkston recommended covering young plants at night before the frost hits or bringing potted plants inside out of the cold.

“Covering them will help protect them, but it’s important to get them uncovered pretty quickly once the sun comes up,” he said. “The way things are right now it’s cold at night, but with these clear days we’re having the sun will warm things up pretty quickly because there is no cloud cover. If you don’t get the plants uncovered they can be damaged by heat buildup.”

Pinkston also pointed out the need to be mindful of pets during extremely cold nights.

“If you don’t bring your pets inside, it’s important to make sure they have the proper bedding and some sort of shelter so they can stay warm,” Pinkston said.

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.