What to do after the freeze

January 11, 2010 6:02:01 PM PST
The cold weather is giving us a break, but that does not mean you can sit back and relax, at least not yet. From your plants to your irrigation system to your pool, you may have some work to finish

Plants took a heavy hit during the freeze.

"A lot of the subtropical plants you have, they are going to be gone," said Raleigh Jenkins with ABC Pest, Pool and Lawn. "I mean, it just is. They have a real tough time with normal winters here, but the winter we just got through with, it is going to push them over the brink."

If you have a bird of paradise or a palm, it may have been severely affected by the freeze. But before you start hacking away at your plants, experts say leave the plants alone, at least for now.

"It's a wait and see kind of thing," said landscape designer Bob Keenan. "See what comes back, let it warm up. Keep everything status quo. Prune it back around mid February."

So do not cut away leaves or branches, even if they look bad, because if you cut off the brown areas, the next freeze will damage the plant even more.

When it comes to the sprinkler system, many people found their back flow valves froze and broke. As long as you can shut off the flow to the sprinkler system, you can wait a week or two before getting it fixed and it's a good thing because the parts may be in short supply.

"They may have difficulty finding one," said Steve Martin with ABC Pest, Pool and Lawn. "There will be a rush or irrigation repair men will have them stockpiled because they know these things would break and there would be busted valves out there."

As for your pool, that's a different story. Be sure to check for leaks around the pumps and valves and get that fixed right away if you find them, and remember -- the leaks could be small.

"On a normal pool line there, if you have inch and a half plumbing, it could be a little leak at a fitting. It could be cracked in general," said pool expert Derek Salazar. "It just depends on where it is cracked in that equipment pad."

And when it comes to covering your plants, we are told during the day, uncover the plants if it is going to be above freezing, but cover them back up if it freezes again.


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