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How to protect your plants from the coldest night in 70 years

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – The Salt Lake Valley is going to see record cold temperatures overnight Wednesday, tying the coldest night on record in 70 years. For those eager gardeners who already have planted their spring crop, tonight’s temps could kill off their garden.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – The Salt Lake Valley is going to see record cold temperatures overnight Wednesday, tying the coldest night on record in 70 years. For those eager gardeners who already have planted their spring crop, tonight’s temps could kill off their garden.

With her winter coat on, Claudia Griffeth was out shopping at Millcreek Gardens for pretty things to plant in her yard.

Griffeth explained, "Once it gets sunny you want to get out and plant, and if you can't it's discouraging."

What's even more discouraging is what you could lose if you've planted too soon.

"If I get too excited and put out my tomato plants too early, I’ve lost those before and peppers,” said Griffeth.

Those eager gardeners who've already made the same mistake are going to want to get busy tonight covering up their investments, but how do you know which plants are the most vulnerable?

Jeffrey Kemp of Millcreek Gardens explained, "If they're a new plant and they've leaved out and growing and other plants in your yard are not, that's probably a good way to tell."

If you can, you'll want to take those sensitive plants indoors, but if they're already in the ground there's other ways to protect them.

"This is just a wax paper cone,” explained Kemp. “You just put it over a very small plant or seedling.”

For bigger plants or flower beds frost cloths might be the economical way to go.

"Frost cloths work like a blanket,” explained Millcreek Gardens’ Thom Sawyer. “It just keeps them a little bit warmer from the cold air, especially if it's windy."

For the tomato plants already in the ground there's another invention called the Wall of Water.

“The water is going to hold on to heat, protecting your tomato,” explained Kemp. “What you want to do during the night is just synch it up, maybe take a little string and tie it up and then during the day open it up so it doesn't cook in there.”

If you don't have time to pick any cloth or covers you may have something at home that will work just as well.

"You know, I cut the bottoms off of milk cartons and stick them over the top of the anything I’m a little concerned about,” said Griffeth.
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