It doesn't happen much in Orlando, but every winter, there are a few days and weeks where we get hit with extreme low temperatures. While it isn't a common occurrence, we have already been hit by some very low temperatures, and you should be prepared between November and February for more like those. Here are some tips to keep your landscape and irrigation system in perfect condition even through the rare cold nights in Orlando.
- Check your irrigation pipes. When winter hits hard, the place it can hit worst is your sprinkler system. Wrapping exposed pipes will often protect them. If you notice anything that might suggest a leak or broken pipe, contact us and we'll find the problem and fix your irrigation system problem.
- Keep hydrating plants. Many might think that winter means more moisture, especially when you consider the possibilities of freezes. In reality, winter is drier, so it's important to keep watering your plants. The best time to do this before the really deep freezes hit. Since Florida's winter is similar to a late fall to the rest of country, watering deeply will keep your plants healthy. Of course, you never know when those big freezes will be, so be cautious of that.
- Wrapping your plants. It's a common sight when a freeze warning hits: your neighbors plants wrapped up in blankets. For smaller trees and plants, this is an easy and quick way to prepare your plants to survive a deep freeze. Keep in mind: you're not going to get them as snug as you or a child under a blanket, but that's okay. Having most of it covered should help it get through the cold nights.
- Don't try to wash off frost. The day after a freeze, you might get the impulse to use water, either from a hose or a sprinkler, to remove excess frost. This is the worst thing you could do; it causes the temperature to rise too quickly and can cause damage to the plant. The best thing to do is to let it thaw naturally. Living in Florida, the sun doesn't hide for that long. Once the plant is thawed, you can assess the damage.
We know that you won't have many days of dealing with this kind of weather in Orlando. Because the plants in our yards are acclimated to warmer weather, they can take quite the beating when it does get unusually cold. You'll minimize the damage to or even save your landscape with the right knowledge.