- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
The San Joaquin Valley is bracing for a hard freeze predicted to strike tonight and tomorrow morning, putting the Valley's $1.3 billion citrus industry on high alert. Whether farmers will have to spring into action depends on a lot of things, such as cloud cover, according to Joel Nelson of California Citrus Mutual, who was quoted in today's San Francisco Chronicle.
"But we will have the wind machines primed and many of them on from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.," Nelson is quoted.
The Bakersfield Californian turned to UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor John Karlik for advice for homeowners worried about potential freeze damage to landscape plants. He said residents within the city limits can rest fairly easy this week, but those who live in the slightly colder, outlying areas may need to take added precautions.
According to the article, he suggested homeowners bring tropical and sub-tropical plants inside, if possible, and cover outdoor plants overnight using plastic, cloth or newspapers. Watering the plants during the day will help preserve heat at night.
For more details on protecting your garden from frost, see this article by Pam Geisel, the academic coordinator for the UC Master Gardener program.
A note about the headline: The Valley, of course, is rarely as cold as New York, where Frank Loesser wrote the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in 1944, but the music still rings in the ears of Californians when an artic air mass descends on the state. A cute version of the song by Doris Day and Bing Crosby is one of many posted on YouTube.