Protect your pets, plants and pipes; Bay Area prepares for cold snap

With freezing temperatures forecasted for Monday night, you’re urged to protect your pets, plants, and old pipes.

Orchard Nursery and Florist in Lafayette already prepared at the start of winter by keeping citrus plants, vines, and succulents under frost cloths.

Nursery Manager Geoff Olmstead said Monday night’s cold snap will be a problem from some plants after a mild winter that really felt more like spring.

“Things are farther along than they normally would be,” Olmstead said. “They’re pushing out a lot of new growth and all that new growth is tender so there are certain plants that will be more susceptible to tonight’s frost.”

For delicate plants that have not had a chance to harden off, it’s best to put stakes in the ground before you cover the plant with a cloth.

“You don’t want to just drape over the plant because the cold will just conduct over the sheet, even frost cloth, and burn what its touching,” he said.

Olmstead said if you plan on covering plants you can also string some lights under the frost cloths to provide extra warmth, but do not use LED lights because they do not emit heat.

Tarps are OK to use on plants and they have been selling quickly at Orinda Hardware. Store manager Walter Monroe said they have also been selling space heaters.

“We sold out of space heaters really early this morning,” Monroe said. “We had about 4 or 5 left and those went pretty darn quick.”

Other popular cold weather items include pipe insulation and firewood.

“Be careful with your space heaters and make sure they don’t tip over,” Monroe added. “The most important thing is safety and stay warm, stay warm.”