Napa nursery workers protect plants ahead of cold spell

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- Don't let the sunshine and blooming trees fool you. Winter weather is one the way with freezing temperatures expected Sunday through Wednesday in parts of the Bay Area including Napa.

At Van Winden's Garden Center, nursery workers covered rows of citrus trees to protect them from frigid overnight temperatures and the wind chill. They moved avocado plants and other vulnerable flowers and trees inside.

"For the past few weeks everybody thought it was Spring," said nursery worker Ed Fields. "You look around the nursery and everything is blooming. That's about to change."

Fields encourages people at home to cover plants with a sheet, bring them inside, or keep them warm with a light. He says a good trick is to wrap a plant with Christmas lights.

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It's also important to keep plants hydrated. "Freezing temperatures draw water out of the ground," said Fields. "Draws water out of everything. So if the ground is not moist it's going to go after the plants and draw whatever water it can out of the plants."

Bob Wolfe at Clark's Ace Hardware says customers have been scooping up pipe insulation. He says pipe covers, "stop the frost from going into the pipe and freezing the water. When water freezes, it expands the pipe, and bursts the pipe."

He says they're also selling a lot of frost protection for plants.

The Napa Office of Emergency Services says capacity has been increased at the city's homeless shelters. Officials want to remind people of the risk of hypothermia, and to make sure space heaters and fireplaces are working properly. As always during a cold spell, it's best to bring pets inside.
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