Hydration key to plant's survival in hard freeze

Nursery experts say to water plants before hard freeze

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – While many people in the area are bundling up Thursday, some are working to protect their plants from the harsh cold snap.

Mike Barwald, of Flying Dragon Citrus Nursery, has been in the business for decades. He said ensuring the best quality for the buyer is his top priority, but when temps get this low, water is a lifeline, and watering in the days ahead of a hard freeze is crucial.

“You water in advance of the cold and a bit during the cold to keep the water flow," Barwald said.

Barwald said doing this several times a day for about 15 to 20 minutes protects the trees, and their fruit from freezing.

With a hard freeze after several days of warm weather, Barwald said people can see damage if their water system isn't working well, and that's not just for farmers. Homeowners need to pay attention, too.

"Check your homeowner sprinklers and shrubs four times a year, going into spring, going into fall, going into summer and going into winter," Barwald said.

Barwald said knowing when a freeze is expected is just as important as knowing how to weather it.

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