Ahead of first freeze, expert gives advice on how to protect your plants

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A storm system that’s heading our way is really going to leave us with some cold nights this week. Widespread freezes will bring the growing season to a halt in a lot of areas.

So KOB 4 sent Brett Luna to Jericho Nursery to get some tips from the experts on what people need to do to keep plants alive and how to get them ready to bring inside.

People have worked hard to keep their potted plants alive and thriving, so you don’t need to give up now.

The tropical-type plants that typically grow in pots won’t really be able to handle these freezing nights, especially if you’re in northern New Mexico.

The average first freeze around Albuquerque is typically closer to Halloween.

"This is a little early, but it gets us prepared and ready to move out stuff,” said Richard Hobson, owner of Jericho Nursery.

For Albuquerque: "It keeps bouncing around right 32, 34, 36 but tomorrow night through Friday night, somewhere in town it’s going to freeze."

Plant growers need to either bring their plants inside or cover them up. If you’re bringing them inside, you’ll want to inspect them for any bugs and hit them with some sort of pesticide if you find any.

"There’s an organic formula, there’s a non-organic formula, there’s granulars you put in the soil. The granulars you put in the soil are going to take a few weeks but they could be a barrier in the to keep the insects off,” said Hobson.

If you want to try covering them up: “This will give you 2 or 3 or 4 degrees, there’s a thicker one called insulate that will give you a little bit more. What’s nice about this one is you can leave it on the plant, so you can just put it on. It lets enough light through it that you wouldn’t have to take it off. The insulate is too heavy, it’s more like a sheet, you could use a sheet I guess but what you want to be careful of is to not have it hit the plants and not to use plastic. Anywhere plastic is hitting the plants, if it freezes, it’s transferring right through."

But it’s really just going to depend on the plant and the temperatures for where you live.

Hobson said if you don’t know what type of plant you have, take a picture of it on your phone and bring it to Jericho, they’ll tell you whether you can leave that plant out or if you should bring it in.