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Protecting your garden & sprinklers from colder weather

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Posted at 6:19 AM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 15:25:35-04

DENVER — With colder weather in the forecast, you may need to take some precautions to protect your plants and sprinkler system.

Plant Protection

Denver7 connected with horticulturist Kevin Williams at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Williams said the most susceptible plants are annuals and vegetables.

Williams shared the tips below to help counteract the colder temperatures and save your plants:

-Start covering your plants when the temperature drops into the 30 degree range and below.

-Use one or two layers of frost cloth or row cover. You can also use a blanket or sheets from your house. Drape the material over the plants you are protecting or create a stake bed to lay the material over.

-Take pins or rocks and place them on the material to keep it in place during the wind and colder weather.

-Once the temperature gets above the freezing mark, allow the snow to melt into the material and the ground below.

-Remove the pins or rocks holding the material in place and then remove the material laying over the plants.

Another reminder is to watch out for trees in your yard. Cottonwood tree branches hold onto snow and can break. Experts suggest you knock the snow off throughout the day to prevent the branches from getting too heavy.

Sprinkler System Protection

Denver7 also connected with Associate Director of Landscape Operations Devin Riles at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Riles shared the tips below to prepare your sprinkler system for the colder weather:

-Shut down your irrigation system so it doesn't freeze.

-Take a screw driver and open up the test cocks to let the system drain out. There's a little butterfly valve in front of each one of them.

-Go into your basement and open up a drain valve.

-At the very minimum take a piece of insulation that you might have in your home or even a warm blanket and wrap your backflow device.

-Take a trash bag and cover your backflow device.

-Secure the wrapping in place with tape.

-Shut down your irrigation controller to make sure it doesn't water during your scheduled water times.

-AFTER the freeze,, inspect your device to make sure there isn't any damage.

-Turn on your sprinkler clock, turn the water back on and run the system to make sure there's no water leakage throughout the whole system.