Two weeks ago, we were basking in 70- and 80-degree weather. Sunday morning, we are predicted to have a low of around 20 degrees and a high of 36. Welcome to fall weather in the Inland Northwest. The weather service is forecasting a La Nina winter, which means it will be colder and wetter than average.
What does this mean for gardeners, especially those who are new to this adventure? Simply put, get your hoses and sprinkler systems winterized before Sunday, if at all possible. At our house, one of our sprinkler systems won’t be blown out until late next week, so we are covering the valve box with insulation and a heavy tarp until our service people come. The hoses and hose end timers are drained and stored away. Be sure to drain water features and fountains.
Pick any apples or pears that are still on the trees. Fruit can take cold into the high 20s but not down to 20. It will freeze on the tree and turn to mush when it thaws out. Store them in cardboard boxes in a garage.
The leaves on some exposed trees may freeze, but that won’t hurt the tree. The leaves may hang on the tree for a while, but the winter wind will take them off eventually. What we may lose is any good fall color because freezing cuts off the coloring up process.
If you have container plants on a patio or deck, bunch them together in a sheltered spot for