Here's how to protect your plants, pets this weekend as temperatures drop in Florida

You’ve heard of the three P’s when it comes to cold weather and how important it is to protect them — Pets. Pipes. Plants.  

"There’s definitely going to be cold enough temps where we’re going to see plants that need to be protected," said Eric Apen. He’s the co-owner of Apenberry’s Gardens in College Park. He said you’ll definitely want to protect your plants this weekend. 

"We’re looking at all your tropicals, vegetable gardens, herbs, certainly things like your tender flowering plants will need protection," Apen said.  

That’s everything from palm trees and hibiscus to tomatoes. Apen said you can do that using sheets or blankets, but frost cloth is preferred. "The frost blankets give 5 or 6 degrees of protection.  

A sheet or blanket will only give you a couple of degrees so you may need to layer it. But it will all help," he said. 

He said to cover the entire plant or tree right down to the ground which will help keep the warmth. "Just make sure you secure it. It’s really important to get that frost blanket tucked in. we’ll actually wrap it around the plant we can and then use bricks or rocks to hold it in place to make sure the wind doesn’t pull it off in the middle of the night," said Apen. 

One more little tip, "Make sure to turn your irrigation systems off. That’s really important. You don’t want water to run. Could cause more damage than help," Apen said.

For more tips on what to cover and how to cover your plants, Apenberry’s website will have all your answers.

Pools are another big investment you need to protect from the cold. Joy Ayala with Pool Troopers says the easiest thing to do to protect your pool when temperatures go below freezing, keep it running.  

"The pools in Florida don’t have censors built into timers to indicate when air temp gets below freezing so the homeowner can do it manually by letting the system run continuously until air temp gets back up above freezing. This can be done simply by removing the off pin from the timer," Ayala explained. 

And if you have a pool heater, you could turn that on. "If you do turn it on, you only need to set the temp to 50 degrees," Ayala explained. 

Don’t forget to bring your pets inside too!