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Making plants winter weather-ready as temperatures drop in Las Vegas

Gilcrease Orchard plants
Posted at 5:42 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 23:39:20-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — With temperatures plunging towards the freezing mark this is the time to put your cold-sensitive plants indoors.

An ideal home garden will have flowers blooming, but to keep that a reality during cold winters, watering much less would be a good idea.

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“It puts them in a defensive mode. If they have all the luxuries they need, then the tissues are soft and they want to keep growing, but if you harden them off with less water, that’ll help.”

Mark Ruben is the director at Gilcrease Orchard and manages 60 acres of plants. He says home gardeners should take note of what plants may be considered hardy and can withstand the weather.

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“There are some that are very tender and if it gets really cold, if you have them in pots, bring them inside or cover them somehow,” he said.

That cover could be in the form of these white row covers that can be bought at local nurseries.

“It is a white spun polyester that can be put over the plants at that allows the sunlight to come in and it keeps the wind out,” he said.

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Rubin however says for his fruits plants at the orchard cold weather is good.

“All your pears, your apples, your peaches, your apricots, your pomegranates, they all need between 200 to 800 hours of chilling hours," he said.

He says this exposure allows those plants to reset.

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“It forces them into a dormancy and after the dormancy, okay now it’s time to flower and fruit and leaf and start a new season,” Ruben said.

With plants and trees being dormant during the winter, if you’re looking to prune them, now is the best time.