Typically, in Colorado Springs the first freeze of the season comes around October 1st and October 8th in Pueblo. Those dates have come and gone, and our first freeze is finally in sight.
A storm system arrives next Tuesday which will bring cloudiness, cooler temperatures, and snow/rain to the state of Colorado. We will glaze past snow word for the purposes of this article, and focus on temperatures.
Current forecast modeling indicates several mornings near or below freezing, particularly Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning for I-25 and the eastern plains. In this time frame, many of us here in the lower elevations will feel the first freeze of the season.
At this point, a widespread hard freeze in the 20s looks less likely than a light freeze in the low 30s.
In the meantime, you can start some preparations.
1. Harvest produce from sensitive plants. Harvest hardy plants that are ready.
2. Prepare some coverings for your plants, like lightweight blankets, sheets, pillowcases, or specific to plants frost blankets.
3. Give your lawn and garden a good watering.
4. Consider blowing out your sprinklers or making an appointment.
Amanda Stoke with Good Earth Garden Center explains that covering your plants will allow the radiant heat from the earth to insulate your plants. It will give a buffer of about 2-3 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. Stoke warns that if a hard freeze looks likely (temperatures below 28°) then double up on blankets or just consider completing your harvest for the season.
Your sprinkler systems, particularly if most of the equipment is several inches underground, should withstand a few nights of a light freeze. The soil will keep the system insulated until a longer and colder stretch arrives. But this is officially your reminder to consider blowing out your system within the next few weeks.
Once a FREEZE WATCH is issued in your city, then implement your plan for harvest and cover your sensitive plants.