Hard freeze expected tonight; here's some tips to keep your plants safe

Remember the hard freeze that happened almost exactly on this date two years ago? A lot of us suffered some real garden and tree damage.

So tonight's hard freeze has a lot of us worried about what could happen this time.

Dennis Patton says tonight's freeze doesn't appear as bad as 2007, when the low got into the teens. The low tonight should be in the 20s.

That could still cause some damage, depending on how low it gets and how long the low stays there.

"When it comes to potential freeze injury like this, hindsight is always 20-20," Dennis says.

For most of us, Dennis advises that we don't do much of anything.

For one thing, the redbuds and crabapples that are blossoming now are too big to be protected. For lower plants that are blooming like tulips, it's also possible that you can cause more damage by covering them with something heavy than the frost would.

But if you've got some low-growing perennials you want to protect, put a blanket over them to hold in the heat of the soil. A bucket would work too. But don't use plastic -- it's ineffective as insulation.

Dennis also advises against spraying water on plants because the weight of that ice could damage the plants more than the freeze.