Funny thing about Phoenix. A whole lot of people come here during the winter. I still haven’t figured out the reason, but I’ve heard it has something to do with the weather, which I don’t quite understand. It gets (not) really cold here in winter!
As I type this (at 5:23 a.m.) it’s a frigid 63 degrees and I’m thinking of throwing on a pair of long pants.
In the 35 or so truly wintry states, there’s a fairly thorough “winterizing” ritual to prepare your igloo for the 11 months (or so) of dark and ice. Stuff like antifreeze in your coffee maker and parkas on your yard gnomes, or something like that. It doesn’t freeze much around here, but most winters we will get a day or three (okay, maybe overnight) where the thermostat breaks 32 degrees.
Here in the “Valley of Rubbing Your Nose in our Sunshine” we do things a bit differently, but there are two precautions to take seriously.
Wrap Your Pipes The only areas you need to worry about are any water lines that are exposed from the ground to the house. These provide water to your landscaping and pool (or maybe a water feature). Most hardware stores carry pre-formed insulation just for this purpose, but you can get away with a bath towel and some duct tape in a pinch. Make sure you protect the “backflow-preventer,” that big brass thingy that attaches to the piping. Replacing it is over $300.
Protect Your Plants If you see cacti with little styrofoam cup hats, that isn’t a Devo-esque fashion statement. It’s frost prevention.
While most of our vegetation will come back after being frozen, it will look dead until spring. Covering your lantanas and other vegetation with sheets or towels when the forecast is frigid can help keep them from going brown. Last year I used leftover Christmas lights to warm my delicate plants and it worked quite well. Be prepared!