NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Displays of scarecrows and fall plants decorate entrances across East Texas. It's a way to say goodbye to a sweltering summer and hello to cooler temperatures.
Unfortunately, they all can wither and die during a hard freeze when gone unprotected.
“The big warning here is to protect those investments,” advises Mark Carpenter, the owner of the Lily Farm near Center.
“It's not worth taking the chance on losing or damaging tender annuals that normally can take a light frost, but not much more,” said Carpenter.
Snapdragons, pansies and even petunias are among the most popular of plants consumers purchase this time of year.
“They're just starting to come into bloom which is why it's so important to protect these and cover these tonight so the hard freeze doesn't zap them," said Carpenter.
And even the ever-popular mums, with blooms at their peak, need protection, but only until about Sunday, weather permitting.
"Bring them right back outside and you'll be able to enjoy their beautiful color all the way up to Thanksgiving," shared Carpenter.
Inside Carpenter's 60-degree greenhouse are tropicals, such as hibiscus and grapefruit trees.
"Citrus trees definitely need to be brought inside," said Carpenter while showing off a near ripened grapefruit.
Windchimes and other wind ornaments can be taken down during huge gusts of wind like seen today.
And don’t forget the birdbaths and fountains.
"You're going to want to dump the water out of these today."
Freeze warning preps can keep homeowners busy. Plant nursery personnel as well. It’s worth the effort. Neither do not want to be scared off by the season’s first freeze.