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OLDSMAR, Florida -- As the thermometer drops, the beautiful flowers and pretty gardens you've been working on need to be covered before the tumbling temperatures destroy them.

"What you're trying to do with covering is capture the heat from the soil," said Pam Brown, a gardening coach out of Oldsmar. "This will help capture some of that heat, and then this will also provide some heat."

Blankets, sheets, and even cardboard boxes will do the trick, along with an assortment of products sold at your local home goods store.

Brown uses other techniques as well, which include putting cold-sensitive plants near a light source.

"When we have a hard freeze, you can't guarantee that the plant won't get damaged," she said.

She said you want to avoid putting plastic directly over the plant that you need to protect because it may end up causing worse damage. "Plastic can conduct the cold through to the foliage and can damage the foliage," she said.

The next time temperatures plunge here, there is a product you could keep in your garage called Freeze-Pruf that will save you the hassle of covering the plants in your garden.

"You pour it into the root system, it absorbs all the way through the plant," said Sandra Bennett of the Home Depot off Tyrone Boulevard in St. Petersburg. "You can take literally a spray bottle, spray it on the foliage, pour it around the root system, and you're good to go."

The product is only available through the Home Depot website and it is unclear when it will be up for sale in Bay Area stores.

One last note: experts say that if your plants start to wither tomorrow, they may not be dead. Water it a few more days after the freeze and it may survive.

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