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Dec 10, 2012 11:19 PM by Rebecca Taylor

Protecting people and plants in the cold

TUCSON - With temperatures expected to dip below the freezing mark Monday, the Salvation Army has opened its doors to anyone needing a warm bed.

About 100 people sought shelter Sunday night. More were expected Monday as temperatures dip lower.

Major Edward Markham with the Salvation Army says, "anyone who finds themselves without a place to stay is welcome to come to Operation Deep Freeze."

To make sure there's enough room, the Salvation Army church has been transformed into an emergency shelter.

"So they can take a nice hot shower, get cleaned up, and shave," says Maj. Markham. "There's a hot meal that goes along with it."

Along with people, your garden need tender attention too. Gardening expert Gene Zonge says cover landscape plants with blankets and cactus with Styrofoam cups, or empty dog food bags.

Others like root vegetables or lettuce, you want to leave uncovered he says.

"By putting a cover on them you're doing more damage than good because they don't like to be bumped when they're frozen," says Zonge.

As temperatures dip below 35, most summer vegetables like peppers won't survive.

"So these beans are going to die too, in fact they're mostly gone already. They won't be able to withstand the freeze anymore than the tomatoes are," says Zonge who manages the Community Gardens of Tucson.

At the Salvation Army, Operation Deep Freeze will remain in effect as long as the temperature prediction is 35 degrees or colder, 40 degrees with rain.

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