By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – There’s growing concern for freezing temperatures along the Front Range of Colorado later this week. A cold and potentially wet storm will arrive by Thursday evening and it will impact the region into Saturday. Snow is expected in the mountains with a chilly rain in Denver. There is a chance the rain could mix with or change to snow Friday night into Saturday morning across the lower elevations.

If you’ve already planted your vegetables and flowers this spring you’ll want to take action to protect them. Of utmost concern would be your annuals. The good news with this storm is that if our temperatures fall to freezing, it should only be for a few hours. It will also be very warm on Thursday with temperatures potentially getting close to 90 degrees in the Denver area.

(credit: CBS)

Luan Akin with Tagawa Garden Center in Parker says the goal when it comes to protecting annuals and other tender vegetation is to create a pocket of warm air around the plant. That will be easy to do since it will be so warm on Thursday.

To trap a pocket of warm air around a plant simply place something over it like a bucket or laundry basket. After a high in the 80s on Thursday there will be plenty of heat leaving the ground Thursday night. That is what you want to try and trap.

After placing buckets or baskets, cover them with a frost blanket or plastic, to add in an extra layer of protection. You could also build up a space around the plant with tomato stakes by interlocking them. You’d then cover the stakes with a frost blanket or plastic.

Luan says in a short duration freeze scenario, where temperatures drop into the low 30s for just a few hours, trees, shrubs and perennials should be ok. But if we end up seeing a hard freeze, where temperatures drop to around 28 degrees or lower for several hours, it’s a different story. Stay tuned as this forecast is changing with each new set of model data.

Chris Spears