Brr! It’s safe to say that winter has officially arrived in the area this past week – it looks like the frigid temps & biting wind are here to stay for awhile. Just as you bundle up to protect yourself from the cold & frost, learn how to keep your plants happy & protected from winter’s harsh elements too…
- Covering exposed plants with a sheet or plastic offers excellent protection. By doing so, it will ward off cold winds & frost damage. Make sure to ‘seal’ the base of the covering with soil. If covering with plastic, make sure to shade the plastic so to keep the temperature from building up inside. The plastic will trap moisture & warm air as it radiates from the soil. Once the weather moderates or it begins to rain, remove the covering completely.
- Shade plants from direct winter sun, especially early morning sun. Plants that freeze slowly and thaw slowly will be damaged the least.
- Mulching is a great way to protect plant roots – bark, straw, sawdust, peat moss, leaves & even grass clippings can be used. Once the threat of harsh weather has passed, mulching materials can be removed.
- Light Snow Cover is actually one of Mother Nature’s best blankets of protection. Up to 2-3″ of snow not only insulates the ground around your plants, it also provides a blanket of protection over the leaves.
Here’s a few more good to-do’s in regards to container gardens, evergreens & roses:
- Bring ‘em inside if at all possible to your garage (but avoid placing the containers in a heated room). Once the weather improves, go ahead and place them back outside. Containers are especially prone to freezing & frost damage since they are exposed to air on all four sides, but the bottom as well – so make sure not to neglect them. If the planted container is too large or heavy to move into the garage, simply mulch around the sides of the container, or wrap the container with blankets (we know it’s not attractive, but it works!)
- Evergreens should be protected by reducing water loss. Since plants transpire water through their leaves, evergreens continue to lose water during the wintertime – therefore, moisture must be taken up through the roots. We typically think of watering shrubs during the summer months, but don’t neglect the chore just because it’s cold. The roots will absorb the moisture when available – but if the ground is frozen (or it’s a dry period) the moisture won’t be available.
- Roses can be protected by mulching up over the base of the rose canes (depth of 8″-12″). Once the weather has mediated, remove the mulch protection. Most climbing roses are very hardy and rarely need covering protection.
We enjoy hearing from our customers, so if you have questions we’d love to answer them for you – simply give us a call or stop by at either store location & ask to be connected with one of our Nursery or Greenhouse experts.
East Montgomery: 8820 Vaughn Rd. / Tel: (334) 387-0440
Wetumpka: 3561 Wetumpka Hwy. / Tel: (334) 277-6746