Protect your sensitive plants with mulch and shelter

 In Plantings & Pruning

Everyone knows that plants can be injured or even die if winter temperatures are too frigid for them to endure. But severe weather can pose a threat even to hardy plants. An early-season burst of bitter cold can shatter the cells of woody plants that haven’t yet hardened off. Later in the season, those same plants could march through a similar cold snap in stride. Deeper into winter, cold, dry winds can draw the life from conifers or broad-leaved evergreens. Even warm spells can be perilous. High temperatures can evaporate the last reserves of moisture from the transpiring leaves of evergreens whose roots, locked in frozen ground, are unable to draw replenishing moisture from the soil.

Mulch – Mulching with an organic material will also help enhance the soil as the mulch decomposes and releases nutrients to the earth. Pull back old mulches from the base of plants and spread a new 3-inch layer around them out to the drip line. Leave a 1/2-inch space around the plant’s stem to allow air circulation and prevent rot.

Shelter – Wrap tender tree trunks with burlap to prevent winter burn. Protect outdoor plants in winter with screens or frames. Burlap is also useful to cover plants in the event of a freeze. Covers must reach all the way to the root zone to be the most effective. Stake or tie them down but resist the urge to bind them around the plant. Use twine to wrap tall shrubs, such as arborvitae. This brings the limbs in closer so they don’t splay and break if snow builds up on them.

Don’t have time to prepare your plants to make it through the winter months? We’re happy to handle all your cold weather protection needs. Give us a call and rest easy this winter.