Protecting Plants From the Cold
There’s nothing more devastating than spending an entire spring and summer cultivating and caring for beautiful plants, flowers, and shrubs, only to see them damaged by winter temperatures. Taking preemptive steps, however, can help prevent their cold-weather demise and ensure a successful spring bloom.
It’s not necessarily the cold that causes plants to shrivel up in the winter months. It’s actually the lack of moisture in the soil, coupled with low humidity, harsh winds, and intense sun that cause many plants to dry up and wilt.
Give plants a deep watering before the cold sets in, then mulch with an organic material, which will also provide additional nutrients. It can be as simple as ground bark, shredded leaves or fallen pine needles. Be sure to leave a few inches clear around the stem to prevent root rot. Covering plants may also be necessary. Burlap, old sheets or blankets will work well. Most should be uncovered during the day to prevent suffocation.
Winter is actually not that much different when it comes to the care and concern for plants. Trim back dead leaves and limbs so as not to weigh the plant down, and rake around the area, so as to deter critters and bugs from making a new home. Water on the warmer days and stay alert for local freeze warnings.