304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Gardeners in colder locations begin to consider winter in the middle to late fall. This isn’t always because they are looking forward to it, but rather because they are aware that, without proper protection, low temperatures, drying winds, and snow cover can all harm their landscape. Plants can become windburned, tree branches can break under the weight of snow, and sprinkler systems can freeze to death for an extended period of time. Winterization doesn’t have to be challenging, though, as the majority of the chores are part of routine care and support a healthy landscape all year long.
Warmer-weather gardeners aren’t entirely off the hook either. Snowfall may not be a problem, but plants and trees can still suffer from sporadic freezes and chilly winds. Planning ahead and having a few items on hand might be helpful because local garden centers might not be fully supplied with the necessary products (like shrub coverings).
By removing the last of the season’s weeds, you can help prevent hundreds of seeds from overwintering and waiting to grow the next spring. Find out more about eliminating common garden weeds.
In order to reduce the possibility of pests and illnesses overwintering, remove fallen leaves and other debris from lawns and beds. You can shred clean, dry leaves and use them as mulch, but only leaves from healthy trees and bushes. Collect the leaves and run them through a leaf shredder, or simply mow the leaves over with a bag-equipped lawnmower. By shredding the leaves, you can improve airflow and water flow while preventing the leaves from forming layers.
Protect yourself from deer
When there isn’t much food left, deer will eat almost anything. Increase your efforts to keep deer away from your plants. Here are some tips for deer-proofing your garden.
Using native and other well-adapted plants in your landscaping will assist reduce the amount of maintenance required to maintain a healthy landscape. However, plants don’t fully develop their ability to withstand cold temperatures until they are mature, and younger plants could take a few years to attain their full potential. Give these young plants some more protection in the interim.
Cut back any perennials that are undesirable over the winter, such as geraniums and Veronicas, which will blacken and turn mushy; peonies, bearded iris, and other members of the mint family; and perennials that simply don’t offer eye-catching winter interest. Reduce the length of weak or spindly branches that could be harmed by snow load as well as crossing branches that could be harmed by rubbing in strong winds. Roses’ lengthy canes should be cut to prevent them from snapping. Once perennials have entered dormancy, which normally occurs after a few fatal frosts, this should be done.
Any significant pruning should wait until another period, typically spring or summer, depending on the needs of each variety.
Wrap delicate and newly planted shrubs
Evergreen shrubs are far more susceptible to winter damage than deciduous species. Evergreen shrubs are most affected by dry winter winds that cause dehydration. Wrapping a shrub with permeable cloth is recommended for those with weak, brittle, or floppy branches or leaves that are easily harmed. You can protect bushes and small trees with inexpensive burlap, or you can utilize a range of items, like these shrub covers.
To cover a row of shrubs, you may either wrap the entire row in protective material or build a windbreak using pegs and a thick piece of shade cloth on the side where the wind is coming from.
Newly planted bushes and trees don’t have well-established enough root systems to quickly replenish water lost due to the dry winter winds. Till the ground freezes, keep giving them regular waterings and using mulch to assist maintain moisture. Give each of your plants one final, thorough watering. They will require this additional moisture to survive the winter when it will be difficult for them to access water from frozen ground.
Reduce the workload
Due to roof-shed, plants positioned under eave lines may receive more snow than is reasonable. Over these plants, erect teepee-shaped structures to absorb the added weight and prevent branches from breaking.
Use an anti-transpirant
Sprays like Wilt Pruf can help protect evergreens from the drying effects of winter winds. When applied to the leaves, it lowers moisture loss and protects against windburn and dehydration.
When mulch is applied after the ground has frozen, dormant perennials can survive the winter with little to no damage. According to Traci DiSabato-Aust, author of The Well-Tended Perennial Garden, “dormant perennials survive better with constant cold, rather than quick temperature swings and the ensuing cycle of freeze, thaw, and re-freeze.”
Pick tougher plants
In comparison to those cultivated in the ground, plants and trees grown in containers have disadvantages. The plant’s hardiness may have reached its peak above ground, but without the full protection of in-ground insulation, the roots are more susceptible to freezing. Choosing a plant that is hardy one to two zones below will help it survive when planted in a container, even if the plant is hardy for your zone. With more soil, larger containers can provide superior insulation.
Moving delicate perennials and tropical plants indoors where they will receive bright light is an option. Half-hardy perennials should be moved to a garage or basement where they can go dormant. Plants that require a cooling period to bloom or bear fruit ought to be left outside and given protection.
Bury your containers
If you have room, you can plant your containers whole in the ground. Similar insulation is offered by this as by in-ground plants.
Keep your plants safe
Plants should be grouped, with the ones that are most vulnerable to cold in the middle. Place the cluster up against a building or other structure in a protected place. A windbreak or screen can offer wind protection.
Keep your containers safe
Place layers of bubble wrap and burlap around terra cotta pots. To stop more moisture absorption, wrap in plastic wrap. To prevent water from accumulating and freezing, flip empty pots over and cover any that are too big to move or flip.
Unplug the timer
Apply an autumn fertilizer to your lawn to get it prepare for the winter. A potassium-rich organic fertilizer, such as Espoma Fall Winterizer, is a good choice.
Cut the grass short
The final cut of the season should leave the grass 2 to 3 inches tall to prevent it from harboring fungi when the winter covers it.
Adding lime to soil will increase its alkalinity, which is better for lawns. Winter’s freeze-thaw cycle aids in the breakdown of the pellets and their incorporation into the soil.
Shut off gas lines
In order to avoid leaks brought on by winter damage, it is a good idea to turn off outdoor gas lines at the house, which typically include a shut-off lever.
Like a hose bib, shut off the water supply at the main valve and open the faucet to let any water that is still in the system out.
Drains should be clear
To avoid damage from trapped water freezing in an outdoor sink’s drain, spray a little plumbing antifreeze down the drain to prevent it from doing so.
Bring your patio furniture inside for the winter, or use fitting coverings to keep it outside.
For more information you can click: