Winter Garden Do’s and Dont’s
Protecting your landscapes and ensuring that your garden plants survive the harsh winter months is a great way to ensure the survival of your garden once the cold season passes. Many homeowners have made the mistake of not taking these steps which has caused them big time.
During the spring and summer months, you have invested so much time and money to bring your garden to what it is so why let those chilly winter months rob you of what you achieved in your garden. Below are some do’s and dont’s that will make a big difference in your garden once the spring and summer months return.
12 Winter garden do’s and dont’s
1. The use of mulches in the garden during the winter months is crucial when it comes to the survival of garden plants, adding a 2-inch layer of mulch around the base of plants will act as an insulator protecting the roots from the cold as the ground freezes. In addition, mulches will help to prevent frost heave from around the root system of newly installed plants so become friends will this natural organic (mulches) that has so many benefits.
2. Avoid the use of fertilizers during the cold months, the addition of fertilizers at this time will encourage new growth which will be winter-killed. Wait until the warmer season arrives (spring) to fertilize garden plants.
3. Installing an irrigation system can be pretty costly so do what you can to protect it, following the manufacturer’s direction for winterizing and purging your sprinkler system.
Planting too late
4. Planting too late in the season or during the cold months can cause loss of plants especially in areas where the ground freezes. Perennials are very susceptible to late planting. The freezing and thawing of the soil will shove plants out of the soil, when this happens the crowns are exposed. Trees and shrubs should be planted or installed at a later date, for a better chance of survival install plants before the soil freezes.
Planting the wrong varieties
5. Planting the wrong varieties will and can be winter-killed, the addition of cold-tolerant plants will keep your garden looking great all winter long.
Bring house plants indoors
6. Outdoor plants that are in containers along with hanging baskets should be brought indoors, before bringing plants inside however spray or treat with insecticidal soap. Give plants a good soaking or water thoroughly as well, once plants are brought indoors place near a south or west-facing window to receive indirect bright sunlight.
Five hours of sunlight is ideal, plants should also be kept from heating vents and drafts, because of the winter months garden plants require less water so check the soil for moisture level and water as needed. Container-grown plants can also be placed in a storage area or garage.
Cold frame gardens
7. The use of cold frame gardens is so popular, these gardens will have you growing plants all winter, cold frame gardens can also help with getting a jump on the season. These gardens can be built (homemade) or purchased from your garden center or plant nursery and come in many sizes and styles.
Wrapping trees and shrubs
8. The wrapping of trees and shrubs in burlap is a sure way to protect them from the extreme cold, this move can also protect trees and shrubs in coastal areas from the salt spray. The base of the tree and shrub should be wrapped also to protect against rodents and deers from chewing into the trunk.
9. The winter months can be pretty harsh especially for wildlife where food is involved, plant species that are manageable can be left in place for birds as a food source (seeds). However flowering plants that are known to be invasive should be deadheaded.
Remove fallen leaves
10. Remove heavy leaf fall from lawn area because lawns that are heavily covered with leaves will not only encourage fungal growth but will smother as well.
11. Pruning shrubs and other plants too late in the season will encourage plants to produce new growth, because of the cold weather this new growth will be winter-killed. Discontinue pruning until spring for plants to harden off before the colder months arrive, have all your pruning done at least by late August.
Discontinue spraying weeds
12. Spraying weeds during the early fall months when weeds are still actively growing, once the colder months set in weeds basically go dormant.
The final word on winter garden dont’s
Taking these extra steps during the winter months will ensure your garden is safe all winter long so when the warmer seasons set in your garden will awaken from its long sleep as your landscape once again bursts will shades of green and rainbow colors as you welcome the spring and summer months.