Do you remember when you brought your new shrubs, trees and ornamental perennials home and carefully planted them and made sure they got the care they needed for those first few weeks?
Now think about the toll that winter weather can take. A little TLC might be needed to help your plants make it through the season, as they are exposed to winter snow, ice, wind, cold temperatures and de-icing substances. While many plants have inherent biological protections, harsh elements can take a toll on evergreen needles, tree bark, plant roots and flower buds. Hungry wildlife can also wreak havoc.
The good news is that you can protect your plantings – and your investment of time and money – with a few simple measures.
Our crop of Bloom-A-Thon® Lavender, a Proven Winners® plant.
- Guard against the “heaving” of plantings and shrubs caused by flip-flops of cold and moderate temperatures by adding a layer of mulch that delivers more consistent soil conditions. A thin layer of mulch will also help insulate trees from cold weather.
- Broadleaf evergreens like azaleas can be wrapped in burlap to protect them from winter burn. Burlap is the ideal material because it is breathable, making it ideal for covering your dormant plants.
Our lovely crop of Endless Summer® hydrangeas.
- Big leaf Hydrangeas (macrophylla) are less cold hardy and could use a little more protection. You can use a tomato cage or chicken wire around the hydrangea with old leaves surrounding to protect your big leaf hydrangeas.
- It’s not too late to spray an anti-desiccant like Wilt-Pruf on trees to stem weather-related water loss.
- Protect the roots of ornamental grasses by waiting until early spring to cut them back. Many of these ornamental grasses provide beautiful winter interest, too!
- Remember to water! Some areas of the country are experiencing lower-than-usual precipitation this winter that is affecting soil moisture and the health of plants, even in dormancy. Refresh areas of plants that look dry with a bit of water carried outside in a bucket or watering can.
Meanwhile, as you’re trying to break out of winter fever by planning for your beautiful 2021 landscape, think about how your surroundings may impact potential new trees, shrubs and perennials next year. Keep placement in mind, since winter damage is often worse in areas facing winter sun and wind. And when browsing for new additions to your landscape or garden, read up on plants’ hardiness and recommended locations to ensure that you are adding species and varieties that are suited for your zone. Our online catalog includes helpful descriptions and information to make that process easier.
A few steps now will help ensure a greener, healthier spring. Already the days are getting longer and Groundhog’s Day is coming up, and we’re counting down right along with you!
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