During wintertime, most garden plants enter dormancy due to the cold, harsh winter weather. Preparing outdoor plants for the cold season will ensure that they will survive and wake up undamaged and healthy in the spring. The right type of continued care throughout the colder months will also minimize damages that could occur. Below are some steps for ensuring that garden plants are kept safe during winter.
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1. Remove dead leaves, mulches, and other garden debris from summer before the ground begins to freeze in the fall. That is very important because soil substances usually harbor diseases that can attack garden plants, so they become vulnerable in the springtime.
2. Put down fresh mulch. Use 2 to 4 inches of straw mulch over surface roots of shrubs and trees to protect them and help preserve moisture in the soil. Do the same for perennial flower beds. That will protect the crowns of the garden plants from becoming frostbitten. It will also prevent frost heave that is caused by the ground thawing and then refreezing.
3. Check for soil moisture around shrubs and evergreen trees whenever the ground thaws during the winter season. Water the evergreens when the soil becomes dry and is not frozen. That is important because otherwise, the needles or leaves could turn brown and die.
4. Put up windbreaks for garden plants, not in sheltered areas. Surround the plants with wrap burlap and stakes. That will break the wind without trapping any heat that could burn plants on sunny days.
5. Bring annual flowers, such as begonias, impatiens, coleus, and geraniums inside to protect them during the cold. Ensure that they get adequate light and water. In springtime, you may replant them outdoors.
6. Move all container garden plants to the inside to protected areas during the winter months. The roots will be very vulnerable in containers during winter. Would you please place them in a shed or garage location where they are away from winter winds?