Do you worry that your plants will be at the mercy of the cold season? A change in temperature means a difference in the environment for your plants. The colder season brings harsh temperatures to plants, and if you do nothing to protect them, you may not have come spring. You have to consider some landscaping strategies to help your plants survive the colder season. Here is a look at ten landscaping MUST Dos to give your plants a chance to live through the winter.
Be Proactive With Your Landscaping
The first line of defense is taking the necessary steps to prevent winter from getting the better of your plants. You have to be practice with your landscaping approach. The actions you take or neglect to take now will impact the survival of your plants in the bitter cold. If you want your plant to around come spring, strategize and figure out ways to keep your plants healthy and alive.
Stick to Hardiness Zone
Knowing and sticking with plants that are best suited for your area’s hardiness zone is key. Hardiness differs from plant to plant, and not all can survive cold temperatures. Beauty fades, and if you refuse to plant by zone, no matter how beautiful your plants were before the cold ushered in, they will be far less appealing when the winter rolls out. If you live in zone 4 but love zone 7-9 plants, don’t risk it.
It may not be something you have ever considered, but mulch landscaping in winter is a good defensive measure to protect your plants from cold temperatures. It’s effective at preventing repeated freezing and thawing of soil that results in plants heaving. After ground freezing begins, lay 3-4 inches of mulch, three to four inches of mulch, careful not to apply a lot near the plants’ stems and trunks.
Dig Up Tender Plants
Come fall, dig up tender plants that are not hardy enough to survive the harsh cold temperatures. If you intend on using the plants after the cold season has ended, dig up and store them for the winter. Tender plants like cannas and elephant ears are examples of tender plants that should be dug out ahead of ground freeze, ideally after a hard frost. Remove dahlia tubers two weeks after the first hard frost.
Adequately Water Plants Into Fall and Winter
Some plants can take a beating in the frigid winter temperatures. Some plants’ water reserves can deplete if not adequately watered into fall and winter. This depletion can place plants, like evergreens, at risk of winter burn and death when the freeze sets in and the plant roots cannot absorb water.
If you have young plants, they lack the thickness to survive the winter on their own. As such, they require a bit more care to ensure their survival. Maple, ash, and linden trees have thin barks, making them more likely to suffer frost cracking and sunscald. Protect your plants by wrapping them from bottom to top using burlap or thick paper tree wrap. If the tree starts showing signs of growth, which could happen later in winter or early spring, remove the covering.
Tender roses should not be left out in the cold of winter. Grafted roses, in particular, should get some added TLC because the rootstock below ground isn’t sufficiently hardy to withstand the cold, like the plant growing above does. A simple solution is covering the graft just below the soil line with a cone-shaped mound of soil that’s 6-8 inches. Once a sign of growth appears-usually in spring-remove it.
Keep Salt De-Icers Away From Landscaping
Winter carries snow with it, and many homeowners typically pull out their bag of de-icer to keep their sidewalk and driveway safe for pedestrians. Salt is detrimental to grass and plants. When salt is absorbed through the root and leaves of plants, it robs their cells of moisture and dries out their tissue. Try alternatives like sand or calcium or potassium-based de-icer. Pay attention to not overusing the de-icer.
Prune The Right Time
Fall is the right time to prune your trees and shrubs before the bitter cold sets in. If you want to remain with beautiful plants in spring, pruning spring-flowering plants during the fall is crucial. Flowerless plants in spring aren’t quite appealing or aesthetically pleasing, so you have to prune certain plants, shrubs, and flowers at the right time. Spring-flowering plants, such as lilacs, should be pruned immediately after they flower, while summer-flowering perennial hibiscus should be pruned in the spring.
Rake Leaves in Fall
If you want to keep your grass alive, do not neglect to rake your grass in the fall. The key is ensuring that sunlight reaches your grass, and leaves can often form a dense mat covering that acts as a barrier against sunlight. The leaf covering can suffocate the grass, so much so that when autumn rain showers and milder temperatures trigger growth, it is hindered.
Helping your plants to survive the colder season may take some know-how, and at Lola’s Landscape, we can take on your landscaping project and get your plants ready to thrive during the winter. We have the knowledge and skills in lawn and plant care that you can depend on. Give us a call today, and let us be your landscaping specialist.