Winter plant damage can come from several places: storm damage, frozen roots, and damage to foliage from cold temperatures and strong winds.
But with some planning and hard work, you can prevent these types of damages on your precious plants.
If you fear that the leaves or needles of your trees or shrubs may be damaged, the easiest way to protect them is to cover them with plastic or burlap.
Simply wrap the plant and secure it snugly with tape.
If your plant needs extra protection from the cold, you can wrap it in newspaper before wrapping it in plastic.
One of the essential things to know is you are trying to keep ice off the foliage, so make sure the plant is covered enough to keep out cold water or snow.
You can get a burlap blanket if you are trying to cover a larger area than just 1 tree or shrub.
Make sure the blanket is big enough to cover the edges to the ground to prevent pockets of cold from seeping under the edges.
And unlike trees and shrubs, you do not want to secure the blanket around individual plants. It will cause damage to the stems, and if the blanket shifts, it can pull on the other plants and damage them.
You can build a cold screen, a round top covering for your garden, almost like a mini greenhouse.
It consists of flexing poles on each edge of your garden row or plot. Then, you cover the poles with a special plastic. That allows light and heat in and then traps it.
I have seen people build them big enough to walk into. That person put a heater in there and had tomatoes all winter.
You can also solve this winter plant damage problem with recycled materials. One example is by making cold boxes out of old windows.
The best way to protect the roots of any plant is to mulch the area properly. Laying down a thick layer will protect the ground from freezing temperatures and cold water, which can cause significant damage to roots.
Several materials make good winter mulch.
Many people pick fallen leaves or evergreen needles as mulch. They are free and can be worked right into the soil during the spring instead of needing to be removed like artificial mulches.
Compost is another popular winter mulch. It will undoubtedly keep the cold away from the soil and produce heat as it breaks down.
It is important to note that if your area sees a lot of snow or ice during cold weather, the trunks or stems of plants need extra support to ensure they stay straight.
Ice and snow can build up a lot of weight and bend the trunks/stems of young trees and shrubs. Therefore, it’s essential to brace these plants or keep the snow from accumulating.
Follow these simple tips to protect your plants this winter, you can ensure that your garden is healthy and vibrant come spring. With the right guidance and proper preparation, even the harsh winter weather can’t stand in the way of you enjoying beautiful plants and flowers in the months to come.
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Ali is a homeschooling mom of 5 who includes gardening and food prep as important subjects in her school. She has been raising plants her whole life and learned how to garden from her father. When she isn’t caring for her plants, she can be found reading or hiking.
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