Protecting Outdoor Plants In The Winter
Between freezing temperatures and constant bad weather, winter is the harshest season for your garden. More often than not, if you don’t take matters into your own hands, you’ll have to start your garden all over again once spring starts moving in.
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While winter can be difficult for your precious plants particularly outdoor perennials, there are some interventions you can take to make sure they survive harsh weather. Today, we’ll be talking about some ways you can protect your outdoor plants in the winter. Let’s get to it!
Keeping Your Outdoor Plants Safe During Winter
Harsh winter conditions can take a toll on outdoor plants. Constant fluctuating temperatures can cause a lot of damage for them even if they are hardy to your zone. Here are some tips on how you can keep them protected from cold weather:
Clear Away Debris
Remove weeds, leaves, and other debris from your garden patch as temperatures start to drop. When left to pile up, it can harbor winter-hardy pests, fungi, and other diseases that can wreak havoc in your garden once spring comes.
Just like debris, any decaying plant material left over in your outdoor plants in the winter can harbor diseases.
Remove spent annuals and seasonal vegetables. They won’t grow back in spring so it’s best to pull them up from their roots and out. Add these to your compost pile. For perennials, since they will come back next year, it’s best to prune them. Cut off dead and spent foliage as well as blackened stems.
Add a layer of mulch to form a protective layer over your plants’ roots. If you live in a colder area, make sure to add mulch after the ground freezes to prevent frost heave. Doing so will also help keep soil temperatures more even for your outdoor plants in the winter.
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Don’t Expose Them to Harsh Weather Cycles
Constant rising and falling temperatures in winter caused by a freeze-thaw cycle can heave perennials. When soil expands and contracts repeatedly, some perennials can lift or heave out of the soil. This can break off some plant roots and can expose the plants’ crown and roots to cold and drying winds.
Choose Bigger Pots
Containers for outdoor plants should be thick and big enough to handle maintaining temperature throughout winter. The more soil a pot can handle, the better it can insulate roots of a plant during the cold months.
Make sure as well that your outdoor plants in the winter that are in pots have drainage holes to avoid drowning plants.
Wrap outdoor plants with sheets of plastic or burlap and secure with garden wire. This covering helps protect outdoor plants from cold weather and freezing winds.
Watering plantsin winter may seem counter intuitive but you still need to do it. Perennials may be in hibernation but they are not dead. This means they still need water to perform metabolic functions during colder months.
The key to watering outdoor plants during winter is to do it early in the day when it is still warmer. The water in soil can trap heat and keep roots insulated as temperatures drop throughout the day.
Winter doesn’t mean you have to close up shop and go home waiting until warm weather arrives to start all over again. There are many things you can do to protect your winter garden and there are even more plants you can grow in the winter.
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