We all know that the cold winter weather is bad news for our delicate plants. But even our good sturdy ones that are pretty resilient against the cold can suffer some pretty dire consequences when it comes to the intense combination of persistent frost and snow. If you’re worried that your perennials might end up struggling to make it to the other side of winter, here are some ways you can shelter them and boost the chances of them holding up against that cold and snow.
Wrap Burlap Around Shrubs and Small Trees
The combination of wind, cold and even sun can all way heavily on the welfare of those newly planted conifers and shrubs. Before the full throttle of frost and winter arrive, pick up some quality burlap from your local garden center. Make sure there’s enough of the fabric to cover the majority of the tree or shrub and double wrap it, or drape it like a tent. Tie it in place and use the support of some stakes if necessary, but make sure it’s loose enough for the plant to breathe.
Cover Small Perennials
When it comes to awkwardly shaped plants that are low to the ground, try to get creative with your source of windbreak and protection. Anything that can fit around and shield the crown of the plant should suffice. You can find glass or plastic cloches, for example, at your local garden center that provides a nice barrier against the harsh environment.
Mulching your plants and trees is one of the best ways you can provide protection from the elements, in both the summertime and wintertime. It’s usually best to add a generous coat of mulch after the first freeze but before the big dose of snow arrives. Applying after the first freezing temperatures helps prevent rodents from nesting for the winter. You can use just about any type of mulch. But it’s important to add a thick layer of it in order for it to really protect those roots and keeping moisture in.
Plastic Wraps and Twine
For any particularly delicate perennials, you can also try creating a makeshift greenhouse, or mimicking the concept of it by covering your plants in plastic, while using twine to secure it in place.
Bring Potted Plants Indoors
If you have the space, bring in your potted plants for the winter. Since the days grow shorter during this season, make sure they’re placed near the windows so they can get as much natural light as possible. Here are a few more tips to help keep them alive indoors during the winter season:
- Dust the plants regularly
- Clean the windows so they can absorb more light
- Use an artificial light if necessary
- Keep your home warm
- Keep plants away from vents or drafts
Choose the Right Plants
If you’re planning to switch up your garden or repopulate it with new plants and shrubs, make sure you’re choosing appropriate ones for your local climate. Certain varieties are more resilient and hardier than others when it comes to enduring the colder weather. Some can even withstand short-term freezing. Here are a few cold-hardy perennials and edible plants to consider:
- Lily of the Valley
- Wintergreen Boxwood
- Bee Balm
- Coral Bells
- Swiss Chard
Plant Vulnerable Species on Higher Ground or Slopes
When it comes to planting, location is just as important as watering and feeding them. Since cold air stays closer to the ground, aim to place vulnerable plants higher up on elevated spots or on slopes in your garden.
Plant Near Structures
You can provide additional protection from frost and snow by planting next to walls, fences or other structures too. These structures will absorb any heat from the daylight and then radiate it during the night, sheltering the plants while keeping them warm. This is especially beneficial when structures face south or west and are dark in colour.
If you haven’t already tucked your plants in for the winter, now is the time! Ensure that your perennials make it through the winter by using these methods for providing the protection they need against that frost and snow. If you are looking for help winterizing your plants for the winter, call Hansen Lawn & Gardens today!