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Frost Prevention

Frost Prevention | Protecting Your Plants

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Hardy plants, look out! Even with mild winter weather this year, a quick drop in below-freezing temperatures can cause severe frost damage even to the toughest greens. As colder weather creeps in, it is imperative to keep Jack Frost away from your plants.

Deadly Beauty

To the naked eye, frost is a thing of beauty. The shapes and designs that ice can make on a plant or on glass can be awe inspiring. But for your lawn and garden, frost can be a deal breaker for spring beauty. If proper plant protection is not taken, frost can do a number on your plants.

The Definition

Even on cold days your plants take in much needed heat from the sun. After the sun goes down your plant may frost if the temperature drops below freezing because it loses any heat it stored up throughout the day. As the temperature drops, dew forms from the moisture in the air. If the air is below freezing, then that dew turns into frost.

The worst kind of frost is one that makes its way to the plant cells. Penetrating the plant cells can put your plant in danger. Luckily there are simple steps that can be done to protect your plants from those frigid temperatures.

How to Protect Your Plants

All you need to accomplish these simple steps is a little bit of prep-work and a little landscaping TLC.

Mulch

Mulching can be as simple as sprinkling some pine straw about four inches thick around your plants. Make sure all areas of the plant are covered. You can also use hay or peat moss if you have some available. This protective layer will keep moisture in the ground around your plant. And the moisture will help retain the heat the plant takes in during the day.

Before you lay your first layer of mulch, go ahead and give your plant a good watering to build up the moisture before it is covered. On extremely cold nights be sure to give your plants a little bit of water before the sun goes down.

Prune

While most people know to prune their plants before winter arrives, did you know there is a proper way to prune? The density of your plant, how sensitive it is to frost, and if it is a fruit bearing plant will determine the best way to keep it pruned properly. Be sure to research each of your plants before you go to town with your pruning sheers. Proper pruning can go a long way in helping reduce the risk of frost on most of your plants.

Cover

Cover your most sensitive plants in cloth sheets or potato bags. Covering your plants in a material that has tiny holes is best. This allows your plants to breath. Be sure to remove your coverings first thing in the morning so that your plant can get as much sun exposure as possible. The covering helps lock in moisture and fight off any chances of frost.

Plan for the Future

Your landscaping design can actually play a vital role in protecting your plants from frost damage. For instance, when adding new plants to your landscaping, place weather-sensitive plants where less wind can get to them, such as under a tree or near a fence. Partial shade plants can be planted under a tree for more winter protection as well.

Another major factor in landscaping design and frost prevention is proper soil and water drainage. Does your yard have a slope or a does water pool in a certain space in your yard? Avoid planting in places that may allow water to gather and freeze quickly.

Doing just a few simple things this season can have a major effect on how your plants blossom in the spring. Frost prevention is for both the hardy and sensitive plants that call your yard their home.

Warm Winter Maintenance and Spring Blooms

By | Frost Prevention, Warm Winter Maintenance | No Comments

If you live in the Midwest you probably haven’t been complaining about the winter weather. Weather can be one of the most unpredictable things. Even when forecasters have your entire week charted out, there is still no guarantee that things are going to stay as stated. Especially if you live in the Kansas City area.

 

Warm Winters

This winter we have seen temperatures all the way up into the 70’s. Unusually unheard of this time of year, rare, really. One day it could be below freezing, damp and cloudy and the next day it’s dry and in the mid-50’s. So what does this mean for your plants this year?

Good For Your Grass

Warmer weather, even in the winter, allows grass roots to grow stronger especially for new grass that was put down in the fall. However, this new grass can also be sensitive if the temperature drops. During unpredictable winters, like this one, it is best to take extra care of your grass.

During a warm winter make sure that newer grass is hydrated properly. When the temperatures drop keep anyone, including dogs and cats off of newer grass.

Early Budding

Warm winter weather also encourages extra care for your flowering plants and fruit plants. If you catch some of your fruit or flowering plants budding early because of warmer weather, try protecting them when the cold weather is forecast.

There is nothing you can do to change the weather patterns, but you can protect your vulnerable buds from getting frost bite. Covering your plants when the temperature drops is the way to go. Be sure to use breathable material, cover your plants at dusk and then uncover them when the sun rises. Even on cold days, having sunlight is good nourishment for your plants.

Woody Plants

The great news for your trees and shrubs is that almost all of them are hardy enough to brave most weather conditions, even the fluctuating ones we have had this year. If a tree or shrub does spring a bud a little early and then catch a freeze, the good news is that most will be able to re-bud again in the spring. Almost all trees can replace lost buds. Luckily, it takes a lot to really damage a hardy tree or shrub.

Warm Winter Maintenance – Plans For Your Landscaping

As a Kansas City Landscaper I know that properly taking care of a lawn and landscaping in the winter is key to a successful spring bloom. This winter if you keep a close eye on the weather forecast then you should be able to take the best care of your lawn and plants.

Warm Winter Maintenance Tips

Water

For instance, if it is warm temperatures but moisture levels are low and rain is not in the forecast, then start watering your plants once or twice a week. Plants thrive on water and need it to stay strong, even in the winter!

Prune and Plant

If the warm weather is set to continue, consider doing some light early pruning to your trees and shrubs. And later in the winter season if the weather is still warm, take advantage of the temperatures and start planting for spring early.

Get the most out of this warmer weather for yourself and your lawn. Take advantage of some nice days in the great outdoors and give your landscaping a jump start on prospering this spring.

How to Protect Your Plants from Harsh Weather

By | Frost Prevention, Planning Ahead, Snow | No Comments

As any home gardener knows, there are several pesky factors that can harm even the most well-maintained lawn, from plant-chomping critters to harsh weather. Though meteorologists do their best to inform us of storms, cold fronts, and weather fluctuations, there are some times when the weather can be downright unpredictable. Unexpected cold snaps can bring frost, while a heat wave can cause a drought that parches your lawn.

Harsh weather and unforeseen conditions might make you want to hang up your gardening gloves for good, but if you learn how to protect your plants from harsh weather, your lawn will continue to flourish no matter the weather conditions.

How to Protect Your Plants from Harsh Weather

Protect Your Plants from FrostKansas City | How to Protect Your Plants From Harsh Weather | Olympic Lawn & Landscape, Inc

If you are forewarned about a frost, you can protect your plants by covering them with a sheet, burlap sack, or an old blanket. Drape them lightly and secure with rocks, stakes or bricks. You can place light covers directly over the plant but heavier cover will require you to provide some type of support. This is important to prevent their weight from damaging your tender plants. Wires would offer great support. Covers protect plants from frost by retaining heat. However, do not forget to remove the covers as soon as the sun appears. This ensures the plants will get oxygen and the much needed sun energy for photosynthesis.

Another great way to protect your plants from frost is mulching. This method works well for hardy plants but most tender plants will not tolerate heavy mulch. Some of the best mulching materials that you can use include pine needles, straw, and loosely piled leaves. Mulching helps your plants retain moisture, and during the coming cold winter, it’s a great way to hold heat and protect your plants against from harsh weather. A mulch covering of about 2 to 3 inches is ideal.

Protect Your Plants from Heat

When summer temperatures soar, our vegetable gardens and flower beds often suffer. There are some steps you can take to protect your plants from harsh weather, including high heat. First, be sure to water your plants regularly and deeply. You can also reduce loss of moisture and help lower soil temperature by mulching your soil with a minimum of three inches of organic mulch. And be sure to plant your lettuces and other leafy greens in shady areas. This will keep them healthy as long as possible in harsh weather.

Protect Your Plants from Hail

We all know that hail can cause extensive damage to your car and your home, but have you ever considered how it might harm your plants? You can protect your plants from harsh weather like hail by covering them with heavy duty containers like plastic buckets or trash cans. Just place a brick on top to prevent the containers from toppling over. Larger plants or vining plants may need a different covering, like a tarp or blanket; you can secure these with stakes or weight down the corners with rocks.

Protect Your Plants from Heavy Rain

Rain may seem like a good thing for your garden, but if it is heavy enough, it can wash away entire beds and uproot your plants. You can protect your plants from rain by building up the soil around your plants. This will help prevent them from falling over or washing away.

Delicate seedlings are especially susceptible to damage from heavy rain. You can protect them by covering them with plastic sheeting or containers.

If you have potted plants, heavy rain could make them waterlogged and even cause mold. Be sure to move your potted plants inside if possible, or find the most covered area outside and place them there. This will help protect your plants from harsh weather.

Protect Your Plants from High-Speed Winds

High winds can really tear apart a garden. If you have a fence, you can create a windbreak to lessen the intensity of the wind. Just attach some plastic sheeting to the fence and poke a few holes in it. The wind will slow as it hits the sheeting, so it won’t cause as much damage to your plants.

Now that you know how to protect your plants from harsh weather, be sure to pay attention to your local forecast and arm yourself with plastic sheeting, containers, mulch, and soil!

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