This has been a very strange winter, to say the least, but just because most of us have had very mild weather doesn’t mean our plants should go without extra love and care. Every winter garden needs TLC! Some plants may even be tricked into thinking spring has sprung! As temperatures vary from warm to moderate to cold, it is vital to not only help your plants survive this winter but also to thrive!
As a Kansas City landscaper and native I have to admit, this has been one of the strangest winters I have seen in a long time, especially for those of us in the Midwest. And while enjoying 60 degree weather in the dead of winter is nice once in a while some of the plants in my winter garden love it, there is a slight danger for our lawns.
The Spring Effect
When the cold season starts to move in, the growth above the ground for most plants tends to die off. But for trees, shrubs and other perennial,s the root systems below are still alive but remain dormant until warmer weather arrives.
When multiple warm days occur, the ground may thaw and the plant may be fooled into thinking that spring has sprung. This can cause serious damage to your plant by budding early and then facing severe weather. Luckily, there are a few easy things that can be done to protect your plants from this process and help them survive the winter.
Insulate Your Plants in Warm Winters
Insulating your plants is one of the best ways to protect them from harsh or mild winters. You really can’t go wrong with insulation. And the great news is that there are several things around your house that you can use for insulation.
Use a Christmas Tree for landscaping
Still have your Christmas tree in the house or in the wood pile? Use the branches from the tree to insulate your plants. Spread the branches near the base of your plant and create a protective shield with the branches, or pick off the needles from the branches and sprinkle them all around your plant.
Snow to insulate
If you do incur snow in your area, use the snow you shovel from your driveway, as long as it is free of toxic salts, and sprinkle it over your plants. The snow will act as a natural insulator from harsh winds and ice.
Old plastic glass containers in your house can also be used to insulate smaller plants. Just make sure that when using a container, it is large enough to cover the entire plant and a little bit of the grass our soil around it.
Prune and Water Your Plants in Winter
While insulation is key in protecting your plants and shrubs from varying winter temperatures, pruning and watering your plants should not be neglected, even in the winter. In fact, winter is a great time to cut back some of your old plants to make way for the new growth in the spring. Pruning dormant shrubs that are not growing in the winter can make a significant difference in their spring blossom.
And watering your plants at least once a month or once every other month will also help the frozen roots receive some much needed moisture. Luckily the watering doesn’t have to occur very often!
By doing small things around your lawn this winter you can help your landscaping survive the varying temperatures. And with all of your extra love and care, you will see big results when they thrive in the spring.