Follow these simple steps to prepare your landscape for the winter ahead:
Protect from the Wind Cold, dry winds are the most damaging to your plants. Protect them with a screen of burlap to create a windbreaker.
- Drive wood or metal stakes into the ground around the plants to be protected – about two to six inches from the edge of the plants. Attach burlap to the stakes to the full height of the plant.
- Avoid placing burlap over the top or wrapping the plant directly. Allowing the burlap to touch the plants holds in too much moisture that may create fungus. Wrapping the top of a plant would allow snow to collect, which could crush the plant.
- Two rows of burlap may be necessary for tall plants.
- It’s safe to install this burlap screen around Thanksgiving or during December. Most importantly, get the stakes in the ground before it freezes.
- For areas where there is more wind exposure, such as hills, near lakes, or wide open space, add a second layer of burlap for added protection. If in doubt, it’s always better to overprotect!
- To protect garden roses, cut the plant back 10 to 12 inches tall so it fit inside a rose cone. Or use a rose collar, which you put around the base of the plant and fill with mulch to protect the crown from freezing. Both of these need to be removed in the spring, around the end of March, before the plant starts actively growing.
- Winds cause damage by blowing the moisture out of the stems, evergreen leaves or needles that cannot be replenished because the ground is frozen. Burlap acts as a windbreaker and reduces the drying effects of the wind.
- Add Mulch: Add a two to three inch layer of mulch to beds to insulate plant roots. This will minimize the heaving of roots during the freeze and thaw cycle in the winter.
The following plants should be protected during the winter:
Any Broadleaf Evergreen, such as:
- Mt. Laurel
- Pieris Japonica
Any Marginally Hardy Plant, such as:
- Janapese Maple
- Rose of Sharon
- Butterfly Bush
- Scotch Broom
- Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar
- Hydrangea Macrophylla
Any Sensitive Evergreen Plants, such as:
- Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Any Hedge Planting that is exposed or will get pile up in snow: