As the weather turns colder, we want to remind you of some helpful hints to protect your plants, ensuring your lawn and garden stay in great shape. Lets start with perennials and shrubs. These tender perennials and sensitive shrubs likely will not survive the winter without some protection to keep their roots warm during periods when temperatures go below -15 F.  Some plants need their roots insulated against cold temperatures. Others need screening from cold winter winds, snow accumulation that can break branches, or salt spray from nearby streets. Here are some suggestions to help you prepare your garden for winter:

Use the materials in the garden: Mixing shredded leaves, straw, wood chips, and even soil can provide warm protection for plant roots. Use collars made of cardboard or plastic to hold loose materials in place. Avoid Styrofoam covers as they can insulate too much and cause plants to break dormancy during winter warm spells.

Remember burlap: Made of natural fibers, burlap is a great material for wrapping broadleaf evergreens and other shrubs that need insulation or protection.   It is also the best material to use in creating screens to protect plants from winter winds and snow or salt damage.

Spray broadleaf and most other evergreens with an anti-dessicant before hard frost and during any winter thawing periods to avoid loss of moisture through the leaves they retain year-round.  Use Wilt-Stop, a natural product derived from pine trees, to coat shrubs and trees and reduce the drying effects of winter.

Make it attractive: Evergreen branches cut from the bottom of your Christmas tree or purchased in bales can be used effectively to protect perennials and make the winter garden attractive.

And finally, snow! Yes, it’s an insulator! If you have mulched your tender plants carefully with leaves, straw and evergreen branches, the snow that falls this winter will provide the final layer of insulation against cold.

We’d love to see you Around the Garden Center anytime and let us help you get what you need to protect your plants during these cold season. Come see us at one of our locations and we hope you have a great holiday season!