Intense Cold: Protecting Plant Material
With the fall coming to a close, and the winter weather beginning to show, your landscape will certainly be affected by the cold. It is well known that these freezing temperatures will turn your lawn and landscape dormant, but that does not mean that we can sit back and relax. These freezing temperatures can also cause damage to your green material if left unchecked. There are a few best practices to keep in mind, involving everything from irrigation to fertilization. As the spring season approaches, you must stay cognizant about the health of your existing plant material, so spring is not a complete reset. Your goal is to create a foundation for your plants to grow come spring, and protecting them through the cold is a must. Here are some tips to have a healthy landscape in the intense cold by protecting plant material.
Check the Weather and Know What it Means
Before any preventative measures to keep your plants safe can be applied, you must be aware of a threat. As any good homeowner, you should be actively tracking the weather in relation to your landscape all year round. This affects your irrigation practices in the summer and the threat of freezing in the winter. One of the key times your plants will need protection is as the temperature gets closer to 32°F, but is not quite there. Although not commonly known, the ground is always going to be colder than the air temperature, so even if it is just below 40°F, your soil can freeze. This is the first warning sign that you need to protect your plants. The colder it gets, the higher the risk of damage to your plants, so be wary.
Install Mulch for Insulation
If your plants are all nestled within a plant bed, and cannot simply be moved indoors like those that are potted, mulch is a worthwhile investment. Adding a layer of mulch before the winter is a generally good idea in and of itself, but one of the often-overlooked benefits is the warmth that mulch can provide your soil. Also adding organic matter and natural nutrients, mulch protects the roots of your plants from the brunt of the cold. Check an item off of your spring to-do list, and install mulch this fall.
Simple: Cover Plant Material
Another way to keep your plant material out of the cold is by covering it up. You can get very creative, and use a variety of materials to do this, but some are better than others. Tarps can be ideal, but blankets, towels, and other fabrics can work as well. Stakes can be utilized to keep these down and surround your plants, protecting them from the chill. This should be done when it is known that temperatures are going to drop to an absurdly low level, and the material should be kept off of the actual foliage of the plant as much as possible.
Bring Potted Plants Indoors
This should be a very obvious tip, but if you are able to preemptively move your plant material inside to protect it from the cold, do so. The inside of your home is the most ideal place for plant material to be during a bout of cold, as the temperature is manually controlled. Right in line with the first section of this blog, you need to be aware of inclement weather and plan your plant protection accordingly.
Dream Greener Lawn & Landscape is led by a staff of service experts, each with ten years or more of professional experience, focused exclusively on lawn care & maintenance, landscaping and snow & ice management. Locally owned and operated, we are proud to serve the greater Pittsburgh area. We are able to provide services to prepare for the intense cold by protecting plant material. Give us a call today at (412) 835-1035.
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