July 27, 2010
Tip of the Week: November 29th, 2009

Landscaping Tips forWinter
By John Irwin

The colder weather is coming and that often means freezing temperaturesand frost. There is no need to panic however, when it comes toprotecting your plants. Below are six strategies to help your plantssurvive the winter.

Cold temperatures
Plunging temperatures make every homeowner worry about the safety oftheir plants. Choosing plants properly that can withstand the cold isthe first and most important step. Place plants more vulnerable to thecold in protected areas. If you have plants that don't like the coldtemperatures, then take extra steps to protect them, such as layingdown extra mulch, or covering plants with sheets or cloth.

A 4-inch layer of winter mulch placed after the ground freezes twoinches deep will protect your more vulnerable plants. Mulch root areaof larger plants. Cover or wrap plants and shrubs with cloth toinsulate them. Don't use plastic as it suffocates the plants and willraise and lower their temperatures too quickly.

Salt Damage
Salt damage occurs when salt is used to melt ice and snow on drivewaysand walkways. It is also caused when salt is used on your streets, andthen tossed onto plants by snowplows. To prevent damage from salt, usealternatives such as sand, kitty litter or an environmentally friendlysalt mixture to de-ice walkways and driveways. Place only extra hardyplants in your snowplow zone, and avoid those varieties that are highlysusceptible to salts.

Strong winds can cause plants to lose moisture in the winter. To avoidmoisture loss, mulch around roots and cover or wrap plants with cloth.You should still water plants occasionally to prevent moisture loss.

Winter Pests
The biggest issue during the winter attends to be animals nibbling ontrees and shrubs. There are a number of ways to prevent damage frompests, such as using environmentally safe products that repel pests,wrapping tree trunks with protective materials and placing fencingaround valuable plants. You can also try leaving out food for theanimals so they won't be tempted to eat your plants.

If you have perennials in containers or pots, you should move them intothe garage or a shed during the winter. If the plants are not move, thesoil can freeze and kill the plants. If you don't have a garage, add alayer of mulch around and over containers to protect plants, or movethem indoors when temperatures are severe.

Winter is not generally a problem for roses if you have the rightvariety#151;especially if they were grown from their own roots. Manyantique and climbing roses are very hardy and don't require specialattention. However in some climates with severe winters, roses need tobe buried in a trench to survive the winter. Tree roses are verysusceptible to cold, so they may need to be covered or buried. When in doubt, it is best to consult your local horticulturist orgarden center to know what is best for protecting plants in yourclimate.

John Irwin is a professional landscaper in the Sacramento area and hasbeen in business for more than 18 years. For more tips and strategieson creating the yard of your dreams visit
www.royalgardenlandscaping.com. Permission granted for use onDrLaura.com

Posted by Staff at 7:23 PM