Cold Climate Gardening

Whether it’s cold or mild, rain or shine, there’s always something to do in the garden (or garden) in winter. Without hesitation, gardening in winter is possible: here are some activities for this season …

It’s winter, it’s cold, it’s snowing … The vagaries of the weather are not very original in this season, but they can cause some concern. Will the snow ruin trees and plants, are the frozen plants condemned? Do not panic, nature does things well, and by helping with a few simple actions, winter will pass without a hitch. And then, the snow and the persistent cold also have some advantages for the garden!

Potential damage from frost and snow

A branch broken by the weight of the snow. The frost can damage or even destroy the most sensitive plants (especially if you live in a region where winters are usually mild, and if the sudden drop in temperatures has surprised your cold-sensitive species). If you had taken the precaution of protecting them, with the help of winter protection or good mulching , the damage should be limited. And then, a frozen plant is not necessarily a dead plant, because the root system remains intact. It remains to wait for spring to assess the extent of damage …

On the snow side, it poses two main problems for the garden and its guests. First, its weight can break branches in evergreen trees, or “burn” overhead parts ( conifers and hedges ). To avoid this, gently shake the branches to release them from their snowpack. In deciduous trees, it is useless, and it is even better to leave in place this layer of protection which isolates a little branches of the gel.

Then the birds have a hard time finding food: think of them, providing them with seeds, crumbs, and loaves of fat.

Finally, for lawns, avoid walking there when they are frozen or snowy: this damages the grass.

Some advantages in consolation

Snow also has a fertilizing effect. The rigors of winter must have some advantages. First consolation, periods of extreme cold can destroy some of the parasites and pests of the garden (eggs, larvae, adults in hibernation, but also mold). The mild winters, on the contrary, are favorable to their proliferation.

In addition, snow accelerates the decomposition of dead leaves and green manures , transforming them more quickly into organic matter that can be assimilated by plants. In the spring and the resumption of vegetation, the soil will be all the more fertile!

No way out? Prepare the garden for spring!

No luck, the rain falls continuously or the mercury is so low in the thermometer that nothing to look at gives you cold. So you have to stay inside … To do what?

Flip through the catalogs and prepare your plant orders
The spring catalogs of the mail orderers are out. Immerse yourself in and prepare your orders for bulbs , plants or minimots . If the new ones are not yet available, repeat those of last year: from one year to the next, a good quantity of varieties does not change.

Choosing plants in catalogs from landscaping companies in cleveland ohio

Prepare the big works! Based on the plan of your garden , or thanks to your memories not too old, put down on the paper the list of plantations or movements of plants that you envisage. You will be surprised: it is not so easy, it will force you to think about things while generating ideas. The game is worth the candle: even the “disordered” gardens need a structure … hidden!

It’s cold but dry: big jobs outside

The ideal time for outdoor work!

Install a sprinkler system buried or drip
You can set up the buried watering , and / or the main ducts of your drip . It is during this period, when the vegetation is at rest, where you do not risk to hurt plants, that this operation is the easiest. But of course, most forgetful gardeners throw themselves into it in June, during the first heat warnings …

Alleys renovated or to create?
Draw your new paths or restore the existing one. A geotextile felt under gravel or pine bark prevents invasion by weeds .

As for shrubs, wait until the end of the winter to prune most summer blooming shrubs . Do not touch the shrubs with spring flowers or winter bloom (otherwise, you will not have flowers this year!).

Plant
If it does not freeze, many plantations can be considered. Plant rose bushes , spring shrubs , install hedges …

It rained recently: weed!
The soil is still loose: it’s time to tackle the manual pulling of the largest tufts of weeds. All the same more respectful than the use of a weed killer …
Cold weather: 7 tips to protect your garden well
The garden is very sensitive to sudden drops in temperature. Several preventive works can help protect trees and plants from the cold, rain, wind and frost. Here are some “saving gestures”to do in your garden, orchard or balcony.

Install a wintering sail
The installation of a wintering veil protects plants that are not very hardy and exotic (bougainvillea, banana, geranium, camellia…) from cold winds and night frosts. Made of flexible polypropylene, it is light and transparent and lets the plant breathe without damaging it. It can be used as an individual bell by completely wrapping a plant or shrub (do not tighten the knot at the base), or flat, placed directly on the crops of a vegetable garden. In this case, the veil can be stretched by stakes at all four corners or held by stones on the periphery so that it can be easily removed for watering, weather permitting.

Making a ridge
This simple and economical technique consists in raising the earth in the form of a mound at the base of the plants. Used mainly on roses, certain fragile perennials and vegetables with stems or bulbs (asperges, artichokes, leeks, cardoons, etc.), the mounding can be completed with a layer of dead leaves and compost.

Install a plastic tunnel
The plastic tunnels sold in garden centres are used to winterize the vegetable planks and seedlings in the vegetable garden (chew, salads, sorrel, leeks, etc.). They must be removed to allow watering.

Mulching fragile plants
Straw, bark, branches and dead leaves provide excellent protection for the roots of the most sensitive plants. Mulch should be placed at the base and aerated regularly after rains to avoid the risk of rotting.

The pot of earth and the bell
When turned upside down, a pot of soil effectively protects the stumps of small plants that lose their leaves in winter. The drain hole is then used as a vent. The pot should be removed as soon as the first leaves appear. For plants with evergreen foliage, a transparent bell with a ventilation hole should be used.

Pull out bulbous plants
Bulbous or tuberous plants that are poorly resistant to moisture, such as dahlias or begonias, can be dug up to keep winter warm. When the leaves have disappeared after the first frosts, the stumps are removed and placed in crates inside a room or garage, protected from frost.

All pots in shelters
In a pot, the roots suffer more from the cold than in the ground. On the eve of the first frosts, the pots must take the direction of a shelter. Plants that keep their leaves in winter are placed in a bright place; a verandah, greenhouse, or inside the house, near a window. Bulky pots that cannot be moved will be covered with several layers of plastic sheeting or sheeting.

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