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Winter Gardening Tips

Winter can be tough on people, but they can be difficult on plants as well. Depending on the overall temperature, the cold freezes the ground, making it difficult for plants to get water into their roots. To help your plants survive the difficult weather, here are several winter gardening tips:

Tip #1: Watering plants

You don’t have to follow you regular watering schedule. However, you should thoroughly soak your plants once a week, especially the new ones, when the ground isn’t covered by snow or frozen. Better yet, water your plants before an expected freeze arrives. This helps your plants survive a hard freeze because deep watering lets your plants soak moisture before the ground freezes and prevents water from reaching roots. Make sure you also water aboveground shoots.

Tip #2: Removing ice and snow on plants

When snow covers your evergreen plants, brush it off gently. Do not shake the snow off because this will damage or even break some branches. If the snow is already frozen on the branch and won’t brush off easily, allow it to melt by itself to prevent damaging the plant. If a branches breaks off because of the snow’s weight, remove the fallen limb once the weather permits. Hanging branches can be dangerous to passers-by. Besides, the tree’s damage would heal better if the limb is removed instead of leaving the broken piece in place.

Tip #3: Dealing with insects

Insects like to hang around the house during winter because they’re looking for a place to rest. Because of this, do not store firewood indoors. The insects will be able to get in the house through firewood so leave the wood outside until the time you’re lighting a fire. Insects also like hitching a ride with houseplants, which are normally brought in during the winter. To prevent this from happening, spray both sides of leaves with insecticidal soap and rinse with insecticidal drench. Make sure the insecticides are safe for you and your pets.

Tip #4: Don’t fertilise

Insects aren’t the only ones looking to rest during winter. Plants also go dormant during this season, so don’t fertilise. Forcing plants to grow with fertiliser before the ground warms interrupts their time to revitalise. Furthermore, freezing temperatures will kill new plant growth.

Tip #5: Evergreens won’t always be green

During cold and dry weather, evergreens fade regardless of their colour, whether they’re blue, yellow or green. There are some evergreens that turn a slight tinge of bronze, which is still natural. What you need to look out for is if your evergreen turns brown, which could mean your plant is dying. So when the freeze comes, apply three to four inches of mulch around evergreens to keep their root temperatures stable.

Tip #6: Add compost

Compost feeds the soil with organic nutrients so your plants can still get nourishment.

Tip #7: Caring for deciduous plants

Deciduous plants may not have as much difficulty as other shrubs during winter, but they still need to be nurtured during the season. Don’t forget to remove deadwood and reshape the plants, but don’t overdo it. Take out more than one third of growth and your deciduous plants may get too stressed out and die. When trimming, retain the plant’s natural shape for best results.