Picture this: You and your loved ones snuggling by the firepit with a warm cup of cocoa, basking in the perfect view of your snow-capped garden.
Sure, winter can be such a wonderful time but it’s not exactly the friendliest season of the year for your garden. Then come early spring, the threat of frost and root damage looms even more.
Without proper care and preparation, your plants can suffer greatly. Here are things you need to keep in mind to protect your garden from snow and frost.
Identifying frost-sensitive plants
Planning is key. Knowing what to plant and what not to helps you cut down on your possible losses. That’s why it’s important to learn which ones are the most prone to frost and cold injuries. Below is a list of plants you may want to reconsider planting during this time:
- Dahlia, caladium, canna, and other tender perennials
- Succulents, begonia, avocado, geraniums, and other sensitive plants
- Crops like tomatoes, cucumber, okra, eggplant, sweet potatoes, corn and citrus trees
- Cherry, azalea, rhododendron and other spring-blooming shrubs
Going for hardy plants in wintertime
Now that you know which plants to stay away from, let’s focus on those that are most likely to survive. Here’s a list of what you can grow during winter and early spring:
- Lily of the valley
- Winter jasmine
Knowing when to protect your plants
Shielding your plants from frost and snow includes knowing when to protect them. A lot of it comes from temperature. Each group of plants, fruits and vegetables have their own level of tolerance, depending on how cold (or hot) it can get.
If temperatures drop below 32°F (0°C), expect frost. If temperatures go down to 28°F (-4 to -2°C) are predicted, expect what they call a hard freeze, which is widely destructive and lethal to much vegetation.
Most of the time, frost usually hits during spring so this is where some handy know-how can truly help your garden to survive.
1. Cover your plants
There are plenty of coverings you can use to protect your garden from snow or frost. You can use plastic sheeting, bed covers, drop cloths or even create a roof over your plants.
Remember to secure your covers with weight at the bottom, if you’re not going to screw or fix them by your raised beds. Store these covers within reach prior to usage, so it’s easy to grab them as soon as snow starts falling. Furthermore, remember to remove them the next day when the sun shines brighter.
2. Protect your soil
Having good soil is always one, if not the largest factors to successful gardening all year round. During winter, your soil can be more prone to excessive moisture or erosion so take the necessary steps to protect it.
Add a thick layer of organic matter before it gets too cold. This will keep your soil fed and prevent it from eroding.
3. Mulch, mulch, mulch
Mulching couldn’t be more important during this time of the year. It helps preserve the heat of soil and keep them hardier against cold and frosty conditions.
Mulch low plantings using leaf mold or straw. Mulch your raised beds and planters with materials like pine needles, straw and wood chips.
Your garden may need extra attention during this season. So remember to follow these tips so your plants can survive through these more demanding times.