Protecting your garden through winter
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Author:  sandih [ Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:37 am ]
Post subject:  Protecting your garden through winter

Protecting your garden through winter

It's important that we take a few steps to ensure our plants will make it through winter without much, or any, damage.
• Know your plants - Make sure you know which plants are not hardy in our zone and be ready to cover them or bring them inside.
o At, or just below 40 degrees, tender plants such as citrus should be moved indoors. If you want to keep your basil or other tender herbs awhile longer, bring them inside as well.
o When the temps are close to freezing, you may want to cover your budding or blooming plants such as camellias, snapdragons, alyssum etc in order to prevent damage to the flowers. At that temp, it won’t kill the plants, but may cause some buds or blooms to drop.
o When the temps drop into the 20’s, you can cover your budding vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower, to prevent ‘burning’ on the bud and will keep the cauliflower white instead of a dingy brown.
• Water your landscape during winter! – The roots are still growing all through winter so it’s important that we still provide our plants with adequate moisture. A deep drink of water for potted plants, or those in the ground, will actually protect the roots from freeze damage. The water fills in the air space and acts as an insulator. The water also plumps up the plant’s cells which creates a sturdier, healthier plant. If we have not received moisture in a given week during winter, give your landscape drink.
• Mulch, Mulch, Mulch – You should always have about 2” of native cedar or hardwood mulch around your garden. There should never be bare soil, as in nature. Mulch is a great soil temperature and moisture regulator (in summer too!) and impedes weed growth.

Let’s hope we don’t have a winter as severe as the last one, but we’ll all be prepared to help our garden through it.

Author:  Shayhappy [ Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Protecting your garden through winter

Thank you for posting that great information. As a first year gardener, I am finding this forum to be very enlightening. However...the freeze set in much earlier than I thought last night...before I covered my vegetable garden. I was away from home and by the time I got home at 8:30 the leaves on my plants were frozen. I have a variety of lettuce, mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage and each had frozen leaves. Can you advise me if the plants can be saved and if so, what method? Should I leave the frozen leaves on or remove them and place them on the compost? I am worried that if I leave them, the damaged leaves will create a fungus paradise. Please help! Will try to post pics later.

Author:  sandih [ Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Protecting your garden through winter

I did not cover my lettuce, swiss chard, herbs etc last night either. Lettuce is pretty tough. If it had been in the mid-20's I probably would have. I would leave the leaves on and see what they look like in a day or 2. If they turn brown, then take them off. I bet your lettuce is just fine.

Author:  Shayhappy [ Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Protecting your garden through winter

Thank you, again! The lettuce was just fine except a few places on the leaves where they came in contact with the burlap. I will definitely try to refer back to your advice throughout the rest of the winter.

Author:  sandih [ Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Protecting your garden through winter

Consider replacing the burlap with a frostcloth. Frostcloth is lightweight and does not absorb water (like sheets, blankets and burlap can) which can turn until a lead weight on top of your plants if it freezes. It can give you up to 8 degrees of protection. Well worth the cost.

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