Happy New Year! Before we can even celebrate the arrival of 2014 we first have to deal with some cold, windy, and typically New England winter weather. The incoming high winds and heavy snowfall got us thinking — what are the best ways to protect your plants from winter weather? Can you protect everything? How do you go from season to season without having to completely re-build your garden? How do you add a covering to your garden?
Winter gardening is a task in itself and mostly occurs inside your home or in some sort of greenhouse or outdoor shed. Your beautiful spring garden, however, lives outdoors and even though many of the plants have been removed after their season ended you are still left with a few, along with your home’s landscaping.
So blizzards beware! Here are a few ways you can protect your garden from winter.
1. To avoid a springtime rebuild always choose plants that are compatible with your climate. Especially for landscaping choose plants that can last through whatever winter weather your area usually gets. Every spring you will certainly plant more seasonal items but shrubs and greens could get very costly if they have to be replanted every year.
2. If your garden has some plants that might freeze or get carried off by harsh winds cover them up. The best way to do this is with a blanket or tarp. The covering will give it some warmth and protection from freezing and winds. These plants are likely dormant anyway so you won’t be smothering them, only protecting the stems and roots so they can flourish again come spring.
3. Another great covering is mulch. Mulch is used in landscaping regularly but it is also an insulator and would do a great job keeping your plants safe from the cold winds and frost. Before or during the winter spread a thick layer of much on your garden to cover the plants that remain. Just remember that mulch needs to be raked away when the weather warms up, otherwise it could prevent plants from beginning to grow again.
4. If you love it, bring it inside. The best way to save plants from the harsh winter is to simply bring it indoors. While you can’t bring everything inside you can definitely uproot a few of your favorites or most delicate plants to keep indoors until the weather warms up a bit. If you can’t bring indoors consider getting a cold frame or constructing a temporary sanctuary or greenhouse for your beloved greens!