Even those living in the low country with mild temperatures and warm weather need to protect plants during the cooler winter. Carolina landscapes and gardens need protection from the often-unpredictable winters in order to survive and thrive another season.
Here are some tips to protect your plants, regardless of where you live:
Use rolls of burlap to wrap the trunks of the trees on your property. If the soil is sandy or dry, consider a thorough watering before winterizing. If your soil is more like clay, there is no need to water again before winter. Overwatering in cooler months can cause diseases and rot.
Mulch is your garden’s best friend in winter. It protects the sensitive roots of your plants insulating and providing warmth. Add a good, three-inch layer of bark mulch all around the property, but leave an inch or so space around the trunks of trees and stems to aid in circulation.
Further protect and insulate your plants and roots with fabric cover. Use a double layer over trimmed and pruned plants, trapping warmth in the soil. Keep the fabric taut by using heavy rocks, pavers, or bricks around the edges.
Pot your Plants
Container gardens give you the added convenience of moving the plants inside or under shelter when the temperatures drop. It can help to simply move these plants under an eave or behind a windbreak, like a fence, during winter weather. Keep in mind that when you plant something in a container, it won’t be as resilient toward the lower temperatures that your hardy plants in the ground are.
Create a Barrier
Use raked earth or chicken wire to create a windbreak around your plants, such as a rose bush or a flower bed. Rake the soil to a height of around a foot or use chicken wire that has been stuffed with straw for an effective way to block the wind. You may also want to secure some trees with twine to bring the branches in close and reduce the risk of breakage during a storm.
If you are expecting a frost, use burlap or barrier fabric to tuck in your plants or small fruit trees. Always remove these covers during the daytime, however, and make sure to secure the cover at night with stakes. Don’t secure the plant or you risk damage.For help winterizing your gardens, beds, and landscape, contact a Commercial Landscaping and Ground Services Company at Carolina Services Grounds Division, a division of Carolina Services Inc., in Charleston, SC. Their team of experienced and professional landscapers are ready to help you with your garden design plan and year-round maintenance. Call today.