Dec 4, 2009

Frosty Friday

The nights are getting rather chilly around here and the past few mornings have found me scraping ice off of my windshield, (and every other glass surface on my car) grumbling and mumbling the whole time because my mittens have decided to part ways and only one can be found.

Sorry, I digress...Today I thought I'd talk a little about the plants in our yards and gardens and how to care for them during the winter months so in the spring they can pop their little heads up and dazzle us with yet another season of beauty and function.


Many people have roses in their landscaping and in my yard my roses are my pride and joy each blooming season. Caring for them over the winter is very easy and it only takes a few minutes to have them all ready for winter slumber.Start winterizing hybrid teas just before the ground freezes, which usually occurs about a month or two after the first frost.

If in your area, temperatures remain above 20° F Hybrid Teas need few special measures beyond adequate mulching. If roses are growing in sites exposed to drying winter winds, wrap the plants or build a windbreak with natural burlap or white polyspun floating row cover.

If your temperatures fall as low as 10° to 15° F for 2 weeks or more at a time, begin winterizing roses after the first hard frost. Mound fresh, loose soil or compost 6 to 8 inches high around the base of each plant. Prune canes back only enough to prevent them from whipping about in the wind and to allow them to fit under a protective covering. 

Detach climbing roses from their supports and bend them down to the ground. Carefully bunch the canes together ands peg them to the soil with wood or wire hoops of some kind. Finally, cover them completely with 4 to 6 inches of well-draining soil, compost or organic mulch such as wood chips.

Perennials and Bulbs

Let perennial plants die down to the ground naturally to allow them to store energy and nutrients in their roots for the winter. Cut back and discard the dead aboveground parts to reduce the risk of disease and deny winter shelter to insect pests. Mulch the soil to moderate the effects of freezing and thawing, and/or cover tender perennials and bulb beds with boughs cut from evergreens to trap snow for additional cover.

Protect bulbs that are located in the open from small animals by stretching plastic bird netting over the ground during the winter. Alternatively, line planting trenches with chicken wire or put individual bulbs in hardware cloth cages when planting bulbs in the fall.

Well, with all that said, we can now take care of all those other winterizing tasks such as wrapping outside pipes and making sure that the nasty draft under the front door is taken care of!

Bright Blessings


Sadie said...

Ugh its the same here in Michigan right now, last night was our first real snowfall, it was beautiful but I agree with you on the scraping of windows, what a pain in the ---. Oh and thanks for the gardening tips. I dont have a garden now due to living in an apt, but hmmm that will change eventually.

stay blessed


Rue said...

I use your tree bough tip. When I get my tree home it's always too big for my place, so I cut boughs off and put them in my garden. Then, when it's time for the tree to go to the firehall for mulching, I take more boughs to get my plants through the hard January freeze.

Scraping my window with a bit of snow this morning!