Winter is the time to break out the skis and ice skates and partake in some real cold weather fun. It’s also the time of year when families get together to renew ties and celebrate the good times. Unfortunately, as any landscaping contractor knows, it’s also the time of year that is the most brutal on sensitive shrubbery. So how can you be sure your shrubs will endure winter’s wrath while you’re off navigating the slopes or inside entertaining family and friends o’er the holidays? In this post we’ll provide you some tips to do just that.
Winterize Your Shrubs Like a Landscaping Contractor
You hear the word “hardy” being bandied about a lot when it comes to various plants and shrubs. More than just a colourful adjective it’s actually the measure of a plant’s ability to endure cold weather. Some plants are naturally hardy while others need some help. If you want to ensure your less naturally hardy plants survive the onslaught of the Toronto winter take the following tips to heart.
- Keep the ground moist: Plants need something to drink even during the winter months. For the most part the autumn weather is wet enough that adequate moisture will be trapped in the ground after the first freeze but in some years autumn rainfall can come up short. In that case you’ll want to give the ground around your sensitive shrubs a good soaking before it freezes for the duration of the winter months.
- Add mulch: Applying a generous layer of mulch around the base of the most sensitive plants is one way a landscaping contractor will help conserve the aforementioned moisture so vital to a plant’s wintertime survival. It will also act as an insulating blanket that will help protect the root system of the shrubs from frost damage.
- Don’t prune in the fall: In Ontario and similarly cold climates it doesn’t do your shrubs any good to cut them back just before the winter sets in. If you do you can inadvertently encourage new growth that can be damaged by exposure to the cold. Instead leave the pruning to springtime when you’ll be better able to make correct pruning decisions anyway.
- Ward off pests: While insects are not typically a problem during the winter they’re not the only kind of pest that may pose a threat to your sensitive shrubs. Mammals, including deer, spend a great deal of time in the winter searching for scarce food and if they enter your garden on such a quest they can wreak havoc on your sensitive shrubbery. Use chicken wire or other similar fencing material to create a barrier around the plants. If need be you can also apply a liquid repellent to the plants that will keep the critters at bay.
- Be vigilant: Even if you take all the above steps to winterize your plants you’ll still need to keep an eye on them; especially any plants going through their first winter. They may need supplemental watering, particularly if they are in sheltered areas that may not have received adequate rainfall during the autumn months.
As any good landscaping contractor knows protecting your sensitive shrubs during the winter is mostly a matter of ensuring they’re not wanting for moisture or exposed to abuse from hungry deer or other animals. If you need help securing your garden for the winter give the pros at M.E. Contracting a call on 416-238-6700. We’re the Toronto area’s most trusted landscaping contractor and will make sure all of your most prized flora are there to greet the spring with you in great shape.