Simple Solutions with Carson Arthur
Having a winter game plan for your outdoor spaces just makes sense. Too many homeowners let their plants and gardens suffer winter damage and try desperately to fix the destruction in the spring. This approach is often too late as sap is already flowing. Here are some simple chores that you can do right now to ensure that everything is in tiptop shape in the spring.
Wrap those evergreens
On bright sunny days in the winter and early spring, evergreen needles try to photosynthesize to make energy. This process needs sun and water, but unfortunately, the ground is still frozen, preventing the roots from getting any water to the plant. This is what causes most of the brown sections you see in the spring. Wrapping your shrubs in burlap keeps the sun at bay and slows down this process, allowing the tree to naturally keep up with the water supply. It also offers protection from ice, wind and salt.
Prune woody shrubs and trees
Pruning after the leaves have fallen – when the sap has moved out of tree branches and into the roots – is much less stressful on your plants and trees. (The sap is what feeds the tree and helps promote growth, so you don’t want it leaking out.) Come spring, these extra sap reserves promote healthy new growth and significantly more blooms!
Empty out all of your outdoor planters
A cold winter is hard on your planters - whether they are clay, plastic or even wood. As the moist soil freezes and thaws, it also expands and contracts, splitting even the strongest containers. In stead of soil, fill your planters with mulch so that you can still create beautiful holiday arrangements at the front door. Then you can put the mulch in the garden come thaw
Mulch those beds
Getting a layer of newspaper down around your plants and then covering it with ¾” of mulch will help protect the root crowns and create a barrier preventing weeds from growing in the spring. This technique is one of my favourites because it works for a few years if done properly! Trust me, wait for a warmish afternoon and do these few jobs and I promise, your yard will be the envy of the neighbour hood come spring!