Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Actually, it needs a few things, but let's look at some of them specifically.

1) It needs WATER. I've talked about this before, but shrubs, perennials and trees will be VERY happy for a good long, slurp of water before the first heavy frost.

2) If you haven't done this before, it would be a good time to get a sample of soil for a soil test.

3) As soon as that first heavy frost is done, apply some mulch. Not only will it protect the plants from "heaving", but when it works into the soil, it will add all sorts of needed amendments.

The reason you wait until AFTER the frost is that you want to protect the roots from repeated freezing and thawing. If you put mulch on too early, it will take a long time for the frost to work it's way down to the roots, and before the frost gets there, the ground will heave, unsettling those roots. So, let the ground freeze. (The plant can deal with that.) Then AFTER the freeze has happened, keep the ground in a state of "freeze" until the weather warms up enough to thaw right through that mulch. Again, no heaving!

4) Spray your broadleaved evergreens with an antidesiccant. You can find this in any gardening supply store. This essentially prevents the leaves from shedding too much moisture which adds to the deletion of water for the plant. By spraying the leaves you will help it stay hydrated through the winter.


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