We hope everyone has recovered from the recent #snowmaggedon2016. A true winter wonderland. Do a Twitter search on #snowmaggedon2016, it’s worth it. Loads of fun family pictures, gorgeous Nashville landmarks covered in snow, a snow rhino, and even a dinosaur on skis. Everyone got very creative!
This brings us to a very crucial question. How do you protect plants in this type of weather? In Tennessee, snow like this is not too common. We might get a few inches once a year, but nothing like what our friends up north go through for three months straight. But nevertheless, we still need to protect our outdoor plants! We’ve got some tips that will help.
1. Bring plants inside
The easiest solution is to bring your plants to a warmer temperature. Any potted plants or hanging baskets you have outside will do much better indoors for the winter – and you’ll have some natural decoration! Don’t want to clutter your home? Even if you just bring them inside a garage or sunroom, it will be beneficial.
- When you bring them inside, be sure to put them near a window. An east/west facing window is ideal because they will get better sunlight. But don’t let the plant touch the window as the cold temps can transfer through the window and still damage the plant.
- Do not put them near a vent. The air will dry the plants out and could cause them to die.
2. Apply mulch
For the plants you can't bring inside, apply a layer of mulch around each plant. We recommend 2-3 inches. Mulch acts as an insulator and will trap in heat and moisture which will protect the roots, the most important part of that plant. Mulch made of wheat or pine works well.
Mulch works both ways, though. When temps start rising, you may want to rake back the mulch otherwise, the mulch will prevent the soil and roots from warming up as quickly as needed.
3. Cover plants
Cover your plants with a drop cloth, old blanket or tarp to protect tender plants. This method works great if you’re going to have a few unusually chilly nights and just need to protect plants from frost every once in a while. Consider using a stake to prop up the covering so it doesn’t weigh down or damage the plant.
Make sure to remove the covering during the day so the plant can get sun and air. And a wise word learned from experience – tie down those coverings or risk them blowing away!
4. Water plants
Plants still need water in winter months though not as much as the hot summers. Believe it or not, water helps keep the soil and plants warmer. Give them water in the morning on sunny days, and as the water evaporates, it will heat the air around the plant. Plus, wet soil will trap in heat better than dry soil. Don’t overwater if you are expecting a hard freeze but to protect them against some frost, a watering can help the plant retain a little of the day's heat into the night.
5. Show a little TLC throughout the year
Healthy plants will withstand a cold Tennessee winter best, so take care of your plants all year by following our 5 Commandments of Lawncare. Be sure to water appropriately and energize plants by feeding them at the right times.
Do you have specific questions about the plants in your lawn? Give us a call, we’re happy to help.