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Protecting your plants

Going into winter in drought conditions in NOT good for our plants.  They’re stressed out!  For them it’s like the holidays on steroids.  Often when a Master Gardener gets a diagnostic question like “how come my plant/tree/shrub is dying?” – it’s more than one thing.  Plants that are stressed are weakened and more susceptible to disease and pest damage.

It’s too late to give our plants any more water as the ground is pretty well frozen, however, if you haven’t mulched yet, now’s the time!  And remember….

Donut GOOD

May I say AGAIN, how CRAZY I get when I drive by landscapes where I know “professionals” have planted and see volcanos of mulch?  They should know better!  Thank you…

Volcano BAD

You can mulch with any number of materials including bags of grass clippings that you never got to the yard waste site or bags of compost or, as above, shredded bark.  Another important thing to remember is to REMOVE the mulch when weather warms in Spring.  The idea of mulch is to stabilize the temperature of the soil as much as possible to prevent heaving.

But when Spring comes, you want to remove most of the mulch so that the warmth of the sun can reach the soil to thaw it, moisture and oxygen can then get to the roots as the plants come out of dormancy.  Wrapping your evergreens in burlap is a great way to protect them from winter burn.  I know it doesn’t look great but a dead evergreen looks worse!

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