December 31, 2016

Because winter brings multiple hazards to plant life the most, it is crucial to know why they happen, how to prevent them, and how you can protect your garden/plants against them.

Broken branches


You should not remove broken branches immediately. Ice, snow, hail, wind, and other winter-climate extremes frequently make branches break, changing your plants’ appearance, and ruin your plants’ ability to function normally.


However, you do not need to remove those broken branches this winter. Wait until the season is over until you prune those branches. Pruning them during early spring (if the temperature is already warming up) or early summer encourages your plant to grow and recover faster.


If you want to avoid having broken branches all together, be sure to prune the weak branches during late autumn or early winter.


Frost damage

In Canada, ice damage is very common to plants. What you can do is to prevent it, and perform best practices in gardening.


For example, do not prune or fertilize your plants during late summer or early autumn. Do note that pruning and fertilizing can encourage growth. However, the new buds will not have enough time to grow and become resistant against extreme temperatures if they start growing a few months before winter.



Desiccation happens if the plant’s tissues dry up due to ice-melting chemicals or wind. Basically, this happens when your plants get dehydrated.


To prevent it, it is crucial that you make sure that your plants are fully hydrated before winter comes, and this is crucial if autumn’s a bit dry. Also, applying mulch on the ground can help the plants and the ground retain enough moisture.


On the other hand, you can install canvass, burlaps, or any type of material that can be used as windbreakers for your plants.



Frost Heave

This happens when the soil freezes and then thaws. The change in temperature and the expanding and contracting of the soil push out plant roots. Plants with shallow roots are the main victims of frost heave.


Keeping the ground from freezing too much is key. To do that, add mulch on top of the soil. Three inch thick of mulch should be enough to regulate temperature and moisture. If a plant gets heaved, replant them immediately.


Salt Burn

Salt can change the structure of your soil and damage plants. It makes it difficult for plants to extract nutrients and water from soil. And young leaves and shoots gets the most damage from salt burn.


Since most people use salt to manage snow, it becomes truly unavoidable to protect plants against salt burn, especially if the plants are near pathways or roadways.


What you can do is to avoid further aggravating your plants by making sure that you do not pile the snow near them. And once the snow season is over, be sure to give your plants some rinsing.


Get a hose and spray water to them. Do it at least an hour or two for two to three days. Of course, be mindful of the amount of water you use. You do not want them to die because of too much water.

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