Winter Prep Checklist
Top 5 Tasks for Winter Garden Care
As plants begin to prepare for dormancy, you may be tempted to head inside and hole up until spring. First, take some time to make sure your garden is ready to weather the cold months ahead.
- Citrus, Avocados, Tropicals, Succulents and other tender plants will need to be protected with frost cloth when temperatures dip below 40°F.
- Frost cloth must reach all the way to the ground to help capture the radiated heat from the day. Click here to learn more about proper frost cloth application.
- Water plants before periods of freezing weather, except succulents which should be allowed to dry out.
- Spraying Bonide® Wilt Stop on the foliage can help protect plants from hard freezes.
- Stringing C7 or C9 Christmas lights around sensitive trees and shrubs to create heat is a great way to deter frost damage.
- Unless you have a smart timer like Hunter® Solar Sync, which automatically adjusts watering depending on climactic needs, you will need to reduce or turn off your controller as soon as temperatures drop.
- Turn on/open sprinkler control valves.
- Protect valves and exposed wiring with pipe wrap or valve covers.
- Clear drainage systems and gutters of debris, and make sure they drain away from the foundation of your home.
- Need to make some upgrades? You'll find a large selection of drainage supplies and pipe fittings in our Landscape Supply department.
- New plantings will need to be protected from erosion due to heavy rainfall, apply a 2-3" layer of mulch. To prevent crown rot, be sure to keep the mulch 4-5" away from the base of the plant.
- Check the stakes on young trees and make sure they're still secure.
- Aerate your lawn. This helps with permeability when the rains come and gets much-needed oxygen to the roots.
Have your Encore® Azaleas finished their second bloom of the year? Follow these steps to get them ready for another round of beautiful blooms in the spring:
- Test the soil near your Azaleas, it should be slightly acidic (ideal range is between 4.5- 6). If you need to lower your pH, add E.B. Stone® Naturals Sul Po Mag.
- A 2-3" layer of mulch is essential for insulating the roots in the cool months, and it adds nutrients as it breaks down.
- Now is the time to clean up and remove debris from around trees and shrubs. If the plant matter is disease and weed-free, be sure to add it to your compost pile.
- Keep an eye out for slugs and snails. Copper tape or Sluggo® are both great deterrents, but Sluggo® will need to be re-applied after rainfall.
- Pull weeds now, before heavy rainfall. If weeds are allowed to go to seed, the rain can spread them throughout the garden, causing problems next spring.
- When fruit trees go dormant, begin the first of three dormant sprays to kill overwintering insects and prevent diseases such as peach leaf curl, or shothole fungus on Carolina Cherry Laurel.