your garden now for winter is one of the most important tasks you
can do for all of your outdoor plants. Just about every area of the
garden and home landscape will benefit from winter protection
including trees, shrubs, roses, and perennials. Without winter
protection, some plants will suffer damage, die back, or even be
winterkilled totally. Here in western Massachusetts doing yearly
winter protection each fall is a must. Recent winters have been
especially hard on all sorts of plants including ones that have never
had problems in this area.
Every spring I see and hear about the usual dead,
winterkilled suspects like rhododendron, azalea, boxwood, hybrid tea
roses, and other marginally-hardy plants, especially if they
werent given any winter protection the previous fall, but what
has surprised me most in recent years is the large numbers of plants
that are considered hardy in this area that have had problems.
Trees and shrubs like rose of Sharon, holly,
redbud, weeping cherry, dogwood, mountain laurel, forsythia, burning
bush, juniper, cotoneaster, euonymus, arborvitae, and red-twig
dogwood surprisingly were killed or damaged. Also, a large number of
different perennials that have never had problems before were winterkilled.
plantings represent a large investment of time and money and as a
gardener there is no more sad an experience than to go outside on a
spring day to discover a cherished plant that was killed over winter.
Based on how the past couple of winters have
been, its now more important than ever to provide winter
protection to make sure that the plants make it through this winter.
Its especially necessary for any plants that suffered damage
The good news is winter damage and winterkill can
be prevented and now is the time to do something about it to prevent
it. With the way recent winters have been, Im strongly
recommending all outdoor plants be given their appropriate method of
winter protection. Depending on the type of plant, each has its own
preferred method of winter protection and now is the time to do it.
Another form of winter protection you can do now
is to protect your plants from animals. Damage from animals including
deer, rabbits, mice, voles, and others can be significant, but is
preventable. Animals can disfigure, strip, girdle, and kill all
plants including trees, shrubs, and flowers.