Updated: Mar 15
As Colorado residents, we are no strangers to fluctuating conditions in the winter. It might be snowing one day and totally melted and sunny the next. While plants look generally dormant in the winter months and we are used to seeing things come back to life in the spring, our gardens and landscapes all need to be winterized in order to survive. Below you will find information on rose collars, tree wrap, frost cloth, lawn winterizer and sprinkler blows-outs that will let you know why you need it and what the process looks like.
Tree wrap is necessary for newly planted, young trees as well as trees with thin bark such as honey locust and crab apple trees. Tree wrap prevents sunscald which is caused by intense fluctuation in temperatures. Warm temperatures cause cell stimulation in tree bark and when there is a sudden drop in temperature, this can damage susceptible trees and lead to sunscald.
To apply tree wrap, start at the bottom of the trunk and overlap it as you wind up towards the branches stopping just below the lowest branch. Secure the end of the wrap with duct tape or a staple (stapled to the wrap itself and not the tree). Make sure to unwrap the tree in May so that diseases and bugs aren’t tempted to move in as the temperatures start to warm up.
Certain kinds of roses are more sensitive to the cold. This is especially the case with grafted and hybrid tea roses, however it is a good idea to use rose collars for all kinds of roses to protect them for the cold. November is a prime month to prune back longer canes to prevent snow damage. Make sure to remove dead leaves and debris from the base of your plant to prevent disease. Use rose collars to hold in fresh mulch or straw which will insulate your plant and protect it during the upcoming cold winter months. The great thing about rose collars is that they will help you get more full blooms in the spring and they are reusable. You can use them for your new tomato plants next spring! Also, don’t forget to water your roses once or twice a month in the winter when the ground isn’t frozen.
It is important to only use frost cloth that is designed for plants. Products made specifically for plants use material that will not transmit cold to the plants themselves. These products are also not heavy and allow sun to transmit through. Plants that are not native to Colorado or more sensitive plants need frost cloth as well as plants that are in pots. If you have plants that are in pots that you wish to keep outside, burry them with an insulator such as mulch or soil and cover them with frost cloth. Apply frost cloth right before the sun goes down to ensure that the cloth traps in the heat that was gathered during the day. Make sure you don’t leave openings in the fabric so that the warmth cannot escape and cold air cannot get in. Make sure the cloth touches the ground down to the drip line of your plant. Secure frost cloth with some heavy objects like bricks or fabric staples. This will ensure that the wind does not blow the fabric away and will also help the fabric seal to the ground and trap in any heat that is released from the soil at night.
Winterizing your lawn ensures a lush, green turf in the spring. As the fall rolls around and the days get shorter and the nights get colder, your grass takes this as its cue to slow growth. Your lawn will shift its energy focus from the blades to the roots. Grass gets green again every spring because the roots remain active throughout the winter. When you put winterizer on your lawn, you are feeding these active roots and supplying them with more nutrients to store for the winter. When spring comes back around, the grass senses the longer days and warmer temperatures and the leaves start pulling food reserves from the roots. A well fed lawn in the fall turns into a thick, lush lawn in the spring that is more likely to crowd out weeds.
Sprinkler winterization is necessary in order to protect the investment of your irrigation system and home. During the winter months when there are periods of freezing temperatures, sprinkler pipes and pipe fittings can crack if they freeze when filled with water. The most expensive part of your sprinkler system, the valves and anti-siphon devices can be affected as well. Click here to learn more about our sprinkler blow-out services.
If you have an questions about how to make sure you are ready for the winter season, let us know! We are happy to help with any and all of your gardening needs!