If your trees and plants go dormant in the winter, it might seem like your gardening has an off season. But a lot of things are happening behind the scenes as winter progresses, and that means you have to keep an eye out for continuing problems both in the soil and in the local wildlife. Give your yard an easier winter by protecting plant bases and roots systems with mulch. It can help prevent these three winter problems:
1. Don’t let the roots dry out.
Dry winters can be particularly harsh on plants. Even though they’re dormant, some basic functions continue throughout the season, and that means water is moving through the roots and leaves. But cold, dry winds can parch the leaves. Even evergreens are vulnerable to being dried out. While severely damaged areas might turn brown quickly, you usually won’t know the extent of the damage until your plants yellow in the spring.
Help your plants retain moisture by mulching the roots so lost water can be replenished.
2. Keep the temperature consistent against miniature thaws.
Mulch doesn’t just help the plant retain moisture. It’s an extra layer of insulation that keeps the root environment relatively consistent. Texas winters have several early warm days followed by freezes. If the temperature is too warm, unprotected plants will wake up and start to prepare for the spring season, only to be killed off.
3. Stop local critters from deciding your plants are a food source.
If animals didn’t plan enough for winter, then they’ll be looking for food sources this month. Because they’re looking for the easiest food, even a thin layer of mulch can deter local pests. If you add a wire mesh around the base of your hedges and tree trunks, then you can prevent even more damage.
Go to Chambersville Tree Farm for more winter gardening tips and to see our selection of 2019 plants.