Are Your Plants Ready for Winter?

 

As we transition into winter weather, it’s crucial to properly prepare your plants. Even though we’re in Florida, the dropping temperature can take a toll on your yard. If you want your plants to thrive in the spring,they need protection from the frigid air. Here’s how you can prepare before it gets too cold.

 

How Mulching Helps Your Plants This Winter

It’s time to lay down the mulch! While mulch doesn’t keep plants warm, it retains moisture and helps the soil maintain a more consistent temperature for your plants. Soil that continuously freezes and thaws will result in damaged roots. We recommend mulch, but straw, peat moss and compost also do the trick. The layer you’re spreading should be about two to two and a half inches thick.

Now trees are a different story. They’re much more durable in the cold than plants are. If you applied mulch around your trees in the summertime, it’s time to remove it! Removing the mulch from your trees in the fall helps ease them into the slowly dropping temperatures. This is the best way to acclimate your older trees to the changing temperatures. For newer trees, it’s a good idea to leave the mulch because they need the temperate soil.

 

How Much Should You be Watering?

When the temperature begins to drop and there’s a lack of moisture in the air, the plants begin to dry. If the soil freezes, the plant can’t attain the nutrients needed from the soil which results in plant damage. The longer the winter, the greater the damage. Plants begin to drop their leaves to reduce their water content and risk of freezing over.

Continue watering your plants until the temperatures drop to freezing. Water as long as you can. You want your plants to go into winter with as much moisture content as possible. Do the same for your shrubs and trees. Thoroughly watering in the fall before the ground freezes allows the plants to reduce water intake on their own. Withholding water helps reduce the plants’ winter hardiness. Be sure to shut down your small garden watering systems as freezing temperatures approach.

 

Reduce the Amount of Fertilizer

Fertilizing helps keep your plants healthy and strong going into winter, but be cautious. It’s dangerous for them to keep growing up until winter. Fertilizing encourages new growth which can easily be damaged by the frigid weather. It’s harder for actively growing plants to acclimate to changes in weather.

In July you should start reducing the amount of fertilizer applied. You should gradually ease your plants out of fertilizer. By the end of August, there is no need to continue applying fertilizer. As for flowers and garden vegetables, continue applying fertilizer until the freezing temperatures approach.

 

Although we’re in Florida, the temperatures are bound to drop. Our team at Harrison Irrigation are experts at sustaining your yard’s beauty. If you have any questions about prepping your yard for winter, we’d be happy to help. When you need a reliable team with experience and expertise, call Harrison for all your yard and irrigation needs!