Winter in the U.S. usually means that some regions of the country have to suffer more snowstorms than other regions. For those parts of the country that experiences a lot of snow, you need to be on the look out to damage to the lawn and some species of plants in the garden.
If you live in an area of the country that suffered drought during the summer, then you may experience problems with plants through the winter. Water restrictions that occur during drought have an affect on trees and shrubs come winter. Plants need ample moisture going into the winter. In areas that experienced drought, plants were under drought stress when winter arrived. A frigid winter after a dry autumn will often lead to harm or death to weakened plants.
Ice storms result in extensive harm to trees. Many trees lose large limbs and branches. While most trees will recuperate, to ensure this remove remains of branches and limbs that have torn away. If you fail to do this, the tree may suffer disease come summer. Trees that hang down as a result of a devastating winter should be tied up and observe for cracked or broken branches. Prune them away as well as the dead branches.
You can check for dead branches using the fingernail scratch test. Scratch the bark of trees with your fingernail. If there is a nice green color under the bark, then the branch is fine. If you observe a brown or cream color under the bark, then the branch is probably dead and should be pruned.
Evergreens that encounter cold and harsh winds will often display leaves that appear burned. On some occasions, the tree will die. Still, most plants do recover and exhibit new growth once spring comes around. There is no need to dig a plant up unless you are sure it is dead. Again, determine whether they have survived the winter by scratching them with your fingernail. One way to prevent winter burn is to place trees and shrubs in areas of your property that provide protection. Make sure that delicate plants are not in the way of the wind.
Before recent winters, nursery personnel have suggested using plants that withstand cold beyond their established hardiness zones. If you planted some of these plants prior to winter, they may survive a harsh winter. If you have plants that have been rated hardy in just your zone, then check on them for signs of winter damage.
Winter is also a time for the use of salt or ice melting substances that contain salt. You may be aware that large amounts of salt can do damage to lawns. After winter check out your lawn for discoloration, especially near the street, in drainage areas in front of your home, and in areas next to sidewalks. For the most part, damaged lawn will recover. However, it is worth checking out.
You should remain optimistic however. There are benefits to elements of winter that include cold and snow. Once the snow and ice melts, there should be plenty of water for underground moisture that should sustain plant life come spring. In addition, you might not be aware that snow offers insulation for the ground, assuring that it doesn’t freeze too deep. As a result, roots of established plants will be in good condition come spring. You should observe plants kept in containers to ensure that their roots have not been damaged.
Finally, take the time spent indoors during the winter to plan for your garden when spring appears. Review gardening magazines and watch TV shows on gardening. Prioritize your ideas, sketch out some garden concepts you might want to pursue.
Remember, winter won’t last forever.