In winter, garden plants doze under a snow blanket – they are at rest. Accordingly, there is little work in the garden. However, from time to time we should check how the plants winter, improve their covers and scoop up excess snow from them.
Remove excess snow
Systematically shovel excess snow from columnar conifers. The abundant snow cover can turn into ice – it can break off branches and deform shrubs. An additional protection against permanent plant damage is tying their branches. It will be more difficult for them to bend under heavy, wet snow. In addition, regularly check the condition of winter protection of plants sensitive to frost, whether they have slipped due to strong wind or snow.
In the event of very severe frosts, it is worth covering the plants with an additional layer of straw, tunic or agrotextile for this time. In severe winters, hungry hares and even deer can visit the gardens located in the vicinity of the forest or fields and gnaw the plants. If our fence is not a tight barrier against these animals, it is worth protecting the trunks of young trees.
When clearing snow from garden surfaces, limit to mechanical methods. It is best to do it with a special snow shovel or shovel, for larger number of paths you can use a mechanical snow thrower. Avoid using chemicals for this purpose, such as de-icing salt for roads, because this, along with melting snow, penetrates the soil, destroying its structure and disrupting biodiversity. Plants in saline soil have difficulties with uptake of water, grow less, have less growth and bloom less profusely, are also more susceptible to diseases and pathogens, and in extreme cases even dry up. In addition, salt may cause discoloration or other damage to the material from which the pavement is made.
The lawn in winter: what to do and what not to do?
During frosts, try not to trample it, not to compact the ground and snow, and not to crush the frozen stalks, because after the thaw they will rot and die, creating empty spots on the grassland. If snow falls, it does not have to be removed from the lawn, because the blades winter well under the duvet cover, which protects them from the cold. On the other hand, snow cannot be stored on the turf, because the hard and heavy ice crust (just like trampling) causes disease.
The condition in which the lawn survives this period depends primarily on the prior maintenance in season and before winter. A healthy turf, properly fertilized, shortly trimmed, growing on a fertile and, above all, permeable ground, will withstand the hardships of the winter months. The first care treatments (rolling and scarifying – i.e. renovation) will be possible only in early spring.
Take care of potted plants – wintering houseplants
A short day for most plants (garden and potted) is a signal to go into dormancy. Nobody is surprised by the garden snoozing under a blanket of snow. Few people know that most potted plants go into a dormant period during the winter. The winter dormancy of plants begins at the end of October and lasts until March. During this time, the life processes of plants are slowed down, they usually do not grow or grow very slowly, so they do not need as much water and nutrients as in the period of intensive growth. Nevertheless, they cannot be forgotten!
The conditions in which houseplants in the apartment overwinter are far from those in nature. Insufficient amount of light, low air humidity, high temperature and improper watering – all this means that overwintering houseplants often die during the winter.
Remember about birds
In winter, and especially in cold and snowy seasons, it is difficult for birds to find enough food. Let’s help them survive the winter. However, in order not to do more harm than good, let’s get acquainted with the basic principles of proper and responsible feeding of birds. Always pour out the food in the same place, because the birds quickly get used to the places where they find food. It is best to feed the birds in a feeder positioned so that it is difficult to access by predators (mainly cats). The covered feeder will also protect food and feasting birds from snow or rain. Do you feed the birds consistently and regularly? If you started doing it in autumn, you should definitely continue feeding until the birds can easily find food on their own (usually until the end of April or the beginning of May).