Winter is almost here, and although snow doesn’t often visit Louisiana, locals still experience chilly temperatures and occasional frosts throughout the season. Whether you have a full flower bed, a few bushes or a couple trees in your yard, a winter frost can be deadly to your landscaping. That’s why it’s so important homeowners take preventative steps to care for and protect their yard’s plant life all winter long. Read on to learn more about how you can keep your plants healthy during the cold season.
No matter the type of plants in your yard – whether they’re rose bushes or citrus trees – they simply won’t survive multiple nights unprotected in freezing temperatures unscathed. If a cold front is scheduled to come through, it’s best to take action now to avoid a fatal frost.
To begin, you should wrap or cover your plants loosely to trap some warmth and break the wind. This covering can be made of any number of materials from burlap bags to bedsheets. No matter what you choose, though, it must be a breathable fabric. While plastic trash bags or cling wrap sound like a great idea in theory, plants need a steady flow of carbon dioxide to survive. If you cover a tree sapling in a fabric covering, it can receive carbon dioxide through the material and expel oxygen unhindered.
Particularly breezy cold fronts can also dry out your plants. A fabric covering can trap humidity close to the plant, allowing it to continue rooting.
To cover your plants:
- Plant wooden stakes on all sides of the plant leaning in toward the center in a cone shape
- Secure the tops of the posts together with wire or twine
- Drape burlap or another inexpensive fabric across the wooden stakes
- Leave one side open with a flap for easy access to the plant
For the light frosts or freezes common to Louisiana, residents can choose from the many anti-freeze foliage sprays on the market that prevent freezing and drying due to wind and chill. These often last weeks, so they’re useful if you expect a long cold front in your area. Most sprays coat the branches and leaves of a plant with a film that holds in moisture and acts as a shield against drying breezes, in the same way that moisturizing lotion hydrates your skin. These sprays can be found at most plant nurseries for relatively inexpensive prices.
Your plants need to stay warm during the winter to survive. Luckily, in addition to breaking the wind and trapping moisture, there are plenty of simple ways to keep your plants cozy. Providing a full covering traps some heat, but prolonged cold may permeate the fabric, dissipating the heat and leaving your plants frozen. Wrap your plant coverings with string lights or shine outdoor lamps on them to keep the chill at bay. Be careful though. Excessively hot lights can cause fires if they come into contact with the covering materials.
If the risk of fires turns you off of lamps, you can always insulate your plants with a bed of plant debris. Start by generously watering the soil around your plant, as wet soil holds heat more effectively than dry soil. Surround the plant with a fence made of wooden stakes and fabric to act as a windbreaker. Finally, you can fill the space around the plant inside the fence with leaves, mulch or straw. These trap heat and humidity, protecting the roots from damage. If you’re especially concerned, place a gallon jug of warm water beside the plants to keep them warm at night.
Landscape Maintenance and Irrigation Services in Baton Rouge, LA
Although they need some protection over the winter, your plants don’t simply go dormant. They still need the same dedicated care you’ve always provided them, including watering, pruning and exposure to sunlight.
If your yard’s foliage could use some upkeep, the landscaping professionals at River City Landscaping can help get your lawn back in tip-top shape. Whether you want to keep your plant life looking its best all season long or are interested in reinventing your outdoor space in time for spring, our courteous landscapers and designers can help you achieve your goals. We offer:
- Stone installation services
- Drainage system services
- Irrigation installation and maintenance
- Sod and mulch installation
- General lawn maintenance
Contact us online or call 225-364-2024 to schedule your appointment today!