As we move into the colder months, gardeners will need to protect their yard and home from freezing temperatures. Plants and their root systems will need to be protected, as well as pipes and irrigation systems. In freezing temperatures, water in pipes can freeze which will cause the system to expand and eventually burst. To prevent frost damage, be sure to stock up on insulation. It’s always better to be prepared before the first freeze arrives, rather than waiting until it’s too late!
1. Cover plants and their root systems
To protect plants, gardeners should stock up on mulch and burlap to help keep their plants warm. When temperatures drop below freezing, burlap or N-Sulate can be used to cover plants, which will keep them from being exposed to extreme cold temperatures. Both covers are a breathable material, meaning the plant won’t experience stunted growth. Be sure to monitor daytime temperatures, as the cover may need to be removed if temperatures are higher than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
To protect root systems, add a layer of mulch that is at least two inches thick. A good layer will insulate the root system, keeping roots warm during colder temperatures. When adding mulch, avoid piling it against tree trunks or plant stems, as this can provide a bridge for pests to harm the plant. Instead, cover the area in a donut-like shape.
Excellent mulch options include organic compost, Dr. Q’s Premium Paydirt Planting Mix, Forest Gro, or Top Dressing. When picking your mulch, we highly recommend Paydirt because it will simultaneously insulate root systems and improve your soil composition, since it is specially formulated with peat moss and compost.
2. Restrict your watering schedule
In addition to insulating plants and their root systems, gardeners should slow their watering schedule to one day per week from November to February. Not only are gardeners mandated by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to restrict watering, but over-watering during the winter months can increase the chances of cold stress on your plants. By restricting water, plants will go into a period of rest and produce less tender, new growth that might be damaged by cold temperatures. If you have cacti in your yard, be sure to give them one good, deep watering in November, then don’t water again until January or February.
3. Utilize covers for pipes
Once you’ve finished prepping your garden for frost, be sure to prepare your home! Pipes and irrigation systems will need protective covers that will prevent bursting and extra repair costs. There are many types of protection that you may need to protect your home, including faucet protectors, hose faucet protectors, tube insulation, foil wrap, and/or PVB protectors. To determine which protector is right for your needs, be sure to speak with a Star Nursery team member. Additionally, if using a gardening hose, be sure to drain it completely, as extra water can cause a build-up of ice, which will inconvenience you the next time you go to use it.
When anticipating freezing temperatures, remember that it is always better to be safe than sorry. Stock up on frost protection now! Be sure to grab mulch, burlap, and pipe protectors at your favorite Star Nursery. Ensuring that you are prepared for winter will allow you to reap great rewards during the spring months because your properly protected plants will grow bigger and better than ever!