No matter where you live, you’re likely to face extreme weather phenomena from time to time. But while you can dodge into your office or home to take cover from the elements, your trees and plants are less lucky. Find out how to protect your plants from unusual weather and ensure that most of them survive the forces of nature.
Mulch serves a number of purposes besides giving the base of your flowerbeds an attractive, uniform look. In addition to discouraging pests and keeping disease at bay, it actually helps to insulate the soil and the plant’s root system.
A few inches of mulch around the roots of your bushes, trees, and other plants will help them stay cool during hot weather. Mulch also insulates against the cold during fall and winter. Learn how to mulch your flower beds with our instructional Youtube video.
If you’re expecting a frost to come in the night, take time to cover your small plants with plastic grocery bags. Weight the edges of the bags with small stones to prevent the bags from blowing away and becoming an environmental hazard.
Instead of plastic covers or bags, you could use cardboard boxes or large plastic flowerpots. When you cover the plants, they won’t be able to get any sunshine, so be sure not to use this protective method for longer than a couple of days.
Old Blankets and Burlap
For small trees and larger bushes, you can employ a wrap made of old blankets or layers of burlap cloth. The thicker the blanket, the more protective it offers against moderate or heavy frosts.
Some plants may simply not be able to handle the weather conditions coming your way. In that case, consider temporarily re-homing those plants indoors, especially if you have invested a lot of time or money in your garden.
As you place the plants into pots, make sure that you don’t damage the root system. You’ll need to place the plants in a climate-controlled area where they have access to the appropriate amount of sunlight.
For certain plants, like roses, a bunker of earth can offer protection against wind and cold. In the fall, before frosts come, create a loose pile of soil about a foot high around the base of each rosebush. In early spring, you can gently remove the mounds of earth.
Stakes and Cages
If you’re expecting high winds in your area, or if wind-storms come through often, it’s a good idea to stake some of your tender plants. Hammer wooden stakes into the ground at intervals around the most vulnerable plants, and create a wind barrier by wrapping burlap from stake to stake to form a fence.
For taller plants or young trees, purchase or craft light wooden cages that offer extra support against the force of the wind. You could also establish a temporary or permanent windbreak to block wind from a particular direction.