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Keeping the Plants around Your Lawn Well and Watered During the Winter

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

With your lawn safely dormant for the winter, are you wondering in the plants you've planted around your lawn will fare as well? There are a few simple steps you can take to help ensure the livelihood of the plants around your lawn, including mulching, watering before a freeze, and tucking your plants in before a freeze.

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  • Keep your plants warm.
    • Mulching on the surface helps the soil underneath. Using a little compost in your mulch helps keep the soil, and hence the plants' roots, warm. Just be careful not to mulch too much around the roots, so you don't suffocate them and risk rotting.
    • If you expect an extreme freeze, why not tuck your plants in? Covering your plants with cloth (not plastic) or cardboard during extreme cold is a good quick fix that requires little maintenance.
  • Keep your plants watered before a freeze.
    • Sounds funny, right? Soil that is moist helps retain heat during the day and radiate it at night. Overwatering isn't good for plants in any season, but the right amount can help fortify your plants if temperatures are about to drop.
    • When the ground is frozen, moisture cannot penetrate the soil's surface. Watering a few days before a freeze can ensure your plants have water while the freeze is happening.
  • Take advantage of the snow.
    • If you live in a snowy region, a few inches of snow can actually be a protective covering for your plants, and help preserve the water underneath. Any more than a few inches creates a threat, and you'll want to cover them up.
    • You clean off your windshield in the snow, so why not clean off your plants? More than a few inches can weigh down your plant leaves and make them dry out. Brushing off your plants after a storm can help dramatically preserve your winter plants.

For climates that don't experience snow or extreme cold, your maintenance may be easier but may include more watering. Drier climates mean less precipitation, but it also means less water for your plants. Keeping them regularly, if less frequently, watered, is a good tip for plants in warmer winters.

About the Author
Joe Cooper writes education, home services, and design articles, and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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