Protect Your Plants This Winter

It’s that time of year again when the air is a little crisper and you wake to frost on the ground. We have officially had our first freeze, but never fear Texans! Our weather never stays the same for too long. We’ll be looking for a slight increase in temperatures during the day which can give us the time we need to focus on caring for our outdoor plants before it gets too cold again.

You may be aware that you should cover your in-ground plants with sheets or heavyweight row cover to protect them from a freeze. What you may not know is that the cover isn’t what is keeping your plants warm. It’s really the heat coming from the ground that is being held in by the cover. You’ll want to make sure to cover your plants all the way to the ground. You can secure this cover with something heavy like rocks or bricks. It’s important that this cover is draped over and secured at the ground and not actually tied to the trunk. Tying around the trunk actually keeps the ground heat from getting to the plant. If you have plants that cannot handle the weight of a cover, use a large box or build a frame around them with tomato cages to hold the covers. When temperatures rise above freezing, make sure to remove the plant covers to allow them the ability to absorb heat and recover before the cold nights.

For your plants in containers, you can use move them all together against your house and use the same covering methods above. Another method is to move them to your garage. Just make sure they have an adequate amount of sunlight and try to give them some fresh air occasionally if you can stand to open your garage for a little bit during the day.
Lastly, make sure not to overwater during the winter. Some of your plants may go dormant while being stored in the garage to reserve energy for the next spring, so they will not need as much water as they do when they are out in the elements.

Don’t hesitate to call your local nursery for tips to care for your plants during the winter so you can enjoy their beauty next spring!