We are going to wrap up our series on putting the garden to bed by discussing some winterizing techniques.
Heavy ice or snow on arbor vitae can cause damage by bending or breaking the tops of the shrubs due to excessive weight. It is very sad to see a flat-head arbor vitae, so be sure to tie them up to prevent this. However, if you put it off and get an unexpected snow, they will recover in the spring...eventually.
Evergreens, because they have foliage even in winter, will lose moisture, especially in windy areas. To prevent wind burn, you have several options: you can wrap them, put up barriers and spray them with an anti-desiccant (Wilt-Pruf). An anti-desiccant is a foliage spray that helps prevent summer scald, transplant shock and winter moisture loss, which is also known as desiccation. We recommend spraying while the temps are still above freezing and the plants are dormant. You can then reapply in January/February.
After you are done working on the actual plants, it's a good idea to clean your tools for the winter. Even leaving dirt and grass on blades can cause rusting over the winter. Drain power equipment of fuel or add a fuel stabilizer such as Stabil. Oil any metals with vegetable oil to prevent rusting. And don't forget to sharpen your tools so they are ready for action once spring returns.
While you're at it, might as well check your snow removal equipment (shovels, blowers, snow rake, de-icers). Try as they might, the forecasters don't always get it right. You don't want to wake up to a winter wonderland one morning and not be prepared.
Now that all the hard stuff is done, cozy up with some seed catalogs and make your wish list for next year!
If you have any questions about the topic we've covered the past few posts, or comments/tips you'd like to share, please send us a note. We'd love to hear from you.
Enjoy your outdoors!