Easy Winterizing Tips

Easy Winterizing Tips

A few years ago, my In-laws bought some palm trees for their patio. They were gorgeous all summer! But, after a mild fall, we experienced one of the biggest winter snowstorms I can remember. And the palms I loved couldn’t weather the storm.

It was then that I learned (the hard way) the importance of protecting plants through winter.

Bloomin’ Easy® plants are not only selected for their unique beauty and easy care qualities, but are also chosen for cold hardiness, which means they can grow well and survive in colder climates like we have in Canada. Yet even still, plants can succumb to harsh weather conditions, especially when the temperatures go from mild to freezing very quickly.

For all plants you browse in the garden center, generally, as long as you follow the zone listed on the tag, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about them over winter.  But no matter what plants you’re trying to grow outdoors, here are some tips to protect your special plants for the winter.

Five easy tips to get ready for winter and a head start on spring:

 

Remove weeds

Doing one final weeding is the best way to get rid of overwintering unwanted seeds in your garden. Be sure to put these plants, especially the seed heads, in a covered garbage can, and not your compost. 

 

 

 

 

Prune 

Some shrubs, perennials and trees might need a little prune after they’ve gone dormant. Do this especially if you have heavy snow or high wind that could break branches.  For your Bloomin’ Easy plants, we recommend signing up for our plant specific Care Reminders so you will know when and how to prune your plant. Sign up is free and easy at mybloomineasy.com.

 

 

Wrap shrubs

We try to have plants that are as hardy as we can find them. But feel free to add a burlap covering to your shrub if you live in an extremely cold, or windy area. This is especially true if you have one of the shrubs in a container on your patio. Plants in containers are not insulated like they are in the ground, so covering your shrub with burlap will give your plant that little bit of extra help your plant might need to overwinter.  Another way you can insulate your container is by covering the container with snow (if your area gets enough of it). 

 

 

Continue to water until the ground freezes

Plants will certainly use less water in the fall than in summer, but it’s important to continue to water regularly as needed if you don’t get a lot of rain. When the ground freezes, ice will form around the roots protecting them from extreme ground temperatures, so continue to water until winter arrives for good.

 

 

Add a layer of mulch

When you mulch your garden it helps moderate the rapid changes in temperatures so your plant’s roots aren’t freezing then thawing then freezing again. Head to your local garden centre and pick some up, you will not regret it! 

 

A 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the base of your plants will insulate and protect from winter’s extremes. It will also help cut down on weeding and watering needs – a nice easy bonus.

So,

How did my in-laws deal with their palm trees in 2019? When they planted the palms in the containers they started with bubble wrap wrapped on the inside of the container.  And, now that we have hit freezing weather here in Vancouver, they have wrapped the palms with burlap. 

Winterizing is easy and we know you can do it! With carefully chosen plants and a bit of care, you really can create the beautiful, relaxing, low-maintenance outdoor space you deserve.

5 Ways to Make Watering Easy

5 Ways to Make Watering Easy

We’re all guilty of it. 

I’ll admit I was so terrified my plants would die from a lack of water that one of my plants got a touch of root rot. So I read about drowning plants with over-watering and started to over-correct by watering them less– and less to the point they were bone dry and dead. My poor plants.

Sound familiar?

It’s time we simplified—watering is actually quite easy. Here are some tips to get you back on track with worry-free watering

Tip 1: Know your soil

Your soil is unique, so knowing some basic information can really help ease your gardening journey. Knowing things like pH and drainage properties is important. You can talk to the pros at your local garden center to find out what’s common in your area, or send a soil sample for analysis with your local extension. 

Basically, there are three types of soils, high-draining sand, slow-draining clay, and the middle-of-the-road, silt. Most people land somewhere on the spectrum between these soil makeups, and this will determine how your soil drains water. This is important because it will determine which plants will easily thrive, and how frequent you’ll have to water to account for the drainage. 

For example, succulents like it dry, sandy soils that drain fast and don’t hold in water are best for them. Others, like Hydrangea and Ninebark use more water, so if your soil is sandy, you may want to choose lower water use species, or settle for watering more often.

Tip 2: Check your Soil – 2 inch rule!

Dig into the soil to about two inches deep and feel if the soil is dry or moist.  If the soil is dry it’s time to water. If the soil is moist, don’t water yet, and check again later. You can also buy a soil moisture sensor to get even more accurate and test further down near the roots.

Tip 3: Add Mulch

Mulch is possibly the easiest and best thing you can do to keep your plants hydrated. Adding a 2-3 inch layer of natural landscape mulch will make you happy in 4 ways:

  1. Efficient watering – Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil. Conserving water makes sense and saves you money.
  2. Prevents weeds – Spend less time pulling weeds and more time relaxing.
  3. Creates a clean look – Mulch makes your garden beds beautiful, creating a clean, consistent look that’s weed free.
  4. Mulch breaks down over time, releasing nutrients to your plants. Replenish every 1-3 years

Tip 4: Water early in the day

The best time to water is in the morning before the sun is bright in the sky. By watering earlier in the morning you are giving your plant the time it needs to absorb the water and handle the heat of the day.

 Tip 5: Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation

If you set up drip irrigation or soaker hoses rather than spraying from above, you will save water, time, and work! You can even connect an automated timer that will control the watering based on your settings, so you can nearly set it and forget it. Talk about easy!

Watering slowly at the base of the plant also allows it to soak deep into the soil where the roots are establishing, helping them use the water efficiently.

Watering Plants in Containers

Plants in pots on your patio or balcony will dry out much faster than plants in the ground. The same watering principles apply, so check the soil moisture often and don’t be surprised if your containers need daily watering schedules in the heat of summer.