With the first snow of the season already melted away in Denver, now is the time to prepare your garden and yard for winter. Colorado’s temperature fluctuations can be particularly hard on young shrubs and trees. Our welcome warm southwest sun can warm plants during the day, while temperatures plunge at night. Here are five suggestions to consider when winterizing your Colorado garden from the experts at Colorado State University:
- Perennials are going through a “hardening off” process, naturally preparing for colder weather. Add mulch beneath shrubs and tree trunks to help this process.
- Use mulch that is loose and airy like wood chips, chunk bark or course gravel.
- Remove annuals, roots and all. Grind them with a rotary mower and use to decompose in garden beds. Do not chop up weeds, however, or they’ll repopulate next spring with a vengeance!
- Recently planted trees should be wrapped from the base up to the second or third branch. By overlapping about 50%, the edges will shed off water. Be sure to remove the wrapping around April/early Spring. If left on over the spring and summer, it will harbor insects and diseases.
- Trim all dead and diseased branches from evergreens. Relocated shrubs or young trees in the fall.
Winterizing roses can be a little trickier, so for more information on roses and tea roses, click here. And, for those blizzards, remember to start at the base of your evergreens and work your way up to the top to avoid breakage of the plant. For freezing rain, let it melt naturally.
Taking this time will protect your plants and make for a happy, healthy garden next Spring and add value to your Colorado home!