Frost is coming soon, which means plants like Impatiens will soon be looking like applesauce, or the blooms on fantastic vines like Passiflora will soon drop. But this is not the only problem. Not only will the most delicate plants look ugly, but cold weather brings with it other consequences.
Here are five quick tips to protect your garden for days to come.
Tip number 1 – Protect delicate plants indoors
If you live in an area where frosts occur, don’t expect to shelter the tropical and semi-tropical plants that you have been able to enjoy outside, such as: bougainvillea, ferns, clivias, plumerias, and the like. It only takes a single night of frost for most of these plants to kick the bucket.
It is important to first spray with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap to ensure that they do not carry pests or eggs with them. Once indoors, we will place them in a place with lots of light , as much as possible. Don’t worry if the leaves turn yellow and/or drop quickly. The dim light inside means the plant doesn’t need them now.
Do not fertilize these plants until spring. We must be very careful with watering: in winter they grow more slowly and do not need as much water.
Tip number 2 – Protect clay pots
Clay pots absorb and release water -as if they were breathing-. That is why plants grow so well in them. But in winter, when it freezes, the pot freezes, which makes it easier for cracks to develop over time, they will become large cracks that will force us to throw the pot away because it has become unusable.
For this reason, we must put them indoors or store them outside in a dry place, where they do not get wet.
Tip number 3 – Turn off the irrigation system
Surely you have had the automatic irrigation system all year. But unfortunately July is behind us, and both the plants and the grass do not need as much water as before, and if the irrigation system is running when the thermometer drops below zero, the next morning you will wake up in a garden similar to the amazing Siberia , or even worse (just kidding, but you can lose a lot of plants that way).
Tip number 4 – Clean the garden
Yes, I know. You go out one morning to find mushy tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers that are starting to get sad, that don’t finish growing. When the cold arrives, it is best to remove all these plants , since the cold will cause them to be filled with pests which can do a lot of damage to the rest of your plants.
For this reason, it is advisable to enjoy these plants in summer, and now in winter, uproot them and use them as compost.
Tip number 5 – Protect plants with mulching
Who among us has not tried to fool mother nature by wanting to have plants that are a bit on the edge in our area? I’m talking about elephant ear, calla lilies, amarillys, lantana, gladioli, cannas, agapanthus, and so on. One way to get plants to survive the winter is to remove all dry leaves and stems, and put mulch around them (protecting the root system).
Mulching can be made up of pine straw, straw, or earthen bark.
With these tips, we hope that your plants survive the winter without problems.