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Old 05-12-2007, 04:02 PM posted to rec.gardens
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 138
Default Five ways to protect plants from Old Man Winter

A single night of harsh winter weather can undo all the TLC you
lavished on your plants from the spring to the fall. But a little care
and attention now can ensure your plants survive to thrive again next

My wife Cheryl has compiled a list of Web sites that should provide
all the help you need to protect your plants this winter, so I will
turn this week's column over to her. As Cheryl points out, "Every
homeowner should know the best way to protect their landscape
regardless of which area of the country they live in."

A frequent question has been on winter rose care and protection. With
roses, a little prevention is worth the effort. The University of
Illinois Extension site has put together a great page on how to
protect your beauties over winter. It has sketches which make it
easier to understand if you are a newbie to roses., which is my favorite site on hydrangea care,
now gives information on winter care specifically for hydrangeas. It
also offers great pictures on how to insulate any containers you may
have (of any shrubs or trees). If you have any pots or containers on
your deck or patio, you will want to check this link out for that

Those of you, like me, who are just getting around to doing any fall
clean up work in the landscape should check this out from the
University of Vermont Extension site on how to prepare your garden for
winter. It really covers all of your landscape from bulbs to
perennials to shrubs to trees to vegetable gardens, listing everything
that needs to be done for these plants to help make sure your plants
get through winter with the least possible damage.

If you are in an extremely cold region with heavy ice and snow, you
will find this link helpful as it gives detailed instructions on
building A frames for your plants.

One of my all time favorite idea sites is the Fine Gardening Magazine
web site. You can read and enjoy many of the articles from the
magazine here. We often recommend this site to readers who contact us
for tips and ideas on landscaping and gardening design. I keep old
issues for reference and the link here is to one of the most
informative articles for winter protection. This link will show you
how to wrap your shrubs and trees to prevent damage from ice, snow and
freezing winds.

I recommend printing these pages out for future reference. Keep them
in a folder for easy access. Fall and winter is a great time to read
about gardening and landscaping. Start a tickler file. When you find
landscaping ideas, plants or techniques that interest you, print them
from your computer or tear them out of the magazine and put them in
the file. I started a gardening file years ago and continually add to
it. When I want to add a plant or do something special with an area, I
pull out my tickler file and go through it. There are always great
ideas. After all, I thought they were great to start with. Right?

For anyone who missed our window box ideas last year, here's a link to
it. It's just basic ideas and pictures to give you some thoughts to go
out on your own and create great window boxes or containers for the
fall and winter season.

In a recent column, I included a "lawn cocktail recipe" that drew some
questions from readers regarding the 20-gallon sprayer that was
referred to. I asked the reader who sent me the recipe to clarify.
Here's his response:

"A 20 or a 25 gal sprayer (depending on the make & model) is available
at Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, etc. It is about half the size of a
football and only holds about a quart of liquid or Miracle Grow
granules. The reason they call it a "20 gal sprayer" is because it
takes (out of the garden hose) 20 gallons of water-to flush or empty
the mixture inside the container. I personally prefer one where you
can adjust the spray so it can shoot out a really heavy/course spray
for the grass & bushes...not the delicate Miracle Grow one unless it
has an adjustable nozzle. However, any one will work." - TSgt Michael

The Plant Man is here to help. Send your questions about trees, shrubs
and landscaping to and for resources and
additional information, or to subscribe to Steve's free e-mailed
newsletter, visit

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