How Do I Protect My Plants from Snow?

Did you spend all summer caring for your outdoor plants, but now don't know how to make sure winter doesn't get the best of them? While it may seem like a large undertaking, the keys to winter plant protection are maintenance and preseason prevention. 

Winter serves as a time for plants to go dormant and restore ' it's their revival season ' but if they're not cared for correctly, plants can become vulnerable and susceptible to damage or disease due to winter conditions and other environmental factors like pests.

Here are some simple steps you can take to help protect plants from snow and put your mind at ease, knowing you'll have a healthy garden next spring. 



Cover Large Plants, including Trees and Shrubs

There's no need to drain your bank account this winter. If you don't want to spend a lot on commercial frost cloths, old bed sheets or burlap can be an effective cover for trees and shrubs. When covering plants, make sure to drape clothes over a frame-like structure rather than on the plants themselves. 

To make, push old stakes through the middle of bushes and on their surrounding edges, and use old 2-by-4s to fortify small trees. The trick is to make sure stakes or boards are taller than your plant. When the cloth gets wet and heavy from snow, direct contact can damage the plant. You don't want to uncover your hard work in the spring to find broken limbs or stems. 

Covering plants also helps retain heat rising from soil. To trap as much heat as possible, secure your plants' cover to the ground. Use heavy bricks or stakes to ensure the cover makes strong contact with the ground and does not get blown away. Although this will keep plants cozy during those frigid winter nights, remove covers as much as possible during the day; shielding plants from snow and wind can keep them healthy, but they need sunlight exposure too. And, although your plants won't show growth to the naked eye, they still need the sun's nutrients to endure the winter. 

The best time to cover plants during the broad daylight is during snow removal. When using your snow blower, simply cover nearby flower beds to prevent plants from being damaged or exposed to rock salt and any other type of harmful chemicals. 


Use an Anti-Transpirant

Spray an anti-transpirant on the leaves and petals of plants that are threatened by frost. An anti-transpirant coats plants with a polymer film, which can protect plants for up to three months of cold weather conditions, but be sure to read product directions thoroughly. Most garden centers and large retailers sell anti-transpirant, and prices can range anywhere from $9-$30.

My Plants Are Set, Now What about My Lawn?

Various winter environmental and weather conditions ' like extreme temperatures, snow mold, rock salt, flooded lawns and winter pests ' can all play factors in the health of your outdoors; however, covering your entire lawn with sheets or burlap isn't realistic. Prepare to address potential issues with these winter lawn repair tips to combat common sources of winter lawn damage and ensure that white blanket of snow will melt into a green blanket of grass. Trust us, when your backyard barbeque is free of bare spots next summer, it will be worth it.