If you love to care for your landscaping here in the Jackson, WY area, there is probably some sadness that comes along with the end of the growing season. Sure, Jackson is beautiful when it is covered with a fresh coating of snow, but you’ll have to wait until next spring to dive back into the hobby you love.
Doing what you can to care for your plants as fall gradually turns to winter is an important step you can take now to position your landscaping well for the spring. In this article, we’ll talk about covering plants and when the time is right to take that action. Of course, if you need any help with your landscaping projects, please feel free to reach out to TLC right away for assistance from a member of our team.
At first, the idea of covering your plants might seem a little strange. After all, isn’t the air under the covering going to be just as cold as the air on top? Well, not necessarily. The trick here is that the covering can capture the heat that is naturally emitted by the earth itself. It’s a similar concept to how using a blanket in a bed captures the heat your body produces, and in turn, helps to keep you warm.
The ground in the winter months doesn’t feel very warm, but it is always putting out at least some heat that can be used to help the plants stay healthy. It will be far from tropical under there but covering plants can be the difference between losing them to the winter and having them make it through safely to next spring.
If you want to know when you should cover your plants, watching for a hard freeze is a good starting point. A hard freeze is an event where the temperature reaches down to at least 28*F or lower and stays there for a few hours. With those conditions in place, significant plant damage is possible to certain types of plants. This is different from an occasion where the temperature dips below the freezing mark, but only barely, before quickly warming up again.
When a hard freeze is predicted, as is often the case in Jackson, as fall moves along, covering your plants may be a necessary step. Of course, this will require that you keep an eye on the weather forecast so you have enough time to do the work of covering the right plants before these cold conditions are predicted to occur. Consider adding a weather app to your phone and pay close attention to the overnight low-temperature forecast – that’s the one that will tell you whether a hard freeze is on the way.
Covering your plants is not a particularly complicated process, but it does take a bit of time (depending on how much landscaping you have on your property). As the first rule of thumb, don’t use plastic for this job – it tends to actually make the plant colder by conducting the cold temperature directly into the plant itself. Fortunately, there are plenty of other materials that work
For a simple solution–that you likely have around the house already–look for some old sheets or pieces of cardboard that can be carefully placed on the plants. Sheets that you don’t want to use in your home anymore are a good pick when you need to cover a large plant, while extra cardboard boxes that are lying around will be a nice solution for smaller plants.
Another option is to purchase a product that has been designed specifically for this role. It’s easy enough to find plant covers, either at a local store or online. While it’s not necessary to buy something specifically for this job, it might be nice if that product comes with a case or packaging that can keep it contained throughout the rest of the year when not in use. Then, when the time comes for cold weather to arrive, you can break out your plant cover and quickly get ready without having to rummage around the house. We can’t do anything about the cold weather that will stay a few months here in the Jackson area, but we can plan ahead to protect our plants as thoroughly as possible. If you would like some help with this task, or with any landscaping on your property, get in touch with TLC today and we can discuss the options.
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“The best friend on earth of man is the tree: when we use the tree respectfully and economically we have one of the greatest resources of the earth.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright