With our cold blasts that hit this winter, you may have damage to your plants. Follow these 10 steps to ensure they survive.
1.) Resist Action: Winter-stunned plants need to be left alone for a while until weather warms.
2.) Don’t Over Do It: Don’t overwater a winter-damaged plant, as the roots may be unable to absorb a high amount of liquid causing rot.
3.) Don’t fertilize…yet: Don’t fertilize and try to jump start your freeze-damaged plant. You don’t want it to leaf out too quickly since it will stress the already suffering plant.
4.) Don’t heavy prune: Even though your instincts may be telling you to prune all the dead growth away, wait until the plant has had a chance to adjust to its growth pattern. 5.) Be Patient: Wait until temperatures begin to get warmer (April, May and even June) and the soil warms up to see if there is new growth or budding leaves.
6.) Get tools ready: Make sure your pruners are sharp and clean. There are many how-to videos to learn about sharpening pruners on YouTube, or simply resource a place to sharpen them for you.
7.) Clean your pruners: We don’t want to spread disease from plant to plant. Dilute bleach with water into a 1:3 ratio, dampen shop cloth and swipe both blades completely.
8.) New growth? Now prune! Once you see new growth, you can cut away the dead growth up to the first leaf bud that you see, leaving the new leaves and buds to flourish.
9.) Feeding your plants: Once you have pruned the plant, fertilize a little bit around each plant to get it growing again. We recommend an organic, all-purpose plant food that is a good, slow starting mix of 5-5-5 (5% nitrogen, 5% potassium and 5% phosphorus). Water well.
10.) “One Ounce of Prevention is Worth More Than a Pound of Cure”: Covering plants helps protect them from severe cold before it starts is the best prevention, such as a thick layer of mulch or a frost cover blanket. Light snow provides the best blanket of protection and insulates the ground around your plants. Wet, heavy snow can cause considerable damage. If you see damage resulting from wet snow, carefully shake the snow off before damage occurs.