Holiday Wrapping 2014

holiday1Hello again, gardening friends, I hope that everyone is enjoying this autumn so far.

I am getting many friends, relatives, and clients worrying about this coming winter. They say that according to the Farmer’s almanac, and friends in the energy sector, that this winter will be as bad as or worse than last winter. Okay, now I am one who does not like hype, hysteria, or the selling of fear. Neither, do I believe that the weatherman is correct about rainfall until forecasts until the rain is bouncing off of my head. In the event however, that we may actually have bad winter weather, I will suggest that we err on the side of caution to protect our gardens and favorite plants.

Here are some suggestions:

1. – Blow out your irrigation system; all right, so not everyone has an irrigation system, but you can drain garden hoses, and shut off outside water sources, such as hose bibs, to prevent broken pipes.

2. – As mentioned in last year’s article, I recommended that you cut back your perennials, and remove annuals, and summer bulbs.

Note: It was recommended in a recently attended plant seminar, that we cut back our hybrid shrub roses, (“knockout”), and similar to 18”-24”, and keep them free of leaf litter at ground level. Standard roses cut to 15”-18”, with same hygiene.

holiday23. – Shrub protection:

A. – perhaps you want to use anti-desiccants, such as “Wilt Pruf”. This helps protect broadleaf evergreens by limiting the amount of moisture loss in the leaf surface; rather like us using “Chap Stick” during winter months. This product claims to be natural oil, make sure to read the directions.

holiday31. – wrapping with various natural fabrics, (burlap), and plastic tarps. Tarp wrapping can be tricky, and must be used with discretion, and recommended for plants we grow that are not as hardy as plants listed for our climate zone. I have a friend that successfully grows palms outdoors in northernmost New Jersey using wrapping techniques. Photo left: Camellia with corner stakes ready for burlap protection.

C. – Burlap fences along roadside can help prevent salt splash from the winter road de-icing treatments. They can also be utilized as wind protection for shrubs.

holiday4D. – Tie up your Arbor Vitaes BEFORE the snow gets here to droop them over. My recommendation is the Chain Lock plastic chain product. (See photo). Our company has used this extensively through recent years of snow damaged plant material, especially on Arbor Vitaes. You can tie them together now, at a comfortably loose tightness, and they will be fine through the winter into next year’s growing season.

Some of our customers are currently having us use the techniques employed since the 1980’s to protect their horticultural favorites, and investments.

I hope that this article has been interesting and helpful.

Written By: Everett Fink

IMG_3228Everett Fink is a Certified Rutgers Master Gardener, Certified Pesticide applicator, and N.J. State licensed Home Improvement Contractor. Everett was designated Top Tier Designer at Sponzilli Landscape, and currently Owns Property Details LLC, in New Jersey.

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