When planning the care you provide your trees, have you taken the Farmer’s Almanac into account? The 2016 predictions have been released, and Utah is slated for a dry and mild season.
“Unseasonably mild temperatures” are forecast, with a little less rain than Utahns are used to. The good news is that precipitation levels will be closer to normal after months of overly dry conditions for the state and the rest of the southwest.
What does this mean for your landscaping activities?
For many in Utah, it means you can keep gardening and planting year-round with minimal watering duties! You’ll also have to endure fewer insects, and you might even be able to indulge in a smorgasbord of a winter crop.
Cool-season veggies and flowers will thrive, so think primroses and pansies this time of year. If you planted these crops in autumn, you’ll likely be able to enjoy them early.
However, for gardening, make sure you follow these mild winter tips.
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Plant on the north side, or use the eastern side as a second option. If you expose plants to a south sky in winter, they’ll experience severe temperature variation. Instead, aim to give them as much stability as possible.
Add about 3.5 inches of mulch to the garden, always after the last frost (if that’s an issue in your region). This keeps the soil cool, but doesn’t necessarily protect it from getting cold. Ultimately, this minimizes root damage and prevents a constant freeze/thaw cycle.
Wrap saplings and bushes with twine to help with any frost weight. The twine should be wrapped at the base, then wound in a spiral to the top and down again. Most plant breakage happens in winter, and you’ll get healthier plants for the effort.
You also might want to implement a burlap screen via stakes to keep younger plants safe from those western gusty winds. It also helps them from getting freeze dried in the winter sun and protects them from any salt runoff from nearby roads.
High and Dry
Winter sucks moisture from leaves just like it does your own skin. If roots can’t get water due to frozen soil, they’ll suffer. Water properly throughout the winter and well into the fall (at that point, begin to taper off).
Whenever the soil is loose enough (not frozen), make sure your plant’s roots are getting the hydration they need.
Bear in mind that winter plants can be a much-needed food source for animals. Mice, rabbits and voles particularly love your winter vegetation. Some fencing might be in order, or another organic barrier method.
If your winter is jam-packed and you’d prefer to let the pros handle your tree and shrubbery care, call Reliable Tree Care for comprehensive services around the Salt Lake City area.