The winter months mean chilly wind, cozy blankets, hot cocoa, and warm fires. Many people may enjoy the cold weather, but the lower temperatures make it hard for your backyard plants to thrive. So how do you help your plants stay alive this winter? Use these tips to maintain your winter garden!

Cleaning

During the winter, sunlight is scarce, and the days are short. To make sure your backyard plants take full benefit of the little light they have, it is essential to keep the leaves of your plants clean and dust-free. Every couple weeks, consider wiping accumulated dust and grime off the leaves, leaving your plants looking good. Also, make an effort to remove the dead and infected parts of plants to avoid harboring fungus or insect eggs that further infect the rest of the plant.

Watering

When it comes to watering your plants during the winter, remember to leave them unattended – at least most of the time. The evaporation rate of soil-moisture is lower during the colder months. So the frequency of watering your plants must automatically be reduced. Plants require most water during warmer months when they actively grow, as water helps the roots absorb nutrients from the soil. For that reason, allow your backyard soil to dry out entirely before watering the plants again in the winter.

Fertilizing

Winter is the leaner season for the growth of your plants. Hence, your plants don’t need a lot of nutrients to survive when they are not actively growing. Feeding is necessary only during the spring and summer months. Over-fertilizing your plants can lead to issues like yellowing and wilting of leaves, brown tips and margins on leaves, defoliation, reduced flowering, and even plant death. If you do fertilize, it must be done sparingly. The fertilizer must be diluted by 50 percent or more. You may begin fertilizing again once you witness the plant setting new growth (usually in late February or March).

Relocating

As large shrubs and small trees turn dormant during the winter, it’s best to transplant them at this time. Go ahead and start digging after the last leaf descends before the ground freezes. Don’t worry! Your garden plants will have sufficient time to settle in and get comfortable in their new soil before the warmer months kick in.

Maintaining

There’s always maintenance to do in landscaping, even in the winter months. The offseason is the perfect time to maintain fencing or install in new ones, as much of the landscape go dormant at this time, causing less damage to your plants. If you have bushes or roses adjacent to where the fence will be installed, they can be cut down or relocated during their dormancy without initiating long-term damage.

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