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Winter Damage to Your Garden

Winter Damage: What Can I Do About It?

Garden Blog Winter Damage to Plants

Whew! How ‘bout that winter? If you’re a local here in Ashe County, or even if you’re new to the area, you know our winters here can be pretty brutal! Even with some preventative measures taken, sometimes our landscape plants really take a beating. If you noticed some winter damage on your landscape, don’t worry! The good news is plants are amazingly resilient, and more often than not, they will put out new growth and fully recover this spring. Below we’ve listed how to identify winter damage and what you can do to help nurse your plants back to health.

How to Identify Winter Damage in Plants

Winter damage can often times be mistaken as a dead plant. Resist the urge to dig it up! With winter damage, plants typically have dry, brittle, and brown leaves. Leave them in the ground through the months of spring- give them every opportunity to live and thrive this spring.

Identifying Vulnerable Plants

-Broadleaf evergreen

-Newly planted trees and shrubs

-Container gardens

Container plants are most susceptible to winter damage as roots are adapted to growing in the sheltered soil environment, and with a limited amount of soil to insulate and protect the roots, they may freeze and die.

What Can You Do?

Now that we’ve identified winter damage, there are some things you can do to help bring life back to your plants this spring.

  1. Check the soil moisture throughout your landscape, paying special attention to your injured plant(s). If you discover they are dry, take time to water on a day when temperatures are above 40º F.
  2. Be patient and wait! We know… so hard!
    Spring is almost here, and that is the time when you can truly care for your winter damage. Most plants will show signs of recovery in May, however, others may be delayed until June. Resist the urge to remove or start pruning until we know the extent of the injury.
  3. After you see new growth beginning to emerge, that’s good news! Begin to prune the dead branches.
  4. As the new growth emerges, begin to fertilize with good quality, slow release plant food around the drip line of trees and shrubs.
We hope these tips help! Still have questions? Stop by our store at 599 NC Hwy 16 South, Jefferson NC 28640 and speak with our staff to learn more. Keep your head up, spring is on its way!
Kaitlin Carpenter
Manager, Third Day Market

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