Mulching For Winter Protection

by on 12/02/2014 - 11:54 am

Category: Lawn & Garden

By Jeremy Smith

President, Smith Brothers Mulch

Just as people feel the need to dive under their blankets and hibernate for the winter, we should also think about bundling up our plants and flowerbeds.

With Northeast Ohio’s dismal track record of winter seasons, mulching is a protective effort people should consider year-round. This is an effective ounce of prevention to avoid the havoc of freezing temperatures, as well as arctic winds, that can destroy soil and plant root systems.

When the ground freezes then thaws, it tends to expand and contract, which causes “heaving.” A plant sitting in the shifting ground eventually becomes loose and pushed up from the soil, which can damage the now-exposed root system or even kill the plant.

Another reason winter mulching is essential is to stop plants from being falsely triggered into an early bloom during a warm spell in late winter or early spring, as it will help to keep temperatures steady. It also helps conserve water that is still left in the soil by slowing the evaporation process.

The ideal time to mulch for the winter is after the ground has frozen and plants have gone dormant. A nice layer of material placed around plants about three to four inches thick should be enough to insulate them from frigid temps.

A cold, snowy winter can also be a killer of delicate rose bushes. These tender bush varieties require a bit more care than most plants and should be surrounded by 10-12 inches of soil at the base of the bush.

Mulch that is laid in the winter should be removed when the danger of a hard frost is behind us.

With just a little extra TLC in the winter, by the time our spring thaw comes around, your plants and beds will be ready to reawaken beautifully to the warmer climate.

Smith Brothers Bark Mulch and Landscaping Products is located at 3087 Marks Road in Medina. Give them a call with any mulching questions or stop in to check out the styles of bark mulch for yourself, 330-617-8465.