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Prepare Austin Plants For Freeze

Preparing Your Austin Plants For An Upcoming Freeze

Most gardeners in Austin, TX dread the winter months. One stroke of cold, freezing weather can damage everything they have ever done in their yard. Plants may suffer from freeze burn, freeze cracks or freeze injury. Some plants and trees are sturdy enough to survive the crazy weather patterns we experience in Austin. Most experts, however, believe that well-maintained plants have a greater chance of surviving the winter freeze and frost when compared to plants that have been neglected during summer and fall. It also depends on the severity of frost in your area and the soil type. You should consider all these factors before preparing your plants for an upcoming freeze.

Watering is an important aspect of winter care. Many Austin gardeners believe that plants do not need watering in winter. They leave that job to the rain. However, even during fall and winter, you should water the plants during the intermittent dry spells. Water can provide some warmth to the plants, and help them survive the freeze. It is also important to add mulch around the roots of the plant. Mulch acts as a blanket and protects the roots of the plant from freezing temperatures. Root-hardy plants such as hibiscus may lose their top during winter but regular watering and mulching in fall and winter can help the plants return in spring.

You can also offer additional protection to the blooming plants, shrubs and trees by covering them with row covers, sheets or blankets. Remember to anchor the sheets properly with nails, bricks or rocks. You may also create greenhouses for the small shrubs with the help of some cardboard boxes and pots. Covering the plants in the evenings can help them receive some essential sunlight during the day, and retain the warmth during the night. Light watering before a freezing night may also help improve warmth and humidity. Exotic and delicate plants may also thrive well in pots that can be placed in a protected area or inside your home. You can also create a temporary structure with wood and bricks to protect some small, outdoor plants.

If your plant has been exposed to freeze or ice, do not wash off the frost in the morning. The fluctuations in temperatures can be too much for your plant to handle. It may damage the cells and tissues of your plant. Wait for the frost to melt, and assess the damage. You may hire the services of a certified arborist to remove large branches or trees that have been damaged by frost. You should also remove all the soft and soggy parts around the plant. Wait for spring and fertilize the plant to promote new growth.

Consulting with an experienced Austin Landscape Maintenance Company for additional advice is helpful. They can also help manage everything for you, bringing the proper experience and equipment for the job.


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