Fertilizing and Plant Nutrition
Plants, like people, need to be fed regularly, and like people, too much or too little is not a good thing. So, giving advice on fertilizing plants can be challenging. Differences in soil types, existing nutrients, plant type and climate are but a few of the factors that affect proper fertilization. First, let's understand a little bit about fertilizers in general. All plants require at least 17 different nutrients to survive. Some nutrients come from the air, some from water and others from the soil. When we fertilize a plant, we are adding some of the nutrients that come from the soil.
When we fertilize, three nutrients stand out as the ones that are needed in the greatest amount and that need to be supplemented most often. These are called the primary nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium . Every fertilizer will have three numbers on its label to indicate the percentage of each of these three nutrients that it contains. For example, if a fertilizer is a 15-30-15 formulation. It contains 15% nitrogen, 30% phosphorus, and 15% potassium. Knowing the formulation is important, but there are other factors such as solubility, molecular form, etc. that directly affect nutrient availability. We will leave those details to the plant scientists and others who have a more technical interest, but it is essential to purchase fertilizers from a trusted source so you can have confidence that you are getting what you pay for and what your plants need.
In addition to the primary nutrients, many premium fertilizers include a group of nutrients know as the micronutrients. These are plant nutrients that are just as essential for healthy plant growth as any of the other nutrients we have discussed, but are needed only in small amounts by the plant. One can think of micronutrients for plants as being analogous with vitamins for people. Selecting fertilizers with a complete micronutrient package is always the best choice.
Young plants and recently transplanted plants often grow more rapidly and have a less developed root system than the more mature established plants, thus more frequent supplemental fertilization is called for. Annuals also require a lot of nutrients to sustain their rapid growth and flowering. For best results fertilize young, fast growing plants and all annuals every one to two weeks with a soluble fertilizer. For established shrubs and trees two or three feeding in the spring to early summer should be sufficient.
If you chose to use a "dry" fertilizer, place the fertilizer where it will reach the plant roots, within the area between the trunk and the drip line. Spread the fertilizer evenly over the entire area and be cautious to avoid getting fertilizer on the trunk. The best time for this application is in the spring when you see some new growth emerging. If you have shrubs and trees planted in grassy areas you will want to apply several small amounts to avoid burning the grass. If you use a "slow release" fertilizer, follow the label closely as each formulation varies in content and longevity.
Never fertilize a dry plant. It is a good idea to thoroughly water a plant the day before fertilizing. Be sure you have had rain or you have irrigated between fertilizations. Remember more is not better when it comes to fertilizing. It is very important to read the fertilizers directions on how much to apply. It is better to use less fertilizer more often than too much which can burn the roots and kill the plant.
As a general rule, fast growing plants like annuals need more fertilizer than slower growing plants. For most plants, stop all fertilization with the approach of fall and allow the plants to harden off and enter winter dormancy.
Over fertilization: Too much fertilizer creates a "salty" condition in the soil that can damage roots and inhibit water and nutrient uptake. The symptoms are similar to the signs of under watering (drought).
Under fertilization: Nutrient deficiencies occur when one or more of the essential nutrients are unavailable or in short supply. Nitrogen deficiency is probably the most common deficiency, and its symptoms are yellowing of the lower (older) leaves. Most deficiencies are difficult to diagnose and are usually avoided with adequate fertilization.
Pruning your trees, shrubs and plants can be beneficial for almost all landscapes. Pruning is done primarily for the following reasons:
- Promote flowering
- Promote higher fruit yield
- Improve the health of trees, shrubs and plants
- Improve aesthetics / appearance
- Control growth
- Maintain a desired shape
- Removal of dead, damaged, diseased, and infested limbs
The number one mistake most people make when pruning is pruning at the wrong time. Before you start pruning be sure it is the proper time of year for your area and the tree, shrub or plant you want to prune. If you are not sure what time of year is best contact your state Cooperative Extension Service (County Agent). Failure to prune at the right time of year can prevent flowering, weaken the plant and stunt growth and even cause death.
We offer the following information only as general guidelines.
Non-flowering evergreen trees should be pruned once a year in the early spring as undesired new growth appears.
Deciduous trees and shrubs (those that loose their leaves) should be pruned once a year. This should be done primarily in the winter when they are dormant and before spring buds appear.
For most spring-flowering trees and shrubs pruning should only be performed immediately after they have flowered. Next years flower buds will form on this years new growth, so pruning later will result in you pruning off the buds and they will not have time to reform before winter. Some example of this are: Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Indian Hawthorn, Redbud, Japanese Quince, Fringe Tree, Forsythia, Honeysuckle, Rambling Roses, most big-leaf Hydrangea, Bradford Pear, Clematis, Climbing Roses, Dogwood, Flowering Cherry, Lilac, Oak-leaf Hydrangea, Saucer & Star Magnolia, Weigelia and Wisteria.
Some trees and shrubs flower on the current (new) seasons wood and should be pruned in late winter while dormant. Pinch off spent blossoms as they die to keep the plants looking their best and to help promote more flowers. Examples of these are: Abelia, Butterfly Bush, Hills of Snow, St. Johnswort, Crape Myrtle, Bush Roses, Camellia, Cranberry Bush, Japanese Spirea, Rose of Sharon (Althea), and Chaste tree.
For hedges you will want to prune in the spring and summer as new undesirable growth appears. You will want to prune the top of the hedge narrower at the top allowing sunlight to reach the base of the hedge. This will prevent thinning in the lower sections of the hedge.
Before you head out on your pruning adventure make sure you have the proper tools. A good pair of sharp and clean pruning shears can cut branches up to ½' in diameter. For branches ½' - 2” in diameter you will need a pair of lopping shears. For all branches over 2” you will need a hand or bow saw.
The first thing you will need to prune is all of the dead, damaged, diseased and infested limbs. Make sure you prune back to a good healthy branch just shy of a flush cut. Also remove any undesired suckers and water sprouts from the base and trunk. These fast growing shoots are often unsightly and take away from the nutrients needed in other areas of the tree. A lot of times this is all the pruning that is required. You will want to take a few steps away from the plant and look at what you just pruned. If you have not achieved the desired look selectively prune some more. Cutting lateral branches will promote growth and train the plant to grow into the desired shape you are looking for. On small branches make sure these cuts are ¼-inch from the adjoining branches. Take your time, standing back often to see if you have reached the desired look. Remember, once you prune it, it is gone!
Severe cuts are primarily used when you have control issues and are performed to fix a problem. An example of this is when a tree has grown into a home and is causing damage. On large stems (large limbs connected to the trunk) make sure these cuts are performed out from the trunk of the tree about ½” – 1” at a 60 degree angle.
Hopefully our basic pruning guide, along with help from your state Cooperative Extension Service, will enable you to develop an appropriate pruning schedule. Pruning is an invaluable tool for promoting and maintaining an attractive and healthy landscape.
One of the first things to consider when choosing a plant for your garden is to determine if it is suitable for your area. Cold hardiness, heat tolerance, and drought tolerance all factor in to successful choices for gardening in your location.
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has put together what is called a plant hardiness zone map . The map shows in detail the lowest temperatures that can be expected each year in the United States. The map shows 10 different zones, each of which represents an area of winter hardiness for the plants of agriculture and our natural landscape. It also introduces zone 11 to represent areas that have average annual minimum temperatures above 40 degrees F and that are therefore; essentially frost free. Before purchasing plants find out exactly which zone you live in and purchase plants hardy enough for your zone. Most plants should have a label listing its intended zone. If a plant is not recommended for your zone it's probably not a good idea to buy it.
Regardless of you projected zone, microclimates vary dramatically within a small area and you may be warmer or colder than the gardener across town or even the gardener down the street.
Before making a plant selection for your garden or patio please remember the word "location". Plants can require different types of soil, light, shade, water, space, and the amount of wind can even play a role. Make sure the location in your garden can provide the proper environment for the plant to flourish.
Bigger doesn't always mean better. Roots are the most import part of the plant. A good root system will support the rest of the plant and help insure gardening success. Healthy roots may vary in color, size and quantity, but are always firm, not mushy.
Avoid plants root bound in there containers. This is usually associated with plants needing to be transplanted in larger containers. The roots end up growing around in circles and often times will not branch out when transplanted.
You may want to grow plants that are not ideal for your area. You can do so successfully with a little extra care and attention. Extra water, protection, and winter protection will often allow you to bring an expanded selection of plants to your garden.
Transplanting Potted Plants into the Garden
For gardening success, it is very important to unpack your plants immediately. Damaged leaves or branches should be clipped off.
Place the plant in a protected, shady location and water thoroughly. Water should seep from the drain holes in the pot and the plant should feel “heavier” after watering. It is a good idea to wait 24 hours before planting to allow the plants to fully hydrate and adjust to their new environment.
Once you have decided where a plant belongs in your garden, dig a hole at least twice as big as the size of the pot. For larger planting, it may be more efficient to till or turn a portion of the bed. You may want to mix compost or potting soil with your native soil to improve root growth. Place enough of the mixture back in the bottom of the hole and tamp it lightly so the new plant will not be potted too deeply.
Gently remove the plant from its pot. It may help to tap down lightly on the top rim of the pot or squeeze its sides.
Place the plant in the prepared hole. Add or remove soil mixture under the root ball to insure that the top of the root ball soil is at the same level as the surrounding soil. Potting too deep can kill the plant!
Once you have determined the plants original soil level is level with its surrounding ground level you can begin back filling around the plant. Work your soil mixture in firmly with your fingers between the root ball and the surrounding hole until you have reached existing ground level.
Finish the planting by applying a 2”- 4” inch layer of mulch extending the mulch a foot or more in all directions. Good mulch choices include shredded bark, pine straw, or even stones. Mulch will shield the roots from the hot sun, help retain moisture, and discourage weed growth.
After planting immediately water thoroughly and at least weekly until the plants become established. If leaves show signs of wilting, but the soil is moist, you can mist the foliage lightly. Fertilize 2-4 weeks after planting.
Transplanting Trees, Shrubs and Plants within Your Garden
Many homeowners often find a tree, shrub or plant that just isn't right for a particular location and decide to transplant it to a different location. Before transplanting trees, shrubs, or plants it is important to understand that transplanting an established tree, shrub or plant will disrupt its root system and “shock” it.
When transplanting larger trees and shrubs it is recommended to do some root pruning one season before you transplant. You will need to take a sharp spade and cut the existing roots. Make your cuts around the tree cutting the roots as far down as the spade can go. This should be done at the outer edge of the trees existing drip line. The drip line is the outer most point at which water falls straight down from the leaves. By doing this the tree will develop a more condensed root system within the pruned area.
The best time of year for transplanting is during the cold, wet winter days. This time of year plants are dormant and will suffer less shock from transplanting.
In preparation of the transplant you will need to water the plant thoroughly the day before. You will also need to go ahead and dig a hole 50% wider and deeper than the expected root ball in the new location. Dig up some soil from around the transplant s existing location and mix it with mulch, peat moss, or decaying leaves. Place some of this mixture back in the hole so the intended root ball will not fall below existing ground level. Keep the rest of the mixture on hand for filling in around the root ball.
To dig up your transplant use a sharp spade to dig / cut around the drip line as far down as the spade will reach. For smaller plants you should be able to pry out the root ball. During the prying out process it is a good idea to have two people and two shovels prying at the same time. When transplanting larger shrubs or trees you will probably need to dig a trench 6” – 12” deep outside of the drip line. Once you have done this dig / cut again down as far as your spade will reach from the bottom of the trench. Now it is time to pry the plant out. When transplanting these large shrubs and trees you might need all the help you can get from your friends. Once the root ball has been pried out of the hole, place a tarp underneath it and drag the transplant to its new location.
Before placing the transplanted root ball in the new hole, check to see if you have enough soil in the bottom of the hole. This soil is intended to support the root ball above existing ground level. Now it is time to place the root ball into the new hole. If the root ball falls below ground level, lift it out and add more fill dirt. Now you will want to center the transplant in the hole and firmly work in the soil mixture around it. Add the soil mixture all the way up to existing ground level. This should stabilize the transplanted root ball from moving around. If needed you can drive one or more stakes in place to stabilize the transplant.
Plants experience shock from transplanting making it a good idea to go ahead do some substantial pruning. Pruning will compensate for the loss in root area and encourage new growth in the spring. You will want to place a 2” – 4” layer of mulch around the base of the transplant. This will help control weeds and hold in the moisture around the transplant. Before calling it a day you will want to water the plant thoroughly. Continue watering and monitoring the transplanted tree, shrub or plants condition on a weekly basis until the transplant becomes established.
Due to seasonal changes in weather, many plants have adapted to survive harsh conditions through a process called dormancy. Seasonal environmental changes, such as day length, temperature, and drought, stimulate the transition of a plant from active growth to dormancy in the fall and then reverse the process in the spring. This natural process is essential to the health and survival of our garden plants. We do not want to use gardening practices that interfere with this cycle.
Gardeners should not fertilize in late summer or fall. Fertilizing can stimulate new growth that will not survive the cold winter months. It is okay to fertilize plants in more temperate areas where they will grow throughout the fall and winter.
Gardeners should not water in the fall, unless they are is suffering through a severe drought. Mother Nature will usually take care of herself at this time of the year. If you are having an extremely dry fall, moderate irrigation is appropriate. Excessive watering in the fall can promote new growth and delay dormancy.
Time of year and length of dormancy varies for every location. In the south dormancy starts later and ends earlier. Further north dormancy starts earlier and ends later, and every year is different.
When novice gardeners receive dormant plants, whether they are trees, shrubs, or bulbs, they often misinterpret the dormant plants for being dead. They are not, they are just resting. Even experienced gardeners may plant a dormant plant in the garden or a pot and become concerned that it has not started growing. Usually the plant is still dormant and just need a little more time to kick off. We see rather large differences among different plants; even different varieties will break dormancy several weeks apart. One good way to check a dormant plant to see if it is still viable is to lightly scratch the bark with you thumb nail or a knife. If you scratch and expose a green layer, the plant is fine!
In the spring when the air temperature has warmed the ground might still be cold or even frozen which will delay a plant from coming out of dormancy. Also, many plants need a certain amount of daylight to start showing signs of new growth. Be patient ; dormancy in plants is a peculiar thing, but this is how Mother Nature has taught them to survive.
Many factors affect how often you must water your plants. Some of these factors are heat, humidity, wind, season, soil, and type of plant. The following guidelines pertain to plants recently transplanted into the garden. Remember, when transplanting, always be sure the plants were recently watered and are well hydrated before you put them in the ground.
Water should be applied around the base of the plant and outwards a distance that is at least one and a half times the distance of the farthest reaching branch.
Water enough so that the soil will become wet throughout the entire root area. This will require a slow, soaking irrigation. Water should be applied only as quickly as it can be absorbed by the soil. Keep in mind your deepest roots will be located below the trunk and limbs of the plant. This area will require more water than the shallower roots located near the end of your farthest watering area. Root depths are commonly 6-12 inches for annuals, vegetables, and lawns: 12 – 24 inches for perennials and shrubs; and 28 – 36 inches or more for trees.
Newly planted plants need to be watered more frequently than established ones. It is hard to “schedule” watering frequency. It is a good idea to check newly transplanted plants every day or at least every other day. If the plants show any sign of wilting, or if the soil begins to dry out (scratch down below the surface to check it), it is time to water. As the plant becomes established, you will not need to water it as frequently, but continue to monitor your plant and soil conditions for the first growing season.
Once a plant has become established most recommendations suggest it will need at least 1 inch of rain (or watering equivalent) every week during your growing season. Fast growing plants will require more water than slower growing plants.
Keep in mind soil type will greatly affect how often you will need to water your plants. Sandy soils do not hold much water, so when you irrigate or when it rains, most of the water percolates rapidly down and out of the root zone. Plants grown in sandy soils will need to be watered more frequently. On the other hand clay based soils hold more moisture which remains available to the plant for longer periods of time. Plants growing in clay soils require less watering.
Hot, dry, or windy weather increase the need for extra irrigation. Newly transplanted plants are most vulnerable and will need more frequent waterings, but these conditions are tough on all plants. Pay attention to your entire garden and water as necessary. It is best to water during the early morning or late evening, but if a plant needs water, water it regardless of the time of day.
As cooler shorter days approach in the fall you can start backing off your watering schedule. However, windy conditions, even in the winter time, rapidly deplete moisture in plants. Giving your plants an occasional “drink” even when they are dormant, helps insure gardening success.
Signs of "Over Watering": Too much water drowns the roots and deprives the plant of the food and moisture that the roots are supposed to supply. The first signs of too much water show up in the roots. They become brown and mushy. This is hard to see in the garden, but easy to check with plants grown in containers. In the garden, symptoms of over watering are yellow leaves (generally all over the plant) which will soon drop off. Once this occurs, it is often too late to save the plant.
Signs of "Under Watering": Too little water deprives the plant of the moisture needed to grow and live. First signs are a slightly washed out color in the leaves, followed by wilting, starting with the youngest and tenderest foliage. If wilting is severe enough, damaged leaves with brown crisp edges may remain even after watering. Very severe wilting in not reversible and plants will die.
If you are in doubt about how much to water use the scratch method to help judge the situation. Using a hand trowel or other implement, scratch below the surface of the soil and check the soil in the root zone for moisture. Moist soil tends to hold together when squeezed, dry soil typically will fall apart. If you judge the soil is too wet – stop watering for a while and let the plant dry out. If you judge the soil is too dry, obviously water it as outlined above.
Fall Clean Up - Putting The Garden To Bed
Fall clean up in the garden is made up of a few quick and easy tasks which will pay huge dividends in the upcoming year.
Fall Clean Up
- As annuals stop blooming or die, pull them up and throw them on the compost pile.
- Lift and store tender bulbs.
- Stake young trees to help protect from wind damage.
- Completely clear the garden of weeds before they drop their seeds and create a problem for next year.
- Cut herbaceous perennials to 2-3" tall and toss the scraps on the compost pile.
- Give all plants a long, deep watering so that they are fully hydrated for winter.
- Remove all leaf debris, twigs, and miscellaneous organic material that can harbor pests and disease.
- Empty clay pots of annuals. Bring the pots inside to keep them from freezing and cracking.
- Take down unused stakes and empty trellises to clean for reuse next spring.
A fresh layer of mulch in the fall helps reduce water loss, suppress weed growth, and protect plants from extreme temperature swings. Commonly used mulches:
- Remove and discard dead or broken branches on shrubs and trees.
- Prune shrubs and roses no later than 4 weeks before the first frost so that the fresh cuts have time to harden off and callous over.
- Cut herbaceous perennials to 2-3" tall and toss the scraps in the compost bin.
- Chopped or shredded leaves.
- Wood shavings. Hardwoods seem to work better for moisture retention.
- Straw (not hay).
- A deep root watering is needed prior to the first freeze. Gradually reduce the watering for your plants from a daily watering to weekly watering to monthly through out fall and winter.
- Allow the water to extend beyond the drip line of trees and large shrubs. A thirsty plant going into the cold season will be much more susceptible to winter damage than a well-watered one.
- If you made a basin around the base of the plant/shrub to hold water during spring and summer months, make a hole in it so water can drain away and not freeze the plant.
- Monitor weather conditions and water during extended dry periods without snow cover - one to two times per month.
Preparing your garden for winter will minimize cold damage and ensure much healthier plants in the spring. The following guidelines will help you in preparing your landscape for the cold winter months.
Tropical, potted plants need to be brought indoors before the first frost. Place them near a window with strong sunlight—preferably on the south side of your home. Hardier potted plants need some winter protection, especially in colder climates. It is a good idea to place them in a protected area like a garage and bring them out into shaded areas on warm days. Another alternative is to place the plants on the south side of your home against a wall. The sunlight will last longer on this side of your home—heating the wall so that it will radiate heat out through the night. It will also give the plants protection from northerly winds. To get the best results, you should mulch heavily around the containers.
After the first frost, when your perennials are starting to turn brown and die back, is the best time for mulching. You will want to cover the perennials with a 2”-4” layer of mulch, straw or evergreen boughs. This will help protect the plant through their winter dormancy. In very cold climates you can add mulch up to 6” deep for a heavy layer of protection. When spring arrives be sure to remove mulch and clip off the dead foliage. New growth should start appearing shortly as the ground continues to warm.
Some plants, like roses, need to be protected in the colder climates. A heavy mulching is called for, and if in doubt, mulch!
If you live in area that receives less than 1-inch of rain per week—your trees and shrubs will need to be watered throughout the winter. For individuals who live in areas where the ground actually freezes you will want to do one good deep watering before the ground freezes. This should provide enough moisture for the deep roots below the frozen soil. Apply a good 2”-4” layer of mulch on top of your landscape fabric around your trees and shrubs. This will help hold in the soil's warmth and moisture throughout the winter. In very cold climates you can mulch up to 6” layer of protection and even higher around the trunks of trees and shrubs.
By following these few simple guidelines, you can help your plants, trees, and shrubs survive the harsh winter conditions.
The weather outside may be getting frightful, but there's no need to worry about your plants! Protect your garden investment by following this winter preparation checklist.
- When temperatures reach 45 degrees, move all tender / tropical plants indoors. These can be grown as houseplants.
- Before your temperature reaches 32 degrees, move any other containerized perennials into an unheated garage or basement and allow them to go dormant. If you do not have a basement or garage, pull containers up to the south side of the house and mulch heavily over the entire container.
- Let bulbs die back to the ground, and then prune off the dead foliage. For hard winter areas, dig up your tender bulbs and store them in a cool, dark place. Hardy bulbs will be strong enough to stay in the ground.
- After your first "killing frost", prune back any unwanted, unsightly, or damaged branches. Also, remove any decaying matter that could lead to reoccurring pest and disease problems.
- For windy or heavy-snow areas, stake trees for added support.
- Depending on your location, mulch accordingly over in-ground plants and wrap all grafted plants in a breathable material for insulation. Northern locations require increasingly more mulch as you enter colder regions. Southern areas need only light mulching.
- Give one last good, deep watering before the freeze sets in. Reduce watering and discontinue fertilizing until after your plants show new growth in the spring.
Winterizing Tender Perennials and Tropicals
You've invested a lot of time and money into your garden. Get the most out of your investment and ensure your garden returns year after year by following these few simple steps.
Tender plants are some of the most unique and colorful plants in existence. They can be grown anywhere in the country during the summer. However, since these plants are native to southern regions of the continent and even South America, they very rarely experience cool weather, much less snow. Many people treat tender plants as annuals, leaving them to the frost and snow for the winter and replanting each season.
But why replant each season and throw away all of this season's work and hard earned money? Most tender plants do well as houseplants during the cooler months—they stay nice and warm in your house and you get a decorative piece to accentuate your interior décor. Or, if you do not have room in your home for additional plants, you may also store them in a cool basement or garage (between 40 and 50 degrees) and allow them to go dormant for the winter. No matter where your store them, wait until after your last spring frost to return them outdoors.
A few tips on overwintering:
- When kept indoors, keep the temperature between 60 and 70 degrees.
- Since your plants are not out in the heat, reduce your watering so the plant does not stay too wet.
- Make sure to place them in a sunny area where it's warm, but do not place them under air vents.
- Some plants may prefer the bathroom or a tray filled with rocks and water to replicate outdoor humidity.
- Some plant varieties may bloom indoors, but most will not due to lack of plant energy or light levels.
- If you store your plants in a garage or basement, make sure the temperature is not below 40 degrees. If it is going to be, take extra caution to insulate their containers.
- Check your plants for bugs before bringing them in. If you find an infestation, treat it immediately.
- You may lightly fertilize your indoor plant about every month. Do not fertilize dormant plants. This can burn their roots!
- It is recommended that bulbs and tuberous plants be kept dormant during winter for maximum spring performance the following year.
More Winterizing Tips....
Move Potted Tropical and Tender Plants Indoors
- Cold weather mulching protects perennials just like a heavy blanket of snow insulates the ground.
- Add a few inches to the fall mulch for an extra layer of winter protection.
- In hardy zones 3-6, winter mulching needs to be done after the ground has frozen.
- In hardy zones 7-10 add winter mulch just prior to the first hard freeze.
- In very cold climates you can safely mulch up to 6" deep.
Move Potted Tropical and Tender Plants Indoors
- Tender and tropical plants that should not be allowed to freeze can be enjoyed in the home
- To avoid bringing pests into your home, treat both the plant and the soil with insecticidal soap mix.
- Place tropical plants indoors near a window with strong sunlight, preferably on the south side of your home.
- Use a saucer with rocks added to the bottom of the saucer to hold your plant. Water will collect while watering to keep the plant from drying out. Do not let the water stand in the saucer for over a day or two.
- Non-tender potted plants can be kept in a protected area like a garage, basement, or other area that offers protection and doesn't freeze.
- To avoid bringing pests into your home, treat both the plant and the soil with insecticidal soap mix.
- You can also put them on the south side of your home, then mulch heavily in and around the containers or wrap the containers in heavy burlap.
- If you live in an area that receives less than 1-inch of rain per week, trees and shrubs should be watered throughout the winter.