If you love to spend time in your garden you’ll know that New Jersey weather can be a little harsh. When the winter comes, you need to do what you can to protect your garden against the elements. However, it’s not always obvious how you too can protect your garden.
Below, you can find a few tips that could help you to protect most of the plants in your garden.
Use Plant Covers
If you intend to leave some plants outside during the winter, use plant covers. They can add an extra layer of protection against the cold weather. Use a tarp that you can typically find at your local greenhouse center. A tarp can help to keep the water and the cold weather away from your plant’s roots.
If you don’t want to use a tarp you could use an old sheet or blanket instead. No matter what type of cover you choose to use, be careful when adding the cover. Always cover your flowers loosely. Secure the edges of the tarp or blanket down with some heavy rocks or bricks. They can help to prevent the tarp from being blown by the wind.
Water Your Plants
Before the frost arrives make sure you water your plants. Your plants will not need as much water during the cold winter months. However, they will still need some water. When the soil surrounding your plants is wet it can hold more warmth. Dry soil will not hold as much warmth.
Adding water to the soil will help your plants to stay warm, even on the coldest days. Try not to give your plants too much water, however. If you do, the plants may become saturated and the frost can damage them.
Allow Your Plants To Harden Off
Allow your plants to start hardening off. Do this by no longer fertilizing them 6 weeks before the first frost. When you no longer fertilize your plants they will start to prepare for the winter. This is because they will know they don’t need to use the added nutrients. They will also be aware that the cold weather is on its way so they’ll stop growing.
While you may be tempted to prune everything, be careful. In the summer months, pruning encourages new growth. However, new growth is the last thing that you want right now. Any new growth that appears will have trouble during the winter. So, prune carefully, if at all.
If you do decide to prune your plants, be sure to take off no more than a third of the plant. This will ensure that new growth is less likely to occur.
Use Cold Frames
If you have some delicate plants in your garden you should consider investing in a cold frame. Cold frames can help to protect your plants from the harshness of the New Jersey winter. You can usually buy cold frames from garden centers and they come in all shapes and sizes.
Anyone who does not want to pay for a cold frame may want to think about making one instead. Cold frames can be made out of bricks, cinder blocks, or wood. Just make sure that you use some storm-proof glass/windows for the top of the cold frame.
Add Some Raised Beds
Many people add raised beds to their gardens as it makes reaching their plants easier. However, not everyone is aware that raised beds can help to protect plants from the winter. They do this by helping to keep some of the cold weather away.
The plants won’t be directly in the ground. Rather, they would have been planted in a frame that has many layers of soil, compost, and maybe some fertilizer. It’s this that can help to keep the cold away.
Add a Heat Source
If you’re very concerned about your plants or you’re expecting a harsh winter, don’t worry. There is always a potential to add a heat source. When you use a cold frame or a cover over your plants, you’ll need to make sure you use a gentle heat.
Heat from some outdoor stringed festive lights can be enough to protect your plants. Just make sure that no light shines directly on the plants. If it does, it could burn them.
Be careful with any heat source that you add. Too hot and your plants could suffer. There’s also a risk that you could cause a fire. Always use a heat source that’s suitable for outdoor use and is deemed safe for use.
If you want to protect your New Jersey garden from the winter weather, use the above tips. They can help you to keep your plants in better condition throughout the winter months. This way, when spring comes around your plants are much more likely to be healthy.