Preparing Plants For Cooler Weather
With cooler weather just around the corner, you will want to begin preparing your plants and landscaping for survival through the winter. Most non-native plants should be moved inside or covered before temperatures dip below 45 degrees. I sat down with our plant health experts to put together a short list of essential tips and products that every plant owner should be using now through the winter months to ensure a smooth seasonal transition!
Liquid seaweed is arguably one of the best products you can buy for your plants. Not only is it organic, but it also comes from a sustainable source that can be harvested without damage to the environment. With over 90 vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, liquid seaweed can be used for anything from promoting additional budding in flowering plants to helping roots grow faster during propagation. How does it help plants for seasonal weather changes? Adding one ounce of liquid seaweed to a gallon of water and spraying the foliage can actually fortify the plant and improve its resistance to both frost and heat. Simply spray your plants down every two weeks for optimal results!
Bringing in outdoor plants is the perfect opportunity for pests to sneak onto your other existing indoor plants and there is nothing worse than an infestation! Systemic insecticide is a fast acting solution to pest problems. It enters the plant through the roots, spreading throughout the entire system until the whole plant has become toxic. It is for this reason that this type of insecticide only be applied to ornamentals and left off of fruiting plants. Application should occur at least one week before bringing the plant inside to ensure there are no lingering pests.
Fertilizing your plants regularly is very important for their health during the spring and summer growing months. What about the winter? As the days become shorter and weather becomes cooler, watering will occur less often. Fertilizer should not be forgotten during the winter months, but should occur in smaller, slow-releasing doses. MicroLife is a granule form of fertilizer that also works as a fungicide. This should be applied once every two months during the cooler season to ensure your plants are receiving all the nutrients they need. With a few different varieties available, MicroLife can be applied to a wide array of plant types.
We carry both Planket and N-Sulate plant covers for the winter months. N-Sulate frost protection blankets allow for light and air to flow freely but keep out all the moisture. For this reason, these covers can be left on for over 24 hours without harming or smothering your plants. N-Sulate covers protect your plants from temperatures as low as 6 degrees below freezing when placed properly. You must trap these down with heavy items such as rocks to ensure the heat from the ground is contained and not escaping. Plankets are great for large container plants that cannot be moved inside. They work the same way, only they have a built in cinch that tightens around the base of the plant.
It isn’t too late to lay down pre-emergent for your lawn! This will cut down weeds for the next season. Corn Gluten is a great option for pre-emergent. To help your lawn through the winter, spread MicroLife Humates Plus and water in with Medina Soil Activator. This will help to aerate your lawn and will soften hard, compact soils.
It is important to deep-water all outdoor plants before a hard freeze (32 degrees for longer than 4 hours). This will help protect and insulate the root system. Another useful item that works as an insulator is Mulch. Placing this on top of beds along with deep watering will help further protect your plants from hard freezes!
Other Useful Products
- Clippers, trimmers, and loopers: Most perennials will go dormant for the winter with our first hard frost. The tops will brown but the root system will still be alive. A great time to trim and shape is during their dormant stage!
- Plant Caddies: Having large pots on either a wooden or metal caddie with solid rolling casters makes moving pots into homes much easier!
- Grow Lights: Lighting conditions deteriorate during the winter months due to shorter, less sunny days. Grow lights are a great option for this loss of light! We carry two different sizes and colors of the Aspect Grow Light at Garden Seventeen.
All of these products and more can be found here at Garden Seventeen! Feel free to come in with photos and questions about how to further prepare your plants for the winter. We are always here to help with plant and lawn care questions and needs!
A Rodney Lee Brands Company