How Your Landscape Prepares Itself For Winter
Winter is a harsh season for plants in Bethesda, Maryland. Thankfully, nature has equipped your landscape with the skills to successfully weather this tough season. This doesn’t mean that your landscape might not need a little help to make it through the colder months. Knowing how your landscape survives the cold winter weather can help you make better choices in caring for your lawn and plants. This will make it so much easier for your landscape to bounce back when spring rolls around.
Annuals and Perennials in Maryland
When the weather is warmer in the summer, and there is an ample supply of water, the plants in your landscape busy themselves making and storing food, and, of course, growing. When the winter weather approaches, the days are shorter, and water is not as abundant; plants referred to as “annuals” complete their growing season and die. Of course, their seeds remain dormant, waiting to sprout when springtime comes.
“Perennials” are plants that live for more than two years. This category of plants includes trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants with soft, fleshy stems. These plants survive the cold by sacrificing leaves or stalks. The roots or bulbs remain safe nestled underground far from the cold weather. These plants subsist on food that was collected and stored by the plant during the summer months.
You can make winter easier for your plants by trimming wilted portions of perennials after the first frost and by wrapping shrubs like roses and tree peonies with burlap or paper. You can also create winter mulch with a 2 to 3 inch mixture of garden soil and compost after the first freeze.
Deciduous Trees and Evergreens
As plants grow, older leaves are shed, and new leaves are regularly grown. Over time, leaves can be damaged by weather, insects, and disease. This shedding and regrowth continue throughout the year, often slowing during the winter months. Deciduous trees like elms, oaks, and maples shed their leaves during the fall to prepare for the colder winter months.
Unlike deciduous trees, evergreen trees retain their leaves. Evergreens possess distinctive leaves that are resistant to cold and moisture loss. Pines and firs have long thin needles for leaves while holly possesses broad leaves with a tough, waxy surface.
You can help your trees make it through those tough winter months by making sure that snow buildup doesn’t create a major dilemma. When snow accumulates on branches, the stress from the weight of the snow can cause branches to become deformed or break. Resist the urge to beat snow and ice off with a broom. Instead, gently sweep or brush off any snow or ice. You can also prune thicker and weaker branches before the snow falls.
When it comes to helping you maintain your landscape, Blades of Green has you covered. Our highly-trained lawn care technicians can help you get your landscape ready for the freezing winter weather, and we can help you keep your landscape thriving while it’s cold outside. Your landscape requires year-round care and attention to thrive. If you’re worried about your trees and shrubs successfully weathering the winter months, have no fear.