Shrubs and plants require care during the spring and summer seasons for the best growth possible. When the growing season ends, the care should continue. Winterizing shrubs and plants against the winter cold is important to the health of the plant and its success in the following seasons.
Cold damage from wind can affect branches and roots and can cause major lesions in the bark. A screen made out of burlap can be placed to the south and southwest of a pine tree to prevent wind and sun damage during the winter. Sun damage is especially prevalent during the winter, when the bark is weakened by the soil.
Animals during the winter are hungry because of food scarcity. Shrubs and plants become a major source of food. Shrubs can be protected by placing a cylinder of quarter-inch mesh hardware cloth around the trunks of the shrub. Mesh should rise at least 18 to 24 inches above the snow line. If the shrubs and plants are low to the ground, a fencing of chicken wire can be placed around the plants.
Winter fertilization should be done in September in most zones to prevent plants from becoming damaged from lack of nutrients. It is best to fertilize before the first frost, as much of the fertilizer will be lost in frosted ground. If plants look week during the winter, the soil should be tested and nutrients added accordingly.
Pruning and Clean-Up
During the fall, leaves and other debris should be removed from the yard. Leaves and other dead material is a breeding ground for fungal diseases, and the winter weather aids in their development. Dead, diseased and broken branches on shrubs and plants should be pruned away to prevent illness in the plant.
Although shrubs and plants are dormant during the winter months, they might be parched for water during a dry winter. Soil moisture is important in preventing winter damage. Shrubs and plants should be watered thoroughly in the fall and watered at least once a month during the winter if there is little to no snow or rain coverage.