Salt, Sun, Snow, Wind, and Animals!


(How to protect our plants in winter)

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The Winter Warlock is coming soon. With him, he brings salt, sun, wind, snow, and animals. This does not sound too bad, does it?! Hmmm. Let’s think about this. Salt, delicious in our food. Sun, great for supplying us with Vitamin D. Wind, cools us on the hottest of days. Snow, perfect for building snowmen. Animals, cute and fuzzy. This definitely is one way to look at things.

Let’s look at these things from the perspective of trees, shrubs, and flowers. Shall we?!

SALT: The big, mean, town trucks come along dumping drying salts along the roadside. Homeowners throw damaging salts onto their icy walkways and driveways. These salts dry out evergreens, cause leaves to brown and kill roadside plants.

SUN: This hot, yellow thing shines down from above burning up boxwoods and creating splits in the tender bark of maples, crabapples, etc.

SNOW: Although beautiful, giant snowplows pile it against hedges, causing them to suffocate, break and rot. Japanese Maples, Arborvitaes, etc. split under its’ weight.

WIND: It blows across branches and leaves drying them up, causing them to curl and fall off. Salty, ocean wind is the worst!

ANIMALS: Cute and fuzzy turns into mean and ugly when winter hits. Voles eat roots of roses and more. Mice gnaw at the base of tree trunks, making their survival difficult.

What to do? PLENTY! There is plenty of help you can offer to your plants to protect them from the Winter Warlock.

COMBAT SALT: Apply Gypsum to the soil around plants that are close to roads, walkways, and driveways. Do this before snow and ice are anticipated. Gypsum helps to displace salt from the soil so our plants do not absorb the deadly salt through their root system. Wilt-Pruf will also give leaves extra protection from salt spray.

COMBAT SUN: Wilt-Pruf acts like sunscreen for most of our evergreens. It helps protect evergreens, like vulnerable Boxwoods, from sunburn. Tanglefoot’s Tangle Guards work well to protect the bark of young trees from splitting due to sunburn.

COMBAT WIND: Rolls of Burlap staked to make a wind barrier for vulnerable plants will help to prevent drying winds. Look for Shrub Jackets and Winter Pals in the store to cover plants individually. Wilt- Pruf to the rescue again. It works to prevent leaves and needles from curling and dropping.

ANIMALS: Voles, unlike most animals do not go into winter hibernation. They love the Winter Warlock and all the snow he brings. They are most active under snow, chewing on plant roots and gnawing on bark. Mice also enjoy nesting at the base of trees and scraping away at the bark. Protect trunks with TreeKote’s Vinyl Tree Guard. I Must Garden’s Mole & Vole Repellent is a must to protect trees, shrubs, roses, and plants from vole damage. Apply this good smelling repellent in garden beds and around the base of trees and shrubs before the winter snow hits. It will really help!

Salt, Sun, Snow, Wind, and Animals. It all depends on how you look at it. These things can be good until Winter Warlock brings them to our trees, shrubs, and flowers. These are winter gifts they could do without. PROTECT THEM!

Come see us at Van Wilgen’s. We would love to help!