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9 Winter Gardening Tips For Plant Protection and Care

Winter gardening is a way to get your hands dirty and an excellent way to get some exercise in the off-season. It is all about planning. You need to know your plants are valuable, you need to provide them with the best care possible.Winter gardening is about protecting your plants from cold temperatures, although it is more than that. You can help your plants survive by doing a few things during this time of year, but there are also some things you should not do.Thankfully, this article has outlined some tips for keeping your plants safe and healthy through the winter:

Build a Cold Frame

If you do not have one, build a cold frame. Cold frames are simple to make. They protect plants from frost and extend the growing season by providing extra warmth at night and on cloudy days. You can build your cold frame using wood and plastic sheeting or purchase one at a garden center or hardware store.

Make Your Mulch

Mulch is an essential part of winter gardening because it helps retain moisture in the soil and protects plants from freezing temperatures and wind damage. Mulch also suppresses weeds from sprouting up in your garden beds during winter, so you will not have to pull them out when spring rolls around.You can make your mulch out of leaves, grass clippings, or hay bales, but composted manure works best for retaining moisture in the soil over time because it contains partially decayed organic matter that releases water slowly into the soil as it decomposes further over time.

Bring Plants Inside on Cold Winter Nights

The temperature will drop below freezing during those dark winter evenings, so bring plants inside if they are too sensitive to the cold weather. If you have a greenhouse, place them there until spring arrives again.

If not, bring them into your home and place them in a sunny window where they will be protected from drafts from open doors or windows by placing something soft between them and any drafty areas (like a newspaper).

Fertilize in Winter for a Healthy Lawn in Spring

Suppose you want a lush green lawn come springtime, then now is the time to fertilize your grass. Wait until after the first frost before fertilizing for the nutrients to be absorbed into the soil rather than being washed away by melted snow. Fertilization during this time will give your lawn the nutrients needed to thrive next year when spring arrives again.

Use Raised Beds for Better Drainage in Winter

It is essential if you are growing tomatoes or peppers since they need good drainage to keep them from rotting, as wet soil causes fungal diseases like early blight or late blight.

Raised beds allow water to drain away quickly so it will not stay on top of the ground where these diseases thrive. It would help if you also made sure there are no holes in the sides of your bed where water can collect and stagnate before draining away into the soil below.

Water Plants Regularly in Winter, but Be Careful Not to Overwater

Overwatering causes roots to rot and can permanently harm your plant. Once the weather turns cold, water less frequently but more deeply so that moisture reaches all parts of the root system.

To know if they need water, stick a finger in the soil about 1 inch deep. If damp at this depth, you do not need to add more water yet (but check every day just in case); if it is dry at this level, then water thoroughly (the best way is to up a sprinkler system).

Prune Grapevines and Fruit Trees

Even if you do not have your tractor, it is essential to prune grapevines and fruit trees in winter. The suitable time to prune is when the wood is dormant, which means it is cold and dry (not wet). Winter pruning is necessary for many reasons:

- It keeps plants healthy and prevents disease or pest infestations.

- It increases photosynthesis.

- It helps plants prepare for spring growth.

    Plant Trees and Shrubs in Late Winter

    Plant trees and shrubs during this time because the ground is still relatively warm, so there is plenty of moisture in the soil, which will help them establish root systems quicker than they would if planted during other times.

    Your local nursery can help you choose plants suited to your particular area based on climate conditions. If you come from an area with plenty of winter snow, choose native plants or ones tolerant of cold temperatures, such as evergreen shrubs like rhododendrons or conifers like Douglas fir trees.

    Inspect Your Trees and Bushes for Insect Pests

    Inspect your trees and bushes for insect pests that overwinter in the bark or under leaves. Look for scale insects or mites on bark; aphids, mites, and whiteflies on leaves; borers in woody stems; caterpillars on fruit trees, and roses or other woody plants. If you find pest infestations, treat them immediately before they get worse.

    building a winter cover for your plants

    Generally, everyone complains about gardening in the winter months. However, if you are diligent about these nine tips for winter gardening success, you will have much better garden results come March. In addition to having a beautiful backyard, knowing that you did something positive in your community is a wonderful feeling. So keep gardening through the winter months, and look forward to having the best garden this spring.

    More winter gardening articles:

    Winter Gardening Preparation

    Fall & Early Winter Gardening 

    10 Methods of Preserving Plants in Winter

    Winter/Spring Plants and Blooms:

    Witch Hazel
    Dutchman’s Breeches

    Visit our online shop for a wide selection of plants and trees, or come say hi at our store location in Tennessee!
    We offer fast shipping nationwide so you can start transforming your garden today!

    If you have any questions about winter gardening or if you have any other plant needs, don’t hesitate to contact us at customerservice@tennesseewholesalenursery.com, we’d love to hear from you!

    Daffodil Plant - TN Nursery

    Daffodil Plant

    The Daffodil Plant is a Spring-blooming, trumpet-shaped flower characterized by its vibrant yellow or white petals and central trumpet-like corona, adding a burst of color to gardens and landscapes. Their vibrant colors, from sunny yellows to pastel lemon, create striking visual displays that brighten any outdoor area. Daffodil Plant Daffodils are famous for being yellow, but there are all kinds of other colors, as well, including white, orange, and even pink. They also feature varieties with more than one of these colors. Therefore, they can form a splendid and colorful swash throughout any garden. The Daffodil Plant are an Ancient Flower They have adorned gardens for thousands of years. Indeed, the Greek name is Narcissus. Currently, it's the national flower of Wales. They've been harbingers of the coming of spring throughout their existence, and because they're perennials, each individual plant does the same for many years throughout its life cycle. As long-lasting blooms, they'll anchor your garden all the way through spring and into the summer, drawing people's gaze to their grace and beauty. Daffodil Plant The Blooming Trumpet Before they bloom, the trumpet of the mature bloom is covered in a waxy shell called a spathe. The spathe is delicate and reflects the full spectrum of light when covered in morning dew. Not every daffodil forms a trumpet, however. They form two kinds of cups: charming double blooms and what's known as the jonquil, which is a wonderful two-toned bloom. Generally, there are two kinds of jonquils: one with mostly white petals and yellow accents and one that's the opposite. Such flowers that sport two exquisite colors can act as a transition between sections of the garden. Other Characteristics Of The Daffodil Plant They can grow almost to 3 feet tall and a foot wide. Their mature leaves are tall and straight and only droop toward the end of the growing season at the beginning of August. They last more than a month through the heart of the summer, lending their multicolored cheek to any garden. Because they thrive in containers as much as in the open, they're a terrific accent for window sills, porches, patios, and decks, bringing their polychromatic cheeriness to every part of not just the garden but also the whole property. Partners for Daffodil Plant The bright yellow of the plant pairs very well with other denizens of the garden, including the Northern Blue Star with its deep blue and indigo blooms and the vibrant red of roses or dahlias. The color palette is nearly endless when considering them fresh, with fabulous flexibility.

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    Winterberry "Winter Red" - TN Nursery

    Winterberry "Winter Red"

    The Winterberry is a deciduous shrub prized for its vibrant display of bright red berries in late fall, adding color to the winter landscape. It loses its leaves and has red berries adorning the limbs. The shrub is part of the holly or Aquifoliaceae family. Its official name is Llex Verticillata. To gardeners, however, it's known as the winter red winterberry bush. It gets its name from its bright red berries that remain on the tree for most of the fall. In fact, this shrub is prized for its berries because they add color to the otherwise stark landscape. This bush is common in North America. Features of the Winterberry "Winter Red" Southern Gentleman will help ensure berries. This deciduous shrub grows to heights of between six and eight feet with a similar spread. In the late spring and early summer, white flowers start to develop on these bushes. Once the flowers are pollinated, berries start to grow. The berries ripen in the late fall. The leaves are deep green and fall off in the winter, leaving only the berries. Best Places for the Winterberry "Winter Red" The Llex Verticillata does well in rain gardens and can be used for hedge walls that contain different types of shrubs. You can even use it for foundation plantings, and it can be added to native gardens. Birds Love the Berries of the Winterberry "Winter Red" If you're looking to attract birds to your home, the Lex Verticillata makes a great addition to your yard. The birds will visit this bush all fall for the berries. What to Plant Next to the Winterberry "Winter Red" The Llex Verticillata should be planted near the Southern Gentleman if you want to enjoy viewing the berries in the fall. The good news is that just one Southern Gentleman can pollinate up to nine Llex Verticillata bushes. Additional shrubs, plants, and flowers include the blue flag iris, red hot poker, prairie sky switchgrass, the American beautyberry, and the autumn glow. The Llex Verticillata is a great addition to rain gardens, and it adds color in the snow when most other plants, trees, and shrubs have gone into hibernation. This shrub can also be used in hedge walls and in mixed gardens.

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    Witch Hazel - TN Nursery

    Witch Hazel

    The Witch Hazel is a deciduous shrub is known for its spidery, fragrant yellow to orange-red flowers that bloom in late winter to early spring, often before its leaves emerge, making it a unique and welcome sight in gardens. It is a versatile shrub that offers numerous benefits in landscaping beyond its well-known medicinal uses. Native to North America and parts of Asia, these deciduous shrubs are prized for their unique appearance, vibrant foliage, and striking winter blooms. When incorporated into landscape designs, this plant can bring a range of aesthetic and functional advantages that enhance outdoor spaces. Witch hazel adds interest to the landscape throughout the year. Four-Season Interest: In late winter or early spring, the shrub bursts into bloom, displaying fragrant, spidery flowers in shades of yellow, orange, and red. This early flowering period provides a much-needed splash of color when most other plants are still dormant. Additionally, Autumn's foliage turns vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red, creating a stunning autumnal display. Natural Privacy Screen: This shrub can be an effective natural privacy screen with its dense branching and arching habit. Planted strategically along property borders or in groupings, it can shield outdoor spaces from prying eyes and create a sense of seclusion. Pollinator-Friendly: The flowers are a valuable nectar source for early-emerging pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. By attracting these beneficial insects, this shrub contributes to the overall health and biodiversity of the landscape, promoting a balanced ecosystem. Tolerance to Shade: Witch Hazel shrub thrives in partial shade to full sun, making it an excellent option for landscapes with varying light conditions. Its adaptability allows for planting in different locations, from under the canopy of more giant trees to sunnier spots in the garden. Erosion Control: The extensive root system helps stabilize the soil and prevent soil erosion, prevention on slopes or areas prone to water runoff. Low Maintenance: Once established, this is a relatively low-maintenance shrub. It is resistant to pests and diseases, requiring minimal intervention.  Wildlife Attraction: Apart from pollinators, this shrub attracts other wildlife, such as birds, which feed on the seeds and seek shelter within the shrub's branches. This feature contributes to the overall biodiversity and liveliness of the landscape. Winter Interest: Distinctive, ribbon-like flowers appear in winter, adding a unique touch to the landscape during an otherwise less colorful season. These spidery blooms can withstand light frosts, offering an enchanting sight in colder climates. Versatile Uses: Beyond standalone plantings, this shrub can be incorporated into mixed borders, woodland gardens, or naturalized areas. Its adaptability allows it to blend seamlessly with other plants and design elements. In conclusion, witch hazel is valuable to any landscape design, offering four-season interest, privacy screening, pollinator support, erosion control, and low maintenance. Its unique beauty and ecological contributions make it a sought-after shrub for enhancing outdoor spaces. By incorporating this shrub into landscaping plans, homeowners and landscape designers can create visually appealing and ecologically friendly gardens that stand out every season. Get your Witch Hazel from TN Nursery This green-leafed shrub blooms with bright yellow flowers between October and December. The ribbon-like yellow petals usually appear after the leaves have fallen but sometimes will appear while the oval-shaped yellow autumn leaves still cling to the branches. It also has fruits that will form from fertilized flowers.  They first appear as green capsules but then turn brown over time. Its scientific name is because this shrub’s flowers, fruits, and leaves can all appear on its branches simultaneously. Hamamelis loosely translates as “together with fruit.” Its hardy nature makes it an easy-to-grow shrub. Because of this, it is trendy amongst gardeners as a shrub hedge or screen. Its fragrant flowers often lead to it being grown in an area where its pleasant scent is noticeable. It is often the last bit of color in a garden due to its late bloom.  Witch Hazel Thrives In Most US Zones  This shrub can be planted successfully in U.S.D.A. zones 3 to 9. It requires a lot of sunlight and does best in full sun or partial shade. Flowering will peak in full sun. It does well in moist, acidic soil and can handle heavy clay soil. The height increases by 13 to 24 inches yearly, giving it a slow to medium growth rate.  Pruning can be done in early spring to keep the shrub from growing that large if preferred. This plant requires little maintenance to flourish and rarely has insect or disease problems. Witch hazel has a broad, rounded leaf arranged in an alternating pattern along the branches. The flowers are also noteworthy in appearance with slender petals.  Some bloom in spring while others counter that, and the plant can showcase its cycle between seeding and blooming, such as the snapping hazel with seeds that split in a manner that ejects the seeds to a sufficient distance of nearly 30 feet. The sunny yellow flowers of this shrub add a glow of happiness to yards and gardens. The delightful fragrance of those flowers creates an even more cheerful atmosphere. It is so easy to care for that it is an excellent fit for even the hands-off gardeners.

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    Dutchmas Breeches - TN Nursery

    Dutchmas Breeches

    Dutchman's Breeches is a spring wildflower, have distinctive gray-green, finely divided leaves and unique, drooping clusters of white, pantaloon-shaped flowers that resemble miniature hanging pants. It is a captivating and delicate spring ephemeral plant that offers several benefits when incorporated into landscaping. Native to North America, they are a member of the poppy family and can be found growing in rich, moist woodlands, making them an ideal addition to woodland-themed gardens or naturalized landscapes. Dutchman's Breeches Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), also known as "Little Blue Staggers," is a white woodland flower that blooms from March to April. This spring ephemeral is also a perennial that is native to eastern North America. It also grows naturally in the Pacific Northwest. Dutchman's Breeches Natural Habitat In the United States, Dicentra cucullaria is often found in eastern and Pacific Northwestern woodlands. In the wild, the flower grows naturally on forest floors under dappled sunlight, on moist rocky slopes, and along stream banks. After their blooming cycle ends, the flowers go dormant, and their leaves and stems will fall to the ground to make way for summer flowers. Dutchman's Breeches Appearance The plants range from 6" to 12" tall and bloom for about two weeks. Their creamy white or pinkish flowers resemble pairs of old-fashioned Dutch pantaloons hanging upside-down from a clothesline. Each blossom's outer petals form a puffy 'V' shape that converges in a yellow-tipped base. The plant's feathery compound leaves look like fern fronds, and they change color from gray-green to pale yellow before disappearing for the rest of the year. Dutchman's Breeches in Gardens Little Blue Staggers makes an attractive addition to many landscapes. The plant is especially well-suited to wildflower and woodland gardens and works well in areas that are shaded by mature trees. Its wonderful flowers are sure to draw attention to your spring greenery with their delicate and cheeky blossoms. They should be planted in the fall. They grow from bulb-like underground plant structures called corms, which can multiply underground. Mature corms can be divided and transplanted to propagate new plants. Dicentra cucullaria offers nectar to bumblebees, cuckoo bees, and other bees that feed through the plant's perforations as they pollinate the flowers. Ants also help propagate the plant by carrying its seeds into new territory. If you want to add beauty and a touch of humor to your garden, consider planting a few near your trees. These flowers are a sure way to welcome the first flush of spring.

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