| You've purchased the most promising trees, shrubs, or groundcovers for your landscape and are ready to plant. With careful handling and a little extra preparation, you can help prevent some of the problems that interfere with healthy plant establishment. Here are some winter seasonal pointers to help ensure success, courtesy of the Jermacans Style Landscape Design Team:
You've purchased the most promising trees, shrubs, or groundcovers for your landscape and are ready to plant. With careful handling and a little extra preparation, you can help prevent some of the problems that interfere with healthy plant establishment. Here are some winter seasonal pointers to help ensure success, courtesy of the Jermacans Style Landscape Design Team:
Montgomery County Seasonal Insights
In Montgomery County, Pennsylvania winter conditions have varied greatly over the last few years. They have been quite mild late into the fall (when some varieties of ornamental fruit trees and rhododendrons have been blooming). If these mild temperatures recur and are followed by extreme cold, some landscape plants will likely suffer some damage.
A Good Starting Place
Winter is an excellent time to learn more about your landscape plants. There are excellent books available at your local library and through bookstores. And you can always call Jermacans Style for quick tips on protecting your trees and shrubs at 610-287-5003.
It is not unusual for temperatures in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania to quickly drop to below-freezing. Persistent winds can make these situations even worse. Such weather conditions can easily injure sensitive or exposed ornamental plants. Broadleaf evergreens such as hollies, rhododendrons and azaleas are most susceptible to drying winter winds. To help protect these plants, erect a simple windbreak: place burlap or other fabric over several tomato stakes and fasten with string or wire.
The Skippack and Collegeville region of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania suffered from a severe lack of rainfall this past summer. Dry weather limits growth and can cause premature leaf drop in some landscape plants, especially young trees. It can take two growth seasons for newly planted trees and shrubs to become fully established, so it is extremely important to maintain sufficient moisture in the root zone of these plants. Unfortunately, you may not see the effects of drought on your plants for a year or two.
Tips for the Landscape
In Montgomery County, PA young trees with very thin bark and soft-wooded fruit trees are quite susceptible to a winter condition known as sun scald. This occurs when the sun shines on the bark, warming the inner tissue to above the freezing mark. The damage is done when the trunk is no longer exposed to the sun and the tissue freezes again. This alternate freezing and thawing causes damage to the cells in the trunk. To prevent this from happening, paint the trunk with white paint or wrap the trunk with a fibrous wrapping material found at any garden center. These measures will protect the trunk and help prevent the splitting of bark and wood.
In Southeastern Pennsylvania deposits of heavy wet snow and ice can be very damaging to plants in the landscape, particularly upright evergreens such as junipers and arborvitaes that are common in the Skippack and Collegeville areas of Pennsylvania. Remove snow with a long-handled broom. Ice is nearly impossible to remove without harming the plant. If limbs do break, prune them out to maintain the beauty of the plant.
Summers in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania can be rough on your tools. This is the time of year for equipment maintenance. Here are some items worth checking:
• Is it time to replace the spark plug in your mower?
• Check for a buildup of carbon on the spark plug of mowers, edgers and blowers with two-cycle engines that require oil
mixed with the fuel. This buildup reduces the efficiency of the engine.
• Spark plugs in four-cycle engines tend to last longer when you use unleaded fuel.
• Check the gap on the spark plug. It may increase over time, which will reduce engine horsepower.
• Drain and replace oil and replace the air filter. Properly dispose of waste oil at any oil and lube convenience center.
• This is also a good time to remove and sharpen your mower blade - have it ready for next spring once your lawn comes
out of winter dormancy and is ready for its first mowing.
Rainy Day Projects
In the Skippack and Collegeville areas of Montgomery County, PA, growing your own annuals for the flower garden can be fun. There are many seed catalogs available that offer some unique plants for your particular area. You may want to research ways to start plants on your windowsill or in the basement with grow lights. Next spring, take extra pride in your garden knowing that you started them yourself.