Courtesy Photos 
                                Be sure to protect your garden when snow and frost comes.

Courtesy Photos Be sure to protect your garden when snow and frost comes.

Tips on getting garden ready for arctic blast 

By Steve Smith

It looks like the next couple of weeks are going to be wet and cold and some preparation on our parts can help minimize any deleterious effects. We rarely see more than 10 to 14 days of continuous below-freezing weather, but it still can do a lot of damage. Here are some tips to help get through the arctic blast.

•Protect container plantings: The smaller the container, the more the damage, so if you have pots 14 inches or smaller I recommend either to wrap them

with burlap (not plastic) or bubble wrap. Also, move the pots closer to the house or even into a cold but not freezing garage (not a warm garage though). The goal is to give them a little extra protection without waking them up. Be sure to move them outside as soon as temperatures go above freezing and stay there for a few days. For pots 20 inches or larger, don’t sweat it.

•Mulch, mulch, mulch: If you were wise and left leaf litter on your beds in fall, all you need to do is gather it up around any plants that might be tender to protect their crowns. If you cleaned up the garden buy some compost and spread it around as fast as you can. You can leave the compost in place until late February, or until you see signs of new growth, and then spread it around the garden.

•Snow: It is a gardener’s friend when it comes to freeze protection. It will insulate soil and smaller plants, so leave it in place and let it melt naturally. However, knock it off branches of tall narrow growing evergreens or they will splay out and look terrible from then on. Any delicate branching

shrubs or small trees should also get a little shake to keep them from breaking.

•Water: Areas under evergreen trees and beneath the eves of houses where the rain doesn’t penetrate can be quite dry. Find a hose that isn’t frozen solid and get some water to those areas.

•Lawns: Stay off them. If you don’t, you will have dead footprints until spring. While not permanent, it can be unsightly.

•Birdbaths and fountains: They should be drained or kept running if you can’t drain them. Using RV-antifreeze is also an option, but never use automotive antifreeze as it is highly toxic to plants and animals.

Every winter presents its challenges. Early freezes are the worst, but they are less damaging in January. Do what you can and figure on doing some repair work and possibly some replacement come spring.

Steve Smith owns Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville; info@sunnysidenursery.net

More in Business

Winter Passion wallflower.
Take a wallflower for a dance in your garden

By Steve Smith When I think of the word “wallflower” or “shrinking… Continue reading

Life’s a holiday on Primrose Lane

By Steve Smith There is no doubt that spring has sprung. This… Continue reading

Be sure to be kissed by a rose by growing them correctly

By Steve Smith It’s that time of year when garden centers fill… Continue reading

Vote for your favorites in Marysville and Arlington

What are some of your favorite places in Marysville and Arlington? Through… Continue reading

Roses with roots show that your love will last longer than if they are cut. (Courtesy Photo)
Real Flower Power for Valentine’s Day is a gift with roots

By Steve Smith Traditionally speaking, Valentine’s Day is the “Christmas” season for… Continue reading

Gardeners can have a berry good time growing them in the NW

By Steve Smith It should be no surprise that our Northwest climate… Continue reading

Business briefly

Tribal purchase TULALIP – The Tulalip tribe recently acquired a seafood processing… Continue reading

It’s time to get down and dirty in the garden again

By Steve Smith Let’s face it, compared to other regions of our… Continue reading

PNW company buys Marysville Ford

MARYSVILLE – Kendall Automotive Group Inc. has acquired Marysville Ford and Marysville… Continue reading

Bare-root fruit trees. (Courtesy Photos)
Now, yes now, is the time to start thinking about fruit trees

By Steve Smith Believe it or not, by the end of this… Continue reading

Tips on getting garden ready for arctic blast 

By Steve Smith It looks like the next couple of weeks are… Continue reading

Vertical gardens, such as these strawberries, make good use of little space. (Courtesy Photos)
Garden trends for 2020 similar to last 5 years

By Steve Smith I have spent countless hours researching “trends for 2020”… Continue reading