10November 9, 2017

It looks like we will be getting some cold weather come the end of the week. Hopefully, our minds and bodies will all be ready for this.

As the weather gets cold, there is one garden chore that you must do before the cold sets in. Many of you will have used weed killers, insecticides and fungicides during this past gardening season. If any of these are in a liquid form and you have them in the shed or an unheated garage, you need to get those products into the house.

Once these liquid products freeze, it can damage the container and may cause the product to leak when it thaws out. The freezing and thawing, in many cases, will make the products less effective when you go to use them next year. In some cases, the products may not work at all.

Aerosol containers can also be adversely affected by freezing. If you have any liquid pesticides or aerosol products outside in unheated areas, get them into a heated area before the cold temperatures set in.

The sudden change from abnormally warm temperatures to very cold temperatures can adversely affect your shrubs.

So many of you still have shrubs blooming and putting out new growth. These plants can suffer damage from a sudden cold snap. An application of an anti-desiccant spray or a wrap of burlap may help the plants survive the cold.

Speaking of protecting your shrubs, you should plan on doing so before the winter sets in. The dry winds of winter can really do a job on your shrubs.

Covering your shrubs with burlap or using some type of shrub cover will deflect much of the wind and make it easier for them to survive.

There is a product called Wilt-Pruf that is a liquid that you mix with water and spray onto the leaves and stems of your shrubs. Once the product dries, it forms a waxy coating that cuts the moisture loss by 30 to 50 percent. This product is particularly effective at protecting your hollies, boxwood, rhododendrons or any other shrub that keeps its leaves all winter. This product also works very well on hydrangeas and rosebushes.

Considering how much money you have invested in your landscaping, the replacement cost for even one shrub that has grown into a larger plant will set you back more than the cost of the burlap or the Wilt-Pruf.

If you noticed that this column wasn’t in last week’s paper, it was because the power outage kept me from being able to write it. Hopefully, we are back to normal.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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