Severe frost, cold gusty winds and heavy snowfall can damage the plants in your garden not only in winter. Spring strikes are no less dangerous. Take care of your green pets during the off season.
Before the treachery of the pre-spring nature with unstable weather, daily temperature difference and bright sun, even the most resistant plants that survived the long winter may be powerless. However, there are ways to reduce the undesirable effects of weather "cataclysms". In order to protect the plants in pre-spring, we understand our article.
Preweather is the period between winter and spring, when average daily air temperatures range from 0 to 5 ° C, and precipitation is most often observed as rain. It was at this time that the garden begins to awaken from winter sleep. In the climate of the middle zone, the period of pre-spring falls at the end of February - the beginning of March. However, certain "vagaries" of the weather can affect the plants even before May.
Danger number 1. Frost and sun
Both severe frost and sharp thaw can harm plants during this period. In the daytime, the air temperature can rise significantly (this causes active sap flow in the trunks and tissues of plants), and it freezes at night (the temperature drops sharply below zero).
Pre-date is a dangerous period of the year, not only for grassy plants, but also for trees and shrubs. During the day, the sun-warmed bark expands, and at night it can burst from the frost. Wounds are formed on the trunk - frost holes, and in severe cases the tree may die. Damage sites should immediately be wrapped with sacking so that fabrics do not dry out. And with the onset of heat, they begin treatment: they clean the damaged area with a sharp knife to healthy tissue, disinfect with 1% copper sulfate solution, then cover it with garden pitch or a mixture of clay, mullein and ash (1: 1: 0.1) and tie up the damage site with sacking or cellophane.
A good protection of the trees at this time is shelter on the south side with straw or sheets of plywood, which helps to reflect the sun's rays and slows down the process of awakening plants. But it is best to take care of the plants in advance, at the end of autumn or in February during the thaw, and whitewash their trunks with special compounds (water-dispersion, water-emulsion or alkyd paints).
Return frosts threaten fruit trees, where growth is delayed by a sharp decrease in temperature, kidneys are frozen, and the ovary often dies, which can lead to a loss of the future crop.
The most vulnerable in the cold are plants with early growing season and come from warm countries, such as laurel, yew or spruce. Frost causes the greatest damage:
• young specimens (with a weak, undeveloped root system and insufficient immunity);
• plants that were transplanted in the fall (they can damage the roots, as well as the effects of stress and lack of time for acclimatization);
• growing in places of spring flooding or on too wet soil (in such cases even plants of the varieties declared to be frost resistant are affected);
• to plants under which fertilizers (most often nitrogen) were applied late in the fall.
In winter, plants gradually weaken, their frost resistance decreases, and negative night temperatures entail damage to young growths: flower ovaries and buds. If there is still snow, you should not worry, but in a snowless winter for the night you need to cover the vulnerable plants with a spanbond. In the absence of snow in winter, there is such a problem as a protrusion of roots from under the ground, which occurs due to alternate freezing and thawing, as well as subsidence of the soil. So that the protruding roots do not dry and peremerzli, they are sprinkled with earth.
Danger number 2. Physiological drought
This phenomenon is especially susceptible to evergreen conifers, whose needles continue to evaporate water in winter. Physiological drought occurs when the roots of plants are unable to absorb water, despite the fact that there is a sufficient amount of soil in the soil. This contributes to the frozen ground. In winter, "drought" may occur as a result of excessive salinization of the soil. Over time, the absorbing properties of the roots decrease, as a result of the needles of the plants become brown, turn yellow and even begin to crumble. Moreover, the damage can be very significant.
Due to drought, conifers lose their ornamental properties much more often than because of lack of fertilizers, fungal diseases or pests. Prevent this state will help, first of all, abundant prewinter watering of plants. During the winter, evergreens also need to be watered a little, but this should be done on moderately warm days with air temperatures above 0 ° C. Watering will help valuable coniferous specimens to preserve mycorrhiza (soil fungi) on the roots, thanks to which conifers more effectively absorb water and nutrients. With the latter, by the way, in the autumn you should not be zealous - their excess in the soil is no less harmful than lack.
Danger number 3. Snow and ice
Not only wet snow is considered unsafe in winter, under the weight of which fragile branches of young trees can break, but also flooding as a result of the sudden melting of a white blanket. When the snow begins to melt and the ground is still frozen, it cannot quickly absorb the excess moisture. Often, plants, especially in the lowlands, literally "stand in the water", and if such a situation lasts a long time, it can destroy them.
The lawn can be especially affected by melting snow and ice. Ice is no less dangerous to him of snow, his crust does not allow air, as a result, the lawn grass "chokes" and may die. To prevent this, it is necessary to periodically break the formed ice - this will provide air access to the soil and roots. Air "pillow" will not only serve as a means of "heating" the plants, but will also reduce the risk of the development of fungal diseases, which are provoked by a moist snowy environment. When the snow melts and the surface of the soil dries out, the dead grass must be raked and removed.
Danger number 4. Wind
Very often at the end of winter, trees suffer not so much from frost, but rather from the drying and icy northern or eastern wind, which intensifies the harmful effects of cold air. To avoid this, especially sensitive plants should be planted in quiet, protected from the wind places. Where the winter winds are permanent, an openwork fence will be a barrier to them. An integral fence is not suitable for this - it will protect the plants, but the wind will reflect, and in other parts of the garden it will “manage” with a vengeance.
On the east side of the site, a natural “human shield” can serve as a hedge of evergreen or coniferous plants. Frost-resistant species with a deep and well-developed root system (pine, black, boxwood) are suitable for this. Separately growing plants, for example, near the terrace, can be sheltered from gusts of protective mats, selecting them so that they fit into the overall style of the site.
Danger number 5. Salt
Do not be surprised that sodium chloride is also in our "black list". White crystals are often used for sprinkling slippery stairs and paths in the garden. This, indeed, limits the risk of falling and injuring people, but also harms the environment. In spring, the salt dissolves, gets into the soil and poisons it. An excess of salt, which leads to salinization of the soil, is a poison for plants. They wither, turn yellow, grow weak and may die. So instead of salt it is better to use sand, fine gravel or, in extreme cases, calcium chloride.
In the early spring days, the main rule of a competent gardener is to navigate according to circumstances. If frosts are predicted - at night you need to cover the plants with agrofibre or straw mats, and in the morning remove shelter. Despite the caring and attentive attitude to plants, some of them, unfortunately, may die - this will have to be tolerated. In opposition to the vagaries of changeable weather, it is difficult to find a middle ground, but enthusiasm gardeners should not diminish enthusiasm. Good harvests and coming spring!