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Protecting your nursery plants and flowers during the winter is very important, especially coming from the fall season when they have flourished. While there are some plants that are stronger than others, knowing how to prepare for the winter season to protect the nursery plants can determine whether or not they will make it to the spring season.
With tropical plants being the most commonly damaged plant variety during the winter when temperatures go below 35 degrees, proper care should be taken. These shrubs and plants will include the tropical bird of paradise, boxwood beauties, the young citrus trees, pygmy date palms, Lantana, bougainvillea and the hibiscus.
By following some of the tips below, protecting your nursery plants can be achieved without causing you much worry.
Covering plants and trees
Before sundown, it is essential to cover up the plants and ensure that the wind does not remove the cover at night. By using frost cloth, you insulate the plants and trees while at the same time ensuring that they retain the heat coming from the soil. Plastics should never be used, but cloth materials and burlap can. You should ensure that the plants remain covered until the rise of the sun when temperatures are above the freezing point.
Moon juice and water
One of the best ways to prepare your nursery during a cold evening is to heavily water the plants and flowers in the night of the freeze. This usually creates humidity which leads slightly more warmth than dry air. With the frost cloth in place, this creates a microclimate that provides added protection for the nursery. By also using super charged moon juice, plant and flower moisture intake is increased along with vital nutrients needed for growth. This protection enables the nursery plants to have a jump start when spring begins.
It is very essential to avoid pruning 6 weeks prior to winter starting. If this is done, it usually leads to bud breaks which result in the plants not hardening enough before winter begins. At times, this pruning can cause wounds which fail to close till when spring arrives. This means that the plants end up decaying. Due to infection from organisms. Avoiding pruning, thus ensures that the plants are properly hardened for the winter season.
Using older warming bulbs can also help protect the flowers and plants in your nursery from the winter frost. When you focus the light on the plants and flowers in the nursery, this creates heat that dispels frost from forming. With the rise in the use of the LED and fluorescent lights, finding incandescent bulbs is becoming harder.
Nursery site location
Since soil properties, the canopy cover, surface reflectivity and elevation also affect the heat radiation in the nursery, it is essential to refrain from placing the plants in open and exposed areas or where the cold air is known to settle. Putting them next to a west or south-facing wall which has absorbed heat during the day and radiates it during the night is always best. You can also ensure that where the nursery is located has boulder, shrubs and fences to act as protection from the cold wind.
While the first reaction to do when you notice frost damage in plants in your nursery is to dig up the plant or prune off the affected areas immediately, it is important to note that plants can be quite resilient at times. The winter can prove to be quite harsh for nurseries in NYC when the season comes but with proper preparation, you can always be sure that your plants will weather that period well. So, as the winter season draws near, try out some of the mentioned tips for the winter protection for your nurseries!