It’s only January, and already this winter has brought sub-freezing temperatures and even some snow to the southeast Texas area. With two more months until the first day of spring, it’s likely that there more wintry weather is on the way, and it’s not too late to protect the plant life in your kids outdoor playground area. Here are a few tips for making sure your trees, shrubs, and other plants around will be prepared for the chill and ready to bloom when spring rolls around.
Trim and prune trees. Winter is a great time to cut away branches that block views or that may be in danger of breaking off and creating a safety hazard. Pruning also promotes faster regrowth in the spring and gives root systems a chance to strengthen.
Keep roots warm. Adding an extra layer of mulch will give root systems additional insulation against the winter cold and helps sustain soil moisture.
Continue watering. Even though the above-ground portion of trees and plants may be dormant, root systems are still active and will continue to grow if they have an adequate supply of water.
Be ready for freezing temperatures. If your trees and shrubs are well mulched, they probably have adequate protection against the occasional light freeze. If temperatures are projected to fall into the 20s, make sure plants are well watered ahead of time — the water will actually act as an insulator — and cover them with old sheets, burlap, painter’s drop cloths, or or a similar fabric, but never with plastic.
Anchor plant coverings. If you need to cover plants, make sure your coverings reach all the way to the ground, and anchor them with bricks or rocks to protect against wind and keep heat inside.