Winterizing Irrigation, Planting Now, Burlap, Wilt-Pruf
Usually by now we are in the middle of winterizing your irrigation systems. I know many of you get nervous with the cold weather that lies ahead. But please trust me it is not time yet. In order for your system to freeze up it would take at-least 10 days of below freezing weather to even start building any ice up. If you go back to my previous newsletter from October 10th, I pretty much covered it all.
Last week we were transplanting a 28 foot spruce tree and 16 inches down we hit powder. The ground was and is simply that dry. We dribbled water on it for two days, and two more days later we finally moved it. This has to be one of the driest falls on record, so hold off a bit. It makes my job tougher and puts pressure on us when the cold does hit, but I feel good knowing your property was put to bed properly.
So no worries we have your back.
This last week I was driving past a property that had over 60 evergreens installed. They are actually dead. They were planted over two weeks ago with little to no water. They may look green now but give it a couple of more weeks. Yikes!
We ourselves are still busy planting. We are very careful of what we plant at this time of the year and keep everything watered, use root promoter, and at this time of the year we mulch everything we plant. Oh, by the way, my squirrels are still slow in gathering their food for the winter. So far so good.
I feel it is imperative to return the previous article written on October 10th.
(Please see below.) And as always, feel free to call us anytime.
From October 10th Newsletter: Irrigation, Burlap, Wilt-Pruf
Many people have had their irrigation systems shut down after Labor Day. This is what’s considered the cardinal sin of mistreating trees and plants on your property. Yes the leaves are starting to fall and the trees and plants have stopped growing, but the root systems remain active for four weeks after the leaves even come down. This is serious business especially after any fall planting you might have done. Although I have predicted an average to above average winter temperature, your plants and trees must have enough water in their root systems regardless.
And here is why:
In layman’s terms, try to picture freezing chicken in your home. If left in freezer too long, the chicken will developed freezer burn and must be thrown away. Same principle applies to your plants. If there is no moisture in your plant and a serious cold front comes, the roots will burn and the plant will have serious damage and most likely die. Especially new plant material.
Here is what to do:
We keep your sprinkler system on as long as weather permits, sometimes going right to the last days. Then we actually hand water many plants, especially ones from warmer climates. So when the ground finally freezes your plants will actually be one big ice cube protecting the roots and actually keeping them warm.
With the lack of rain out east this fall, the ground is actually dry. We’ve been transplanting some large trees this fall, and the soil is on the powdery side. So what we do is put a hose on it for a day before we even transplant.
Two of the most important things we must write about:
Wrapping your shrubs and trees and winter spraying with anti-transpirant. If you are burlapping any plants DO NOT wrap any of them until after the first HARD freeze. Burlapping them too early can cause many problems such as mildew. Also do not wrap them so tight, as they still need air and some light. There are some plants that don’t need to be wrapped at all. We will advise you through this.
If you do your due diligence, you should never have to spray an anti-transpirant such as Wilt Pruf. This is all good, but the root system must be moist as I have previous stated. It is not a one time spray, it MUST be done once per month. And when you do spray you need a minimum 4 hours of 50 degree weather. If you spray below 50 degree it would be like pouring gasoline on them. And NEVER spray Rhododendrons! Ever notice when it freezes outside and the Rhododendrons curl up? That is their natural defense mechanism. What is really cool about Rhododendrons is when you wake up in the morning, look out the window and the leaves are all curled up, you know it’s going to be a cold one. It’s a great feeling when you wake up on January morning and the leaves are spread out. AH, we just might have a mild day!
We will be available to visit your property this weekend and any other day for that matter.
Give us a call or even email us, and keep the questions and comments coming.