Coping With Winter In Your Vegetable Garden In Virginia
Winter is here, and with winter comes an old friend, snowfall. On average, the first snowfall in Virginia occurs around October 23, and the heavy ones knock on the door in December. And since December is here, it’s high time to start protecting your vegetable garden from the harsh effects of snow.
Whether it’s a light frost or a hard hit of an ice storm, such events can harm or even kill the plants in your garden.
So how to protect your vegetable garden from the ill effects of snowfall?
With some quick preparations and a little effort, you can easily protect your garden and survive the winter chills.
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Tips To Help You Protect Your Vegetable Garden in Virginia
Lay a fresh 2-4 inch blanket of mulch to protect the plants. The freeze-thaw cycle causes damage to plants, especially to dormant perennials and shrubs. Also, you can use shredded leaves or some other kind of organic materials like a newspaper for protecting the roots of your plants. However, remember to leave a half-inch of space around the base to prevent rotting of the material.
Protect your plants with the help of a plant cover or garden blanket. However, there are a few plants that shouldn’t be covered. Also, remember, garden blankets should be used for a short duration only.
Use an Ice Melt
Though salt and chlorine-based solutions can help you remove the ice, it can negatively impact the plants and vegetables. Also, overuse of salt can affect the fertility of the soil. And can become a serious environmental pollutant.
So it’s better to use the right ice melter to melt the ice. Always use a chemical-free, salt-free, and acetate-free ice melt that is safe-to-use around kids, pets, and plants.
Apart from using a chemical-free ice melt, you should protect your plants also. The best way to do so is by storing your plants in covered places such as a porch or garage. The warmth of your house will help the plants to survive the winter.
Start watering your plants thoroughly several days before the expected storm or snowfall. Or else, it is advised to water until temperatures rise above the freezing point. In case watering is a must, try to water early as the day will warm up the plants will get time to warm themselves up.
Blow Snow Away From Plants
As soon as the snow falls, try to blow away snow using a snowblower. Using a snowblower is vital because the weight of excess snow can severely damage the plants. You can also use a shovel to remove the snow from all the covered and uncovered plants. You can use an ice melt before the snow hits the ground so that shoveling is easy.
Get a Greenhouse
Winter is the time when you should start thinking about building a greenhouse in your backyard. A greenhouse is a great way to protect plants and vegetables from all the harmful effects of winter and snowfall.
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