How to Prepare Your Yard For Winter with Burlap Plant Fabric
Winter is coming. Is your yard ready?
Unexpected cold snaps and abrupt temperature changes can wreak havoc on your plants. Burlap is a simple, breathable, and cost effective form of protection that protects plants from freezing dew.
What Plants Should Be Covered in Winter?
Here are some of the plants that would benefit from more insulation and covering during the winter months.
Tender bulb flowers: Dahlias, begonias and freesias will die in the winter if they aren’t protected.
Delicate trees: Newly planted trees are especially sensitive to freezing nights.
Tropical plants: While potted plants are easily brought indoors at night, those that are planted should be trimmed and covered every night that it could freeze.
Arborvitaes: These beautiful privacy trees are deer magnets, and burlap acts as a simple and effective blocker so your trees don’t become see through!
When Should Plants Be Covered?
Know Your Dates
Do you know your area’s average frost dates? The first frost typically occurs in the fall, while the last frost occurs in the spring. The first freeze date will typically happen a week or two after the first frost date. It’s important to keep an eye out for this date because if you’re not prepared – it will likely kill your plants!
Watch the Weather Reports
These are rough guidelines. A sudden onset of cold before the estimated frost date can likewise cause damage to certain plants, so it’s important to be aware of any active weather warnings before winter to make sure you are able to anticipate and reduce any damage.
How to Cover Your Plants With Burlap Plant Fabric
Step 1 – Apply Mulch
Apply mulch in a thick 4-5 inch layer around the base of your plant. This will insulate the ground and maintain soil moisture. When the soil is wet, it’s actually much harder to freeze completely solid.
Step 2 – Create a Barrier
Create a barrier from the wind by driving three or four wooden stakes into the ground around the plant, allowing a few inches of space between the stakes and the plant.
Step 3 – Wrap the Plant
Wrap burlap, typically 6.5oz weight or greater, around the stakes and the plant, at least two to three times. Make sure there is roughly 5 inches on the ground to prevent wind from blowing underneath the burlap. The top of the plant should also be covered.
Step 4 – Secure the Burlap Plant Fabric
Tie the burlap fabric with twine or jute rope. Beginning at the bottom, wrap the twine around the shrub and tie the two ends of twine together. Continue in a spiral fashion, to keep the burlap snug. Wrap the twine to the top, and then back down again, ending where you began. Stapling the burlap to the stakes also is a fine solution for longer term winter protection.
Step 5 – Removal
Be sure to remove the burlap fabric as soon as the weather moderates, but leave the stakes in place so you can cover the plant quickly in the event of an unexpected cold snap. You can remove the stakes in spring when you’re sure freezing weather has passed.
Burlap fabric is a simple, but effective way to protect your plants against harsh temperatures and survive the winter. Eaton Brothers offers burlap rolls and burlap tall pac in a rugged, medium-weave for sturdy plant protection.