If you haven’t already heard the bad news, they’re predicting a frigid winter with lots of snow in much of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. With the prairie provinces about to be blasted with cold, it’s no surprise that we’re hearing from many homeowners asking what landscaping supplies they need to protect their perennials from the plummeting temperatures. It’s a good question! Because while it’s obvious that tender, young plants need to be protected from Calgary’s harsh climate, even hearty, established plants can suffer during particularly hard years.
Consider Soil Drainability.
One often forgotten bulb killer is moisture. When soil doesn’t drain properly, bulbs can become and stay damp — leading to rot. This is particularly common in areas with a yo-yoing freeze-thaw cycle like Calgary because snow is constantly melting and soaking the bulbs, with little opportunity for things to dry out. To combat this problem, make sure your soil has excellent drainability. For a lawn, this will look like aerating. For garden beds, blending in a high-quality garden mix with amendments will help. You can also blend compost and very fine mulch into your existing soil.
Transplant Container Plants.
Container gardens are cute and practical, but they don’t work during the Canadian winter. Because the cold can seep into the contained soil from all sides, it freezes solid, often killing the plant. As part of your winter transition, transplant container plants into garden beds or bring them indoors. Containers can be used to hold decorative branch bouquets. Consider adding fairy lights or artificial berries or cones for some extra colour and texture in these displays.
Insulate with Mulch.
A thick blanket of snow does wonders for stabilizing soil temperatures and protecting your plants from the harshest cold, but in Calgary, it’s not a safe bet to assume we’ll have a generous layer of snow throughout the coldest months. Instead, smart Calgarians invest in mulch. A liberal layer of mulch does the same work as a blanket of snow while adding texture and interest to your yard during the winter. The mulch also slowly breaks down, releasing nutrients into your plants and increasing soil drainability.
Ensuring your perennials are ready for next year will depend a lot on what kind of perennials you have. Some need to be trimmed back, others thrive from benign neglect. But one thing is universal: plants do better in spring when they’re adequately protected over the winter. Keep in mind your soil’s drainability, add mulch where it’s needed, and consider wrapping fragile plants in burlap for some extra insulation and protection from gales and heavy snows. The landscaping material experts at Soil Kings can help you get the supplies you need before winter settles in for good: order today, delivered tomorrow.