Mild Texas winters allow us to enjoy a wide variety of plants in our gardens, including many tropical beauties. The average first freeze for Texas falls around November 15th which means we definitely need to be prepared to help our plants to survive this cooler weather. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Protect plants from cold temperatures – Use a thick layer of mulch at the base of your plants to help insulate the roots. If you expect a freeze, you can cover the plants with cloth sheets or specially made plant covers to help protect them from the frost.
Prune dead wood. Pruning encourages growth in healthy plants and is best saved for the Spring. Now is a great time to trim back those dead branches from your shrubbery or trees. Call a professional arborist for the best advice about pruning trees – they can help you be sure your trees are away from the overhead wires to prevent power outages in a storm.
Transplant trees/shrubs. Now is the prime time for relocating plants that need a new home. Take this time reevaluate the location of plants that have done poorly this last year or perhaps you have a hole to fill in your landscape. Water thoroughly the first day and check the soil every other day or so. Be sure not to over water the transplants.
Water your plants. Complete this well before the freezing weather arrives.
Perform grass maintenance. Rake leaves, fertilize, trim, & weed your grass one last time for the winter. After your last trim, aerating your lawn will allow better growth as oxygen, water, & nutrients can better reach the roots. Add your grass clippings and leaves to your compost.
Prepare your garden for spring. Perform key winter maintenance like removing dead plants, turning over the soil, and planting clover to provide nitrogen back into the soil.