When growing various crops in the garden, we need to ensure that they are well cared for, including helping them to cope with the harsh and changeable climate. One of the basic and mandatory measures is to improve the winter hardiness of garden plants. We tend to think that the main danger to perennials in winter is cold, which is completely wrong. You will learn more about How to Improve The Plants Cold Resistance by Bubgo article.
For example, in a certain region, winter may be warm and snowy, but in spring we are surprised to find that roses and hydrangeas, which have spent several cold winters, have died.
If the summer is cold and rainy, the plants become weak near the end of the winter and they do not have time to accumulate enough nutrients for even a little frost to wreak havoc on them. Or, if the winter is long (snow starts in October) and the thick layer of snow is warm and moist, the conditions are ripe for thawing.
What Is Winter Hardiness?
An important characteristic that helps plants cope with various natural and climatic difficulties and their consequences is winter hardiness - the ability to withstand harsh conditions. In winter and early spring, plants are exposed to factors (a group of factors) that actively affect garden crops and test their strength - severe or prolonged frost, thaw, ice crust, soaking, thawing, return to cold, etc.
Tip: Winter hardiness has proven to be a complex and multifaceted quality that is influenced not only by external factors but also by various plant characteristics.
Frost resistance, i.e. resistance to low temperatures, is genetic. Yield can be increased, for example, by grafting onto more frost-resistant scions. But most importantly, frost resistance should be taken into account when selecting planting material.
A. Winter hardiness and plant age
Age is not an issue, although there are rejuvenation techniques available. Just beware of young and old plants - they are weakened plants with the worst overwintering habits.
B. Winter hardiness and weather conditions
It may seem that the weather is beyond our control, but it is not. We can change the "weather at home", or more precisely, the microclimate in and around the plant.
1. Provide the necessary snow cover. If there is not enough snow, let's make a snow pile. If there is too much snow, please remove it at the end of winter.
2. Use a suitable cover for the winter. For example, for crops that tend to hibernate, the cover should be dry and airy in the warmer months.
3. Choose a suitable location when planting (sun, shade, dry or moist place, etc.).
C. Winter hardiness and plant care
Unlike other factors, winter hardiness and plant care depend mainly on us. Timely measures help to accumulate enough nutrients for winter and to mature the wood in time.
Basic rules of care to increase winter hardiness.
1. In summer, we make sure to apply fertilizer.
2. Fight against pests and diseases.
3. Treat with anti-stress drugs, adaptogenic drugs, etc.
How To Increase The Winter Hardiness Of Plants?
To improve the winter hardiness of fruit trees, every gardener should use some specific methods to prepare plants for winter in the fall.
Fertilize in autumn to improve winter hardiness until the leaves turn yellow and fall off, and fertilize with phosphorus and potassium fertilizers. It is best to use a foliar fertilizer, which will provide nutrients faster and be more effective. Dilute 30 grams of calcium superphosphate per 0.26 gals (1 liter) and 10 grams of potassium sulfate per 0.26 gals (1 liter) in water and spray on the leaves.
In addition, you can spray some preparations to increase immunity and resistance to stressful weather conditions.
Watering in autumn to moisturize and improve winter hardiness Watering in autumn helps prevent the branches from drying out in the frost. Soil should be soaked to a depth of 40-60 inches (1-1.5 m). In addition, moist soil has higher thermal conductivity, so heat from the lower layers of the soil will rise better to the roots.
Removing leaves in the fall to improve winter hardiness Removing leaves (defoliation) accelerates wood maturation and thus improves the winter hardiness of trees and shrubs. Chemical agents (e.g. ammonium sulfate) can be used for this purpose, or manual leaf removal can be carried out.
Paint trees in autumn to increase winter hardiness At the end of winter, dark branches can get very hot in the sun during the day and freeze at night, causing freezing and cracking and resulting in reduced winter hardiness. To prevent these serious injuries, paint the trunk and branches as high as possible. This is done with a permanent white compound, such as acrylic paint.
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