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How to Prepare Outdoor Plants for Cold Weather

When winter rolls around, people aren’t the only ones who need to be protected from the cold. Some outdoor plants need to be covered to ensure survival during the cold months. Fall is the best time to protect your plants from winter’s harsh weather. During the winter, plants are susceptible to foliar damage, winter scald, and frozen roots. In addition to prepping your outdoor power equipment for winter, make sure you prep your outdoor plants for cold weather with these plant protection tips.


Applying a layer of mulch is one of the most effective ways to protect your plants in the winter. The mulch will act as an insulator and hold in heat and moisture in the soil to protect the roots of your plants from the cold weather.

Water plants

Make sure the soil is well-watered before the ground freezes. Wet soil prevents freeze injury to the roots of plants because moist soil traps heat better than dry soil. Don’t water frozen soil because this will not help protect them from the cold and can actually make things worse for the plant.

Cover plants and trees

The purpose of covering plants is to capture the earth’s heat and prevent cold winds from drying them out. To cover plants and trees in burlap, place a few wooden stakes around the plant, allowing a few inches of space between the stakes and the plant. Put a double layer of burlap over the stakes and secure it to the stakes with staples.

If your climate is mild or only includes occasional light frost, covering your plants with an old blanket may be enough. Similar to using burlap, you may want to use a few stakes to prop up the blanket, otherwise it can damage the plant.

Build a cold frame

Building a temporary cold frame or greenhouse will trap heat and block out frost. Though it requires a bit of construction, this is a great solution to keeping plants safe and warm during the winter.

To build a cold frame, bend slender metal rods into loops and stick the ends into the ground across a garden row. Place a length of row cover fabric over the loops to enclose the plant. For a more permanent cold frame, hinge a window or storm window to one side of an open-bottomed box built from scrap lumber.

Also consider building an inexpensive greenhouse to protect plants. Make sure your greenhouse receives proper ventilation. If daytime temperatures are warm, open the greenhouse to allow air to circulate. If you don’t, your plants could overheat or build up too much moisture inside.

Bring potted plants inside

This is the easiest solution to protecting plants from the cold. If you have any potted plants or hanging baskets, bring them indoors. Make sure you place these plants near windows to allow them to receive their required sunlight.

Temperatures are dropping so it’s no secret that winter is coming. Since plants are susceptible to damage in cold weather, make sure you protect them with shelter, water, and mulch this winter.


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Why Weingartz?

Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.

11875 Northland Dr.
Cedar Springs, MI 49319
(616) 696-2913

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