Answer: The real prep for winter begins the first summer. Make sure the shrubs get enough water this summer, but take care not to overwater. Mulch your shrub with 2 inches of shredded bark to conserve moisture and prevent weeds. Keep the mulch 1 to 2 inches away from the trunk. Continue to water as needed until the ground freezes. Cover your shrubs with wooden teepees to protect them from wind and from crushing snow load. Also make sure they aren't exposed to runoff from salted sidewalks or driveways. In the spring you can remove the protection. Enjoy!
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