Winter Preparation During A Drought - Knowledgebase Question

Eddyville, IA
Question by dford4
November 8, 1999
We are in the midst of a drought that only appears to be getting worse. Local publications are predicting many perennials and small trees will die this winter. With winter coming on, what should I do to prepare our Butterfly bushes, small trees, and asparagus so that they might survive through the winter?

Answer from NGA
November 8, 1999


In addition to the usual protective mulch, it is important that the plants go into cold weather well watered. Do this by a deep soaking rather than frequent light sprinklings. Often winter damage is as much a result of drying out (think of freeze drying) and wind as it is the cold alone. You might also think about erecting wind breaks if you are in a windy location. Finally, snow is a good insulator, so if the temperatures drop into the teens and colder and there is no snow cover due to the drought you may want to increase the depth of your usual mulch cover to try to add a bit more insulation that way. Evergreen boughs or other fluffy airy mulch atop perennials can also help if there is no snow.

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