Fall Mulching of Perennials - Knowledgebase Question

Upper Sandusky, OH
Avatar for corfman9
Question by corfman9
November 6, 1997
Is it necessary to mulch established perennials for the winter? If so, when? I ve been told after the ground freezes, but how deep should the freeze be?

Answer from NGA
November 6, 1997
Fall mulching of hardy perennials isn't always necessary, but it's a good insurance policy. The idea behind it is to keep the ground frozen through the winter, since winter thaws followed by cold weather can cause frost heaves that damage roots and crowns of perennials. If you mulch too soon, you can keep delay freezing, and plants can be heaved when it gets really cold out. You and your plants will be safe if you mulch once the topsoil is hard and doesn't thaw in the warmth of the day.

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