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When to install and remove winter protection in the garden

In the fall, it is necessary to protect conifers, shrubs and perennials so that they can withstand the snow and winds of the coming winter. Find out when to install winter protection and when to remove it.

Over the last few years, new techniques and materials have been developed, so gardeners have to keep up-to-date if they want to make the right choice. Here are just a few things you need to protect your plants from:

  • the weight of snow and ice
  • road salt, which can damage hardwood and softwood trees
  • strong winds
  • rodents such as squirrels, rabbits and rats
  • sudden changes in temperature

A lasting, protective layer of snow is quite often lacking and winter protection becomes necessary. Botanix garden centres can help you find the solution with their wide range of products: snow fences, protective netting, stakes, landscape fabric, burlap, cones, etc., all of which will protect your shrubs, conifers, rose bushes and perennials.

When to set up winter protection

  • Set up your winter protection as late as possible in the season, ideally when the ground is frozen, or after a good snowfall. This will help prevent sudden temperature changes and prevent plants from warming up, which might wake them from hibernation.
  • Stakes and pickets, on the other hand, should be put into place before the ground is too hard.
  • Make sure you allow for air circulation through your barriers to avoid disease and mold.

And when to remove them

When the soil begins to thaw and mild temperatures set in, remove the winter protection. April is generally the best time to do this, but it might be earlier!

  • Remove winter protection as soon as possible, to prevent mold and early bud burst resulting from warming within the protective covering. This applies particularly to rose bushes.
  • Choose a cloudy day to protect your plants from the shock of sudden exposure to the sun, from temperature change and foliage burning from the sun.
  • After removing winter protection, water your plants generously to help them rehydrate.
  • Don't wait too late in spring as this can cause serious damage.
  • Monitor your plants carefully in the days following the removal of winter protection. If you notice any signs of stress, such as yellow or brown leaves, do not hesitate to contact us for advice.