Winter protection
Published on 27/03/2023


There are several reasons why we should protect our plants during the winter season: snow weight, salt, wind and sun, and also to protect plants outside our zone.

Make sure the soil is frozen before applying mulch or protection. So, remember to plant your stakes and poles before the frost and wait until the mice and voles disperse elsewhere. Protection is used to maintain uniform temperatures and prevent water from accumulating. Rapid temperature changes can harm our plants.

Be careful not to protect your plants too early. Ideally, protection should be applied after the first snowfall or if the temperature drops to -5 degrees Celsius at night. Black geotextile fabric would be tested during hot sunny days in late fall and early spring. When spring arrives, clear them under a cloudy sky when the severe frost risk is over.

Here are some general tips: 

  • Water your plants for as long as possible.
  • Water conifers well before fall frost.
  • Wait for the hardening process to occur before composting anything you want to.
  • Water when you are afraid of frost on autumn evenings.
  • Use blankets if an intense frost is predicted. Never use plastic as a cover, but membrane or burlap.
  • Do not lift branches when covered with ice, as this could damage the tissue under the bark that carries sap (the cambium).
  • Do not leave dead leaves on the lawn to breathe.
  • Wait for a deep frost before digging up summer bulbs to recover their sap and sugar.
  • Clean your bulbs in the cold room. If the cold room reaches more than 8 degrees Celsius, cover them with "peat moss" so they don't dehydrate. • Bring in your annual plants early in the fall, before frost.
  • Wait until spring to transplant slow-growing trees, shrubs and plants (birch, hawthorn, rhododendron, Euonymus, etc.).

Specific rose protections:

  • Do not add fertilizer after July 30.
  • Plant roses in the sun to prevent diseases and obtain beautiful blooms.
  • Do not remove flowers at the beginning of hardening off. Make sure there are no more leaves or fruits on the plant and the ground before protecting them.
  • If you fear water accumulation during winter, mound it with soil.
  • Do not protect a rose until the soil is completely frozen.
  • Cut branches three inches higher than the desired height.
  • Hardy explorers do not need protection.

Specific conifer protections:

  • Not everyone agrees with the need to protect conifers in winter. It is up to you to decide how critical it is to do so.
  • You can tie branches and/or cover them with burlap.
  • Be preventative, especially with small trees or trees in more at-risk locations where snowplows may deposit dirty snow.
  • Since winter air dries out conifers, water them abundantly.

Specific lawn protections:

Some argue that we should preserve the lawn. There are waterproof fabrics specially designed to protect our lawns. Spread them on the grass at the edge of the street. This will protect your yard from salt and make cleaning more effortless in the spring.

  • Winter protection