If you plant perennials in the fall, mulch your new plants with straw or chopped leaves to prevent root damage during winter. A little mulch used immediately after planting can help to keep the soil moist and encourage continued root growth. But the main reason to mulch lies ahead, in winter. Alternately freezing and thawing, expanding and contracting soil can break new roots or even push new plantings out of the ground, a process called soil heaving. By mulching generously with an airy material like straw when the soil first freezes, you can help keep the soil frozen until winter ends, at which point the mulch can be removed.
In winter, mulch evergreen perennials and ground covers with evergreen boughs to protect them from winter burn (the cold weather opposite of sunburn). When the soil is frozen, the wind is strong, and the sun is bright, moisture is pulled out of the vulnerable leaves and cannot be replaced by the frozen roots. A protective layer of evergreen boughs, possibly obtained by recycling the branches of a Christmas tree, forms a protective shield over vulnerable greenery. Straw will also do the job, especially in colder areas where there is less chance of rot in winter.
Growing perennials from seeds isn't hard, as long as you know what kind of treatment your seeds need to sprout. Keep reading to learn about growing perennials from seed.
Want more information about gardening with perennials? Try these:
- Perennials: Learn about plants that will continue to grow in your garden season after season.
- Perennial Flowers: Plant perennial flowers for years of blooms.
- Tips for Growing Perennials: Use these helpful tips to grow healthy perennial plants.
- How to Start a Garden: Find out how to get your garden in the ground and growing.
- Gardening: Learn the basics of successful gardening.