10 Ways to Winterize Your Garden


Not-always-green Evergreens

These plants maintain their foliage year-round, even when they're dormant in the winter. But don't be fooled by the name: Not all evergreens are green. They can be blue, gray yellow or bronze. And their color isn't the only quality that varies dramatically -- so do their size, shape and preferred climate. If you choose evergreens wisely, you shouldn't have to do anything special to protect them from cold weather. And with so many options to choose from, it isn't as difficult as it might sound. With that said, there are common ways to winterize evergreens that need a little extra help enduring the elements.

It's recommended to give evergreens a deep soak in the fall once it starts to cool off significantly and before it freezes, just as you would do with shrubs. Evergreens' leaves constantly release moisture, even in the winter, which makes them particularly vulnerable to drying winds.

Even a well-selected evergreen planted in an ideal spot may need to be shielded from strong winds that whip through in the winter. On the windward side of the plant, put up a wind screen. To do so, arrange three stakes in a V-formation with the tip facing the wind. Drive them into the ground, and attach a burlap screen or ski fencing to them. You can also apply about 4 inches of mulch around evergreens to prevent the soil from freezing. This also helps the plant to drink in moisture when it's exceptionally cold outdoors.

In places with heavy snowfall, whack down built-up snow on branches with a broom or garden tool. This will prevent branches for getting too heavy and breaking off. You can also truss up branches using twine, leaving them tied until you're sure there won't be any more snow that year.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Balistrieri, Carlo A. "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Rock and Water Gardening Illustrated." Alpha. 2004.
  • Brandies, Monica Moran. "Landscaping with Tropical Plants." Sunset Publishing Corporation. 2004.
  • Crockett, James Underwood. "Evergreens." Time Life Books. 1971.
  • Dimond, Don. "All About Ground Covers." Ortho Books. 1982.
  • Edinger, Philip. "Ground Covers." Sunset Publishing Co. 1991.
  • Giles, Will. "The New Exotic Garden." Octopus Publishing Group Ltd. 2000.
  • Hecht, Hans. "Cacti and succulents." Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. 1992.
  • Mace, Tony and Mace Suzanne. "Cactus and Succulents: A Care Manual." Laurel Glen Publishing. 1998.
  • Mason, Susan Garrett. "Landscape Trees and Shrubs." Creative Publishing International. 2002.
  • Millard, Scott. "Gardening in Dry Climates." Ortho Books. 1989.
  • Pleasant, Barbara. "Warm-climate Gardening." Garden Way Publishing. 1993.
  • Sunset Books. "Bulbs for all Seasons." Lane Publishing Co. 1985.
  • Time Life Books. "The Time Life Gardener's Guide: Wildflowers." Time Life Books. 1989.


New Sharing Website Links Farmers, Saves Seeds

New Sharing Website Links Farmers, Saves Seeds

A new website is designed to bring farmers and heirloom seeds together. HowStuffWorks takes a look at why seed saving is more important than ever.