The ever-changing Colorado weather can take quite a toll on many things this time of the year. I know many people battling colds because of the swift temperature changes. I see city workers out dealing with repaving the streets and filling in potholes that cracked from the consistent change from sunny days with 60 degrees temperature to snowy days with the temperature barely reaching 30. The climate out here can be tough for a many reasons and one thing I have had many clients tell me about is how hard it can be to maintain their yards during this time of the year.
Colorado is a tough state to grow many plants because of the harsh environment. We are a very dry place so the lack of rain during the spring and summer time, paired with the little amount of snow we have gotten for the year this year, leaves it a bit difficult to take care of many outdoor plants. Colorado winters are not a constant temperature or a constant climate and because of the back and forth, much of the plant life goes into a shock state trying to deal with the constantly changing temperatures.
So what can you do as a homeowner when it comes to caring for your green companions? Here are a few tips to help when the days are warm and the nights are cold and you are looking to keep your plants and trees as happy as possible:
· If the soil is dry, water your gardens or landscape at least a day before an extreme cold because moist soil holds heat in longer and is more insulating than dry soil.
· Any plants that are sensitive to the cold nights should be covered before the night falls. Plants can be covered for a couple of days, which is perfect in a Colorado climate, and then they will stay protected during the bitter nights.
· Don’t get rid of all your fallen leaves from your trees. Smaller plants actually do better during this time of the year when they are covered with dry leaves or pine straw. Make sure to cover the whole plant so any green isn’t showing.
· Any potted plants should live inside for the winter. Even if you don’t have room in your house, bring plants into your garage to get them out of the cold but make sure they still get their sun.
· For those of you with a bit of a builder in you, you can build your plants a cold frame or a small greenhouse so they keep nice and warm during the cold weather.
· After you have a freeze, you will need to help your trees recover. Don’t prune anything off immediately, wait until spring to see what sprouts.
It can be hard to keep your outdoor plants and trees happy during this time of year, but with some easy care and covering, they should be healthy for when spring rolls around.