Saturday, November 10, 2007

Shrubs Shouldn't Have to Wear Clothes

I believe that trees and shrubs that require burlap clothing to avoid browning and death in a prairie winter should just not be grown in the prairies. This is stupid. Trees and shrubs should be able to hold their own and I can, in turn, respect them for their hardiness. Then again, I also have a need to grow azaleas (Northern Lights series) in my yard. I found out that they need to be wrapped to prevent bud kill from late spring frosts. The azaleas are protected by the little brown burlap "mushrooms" to the right of the cedar (arborvitae):
Narcissus bulbs, newly planted in anticipation of fragrant blooms for Christmas:

Here's a new outlet for frustrated Canadian gardeners in the winter: aquarium plants! I haven't had a plant in my aquarium for years, mostly because the fish uprooted and ate them. This is some type of variegated Acorus:


Larry said...

If your cedars could get their roots down past the frost line, where they could get moisture in winter, they would not need wrapping. Burlap wrapping is only one method of preventing our super dry winter winds from desiccating and killing cedars.
We also use an anti-desiccating spray before wrapping. The spray keeps the moisture in, and the burlap keeps the wicked winter wind from knocking off the spray. Most people don't realize, that the brown spring evergreen, is simply death from winter drought. Baby your cedar for 5-8 years, by then most have deep enough roots, to keep replacing lost winter moisture. As an aside, don't grow a cedar near any orange sodium street or yard lights, that particular light frequency stops them from going dormant for winter, then they simply freeze. (hey, the joys of prairie growing.)

Carol said...

I really do admire what you go through to garden in your zone. So cold! No matter how bad it gets here, I'll remember it is worse where you are.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Gardenista said...

Larry - thanks for the tips! I'm still not fond of cears and I blame the previous homeowners who planted it there, probably about 5 years ago, I'd guess. Our frost goes to 8 feet deep, as we were told. Our water pipes are buried 6 feet deep though, with a bit of heating tape around them and we've never lost our water yet. I'd doubt the arborvitae roots go that deep. The effects of the drying winds are quite remarkable. Last year, a plate-sized area of the top of the cedar was exposed through a hole in the burlap, and that are went brown and died. I'm growing clematis around the cedar to cover up a few spots, and that looks pretty! Oh yes, and I did some deep fall waterings of that cedar to try to help it through the winter...though I resent it...

quu said...

We had a nice snow cver, but it's nearly gone already. :(

I have curtains from 70´s and I am planning to dress my shrubs in them :D I'll get pics when I'm done.

Kona looks so cute!

Best wishes,