It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of stress and anxiety this year. While approximately 80% of employees view remote work as a job perk, working from home on top of staying at home to help keep infection rates down has left many of us feeling anxious.
To help relieve some of that stress and anxiety, many of us have started to take up gardening. Gardening helps to reduce cortisol levels, which are your body’s natural response to stress. Even just sitting in a garden can help to reduce anxiety. But now that winter is arriving, what can you do to help make sure the fruits of your 2020 labor don’t get taken out by the chill? Here are a few tips you can use to help maintain your garden and landscaping this winter season.
Insulate your plants
Plants and vegetables can get damaged when the ground freezes below 30 degrees. To help insulate your plants to keep their roots happy and healthy, spread about two to four inches of mulch around your plants. It’s important to make sure that you’re using your mulch correctly. You don’t want to pile a volcano of mulch around your shrubs, trees, and plants. This can actually end up hurting them. Mulch should be in a radius of about three to four inches away from the plant.
Trim your trees as needed
If you have trees that are in need of some pruning and trimming, winter is the best possible time to do it because your trees are going into hibernation. That means you don’t need to worry about risking tree infections or stunting your tree’s growth by making a few cuts here and there as needed. Just make sure if you’re doing crown thinning that you only cut approximately 10% to 15% of the live growth.
Wrap your shrubs and bushes
Shrubs and rose bushes can be a great addition to your garden, but they need a little extra warmth during the fall and winter seasons. Consider wrapping your shrubs and bushes in burlap to help keep the frost at bay. Garden blankets can also be a great addition to your landscaping because they’re designed to keep your plants protected from overnight frosts and light freezes.
Know that you’re protected
Sometimes you can’t protect your garden from the winter weather. Mississippi has been known to get hailstorms from time to time. If you’re new to gardening and landscaping and you’re worried about hail ruining the hard work and money you’ve put into your garden this year, you don’t need to stress. Gardens and landscaping may actually be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Reach out to your insurance company to check, but many insurance policies cover up to 5% of landscaping and garden damages. If your insurance policy doesn’t cover it, consider making the switch to a new company. The insurance industry currently registers an average growth of 4% every year, so you’ll be able to find a company that works for you.
Gardening has become a major hobby for many of us during the COVID-19 pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you need to let winter throw you a curve-ball. By following the tips above, you can help to keep your garden looking fresh so it’s ready to bloom again by spring.