7 conditions for successful wintering of conifers
Recently, the assortment of conifers and shrubs is striking in its diversity. In spring and autumn, supermarkets and gardening shops are filled with various types of junipers, thujas, yews, cypresses, pines and spruces. Brought from distant countries, often with completely different climatic conditions, not all of them are able to endure our harsh winters. Therefore, to prepare these evergreens for cold weather begins long before they occur.
Coniferous plants grown in local nurseries are easier to take root and winter here. They are sold, as a rule, in containers and practically do not feel stress during transplantation, therefore adaptation, preparation for winter and subsequent wintering take place with “local” plants, usually without surprises.
But, regardless of the origin and type of coniferous plant, preparation for winter is a prerequisite for young seedlings of coniferous plants. Next - 7 conditions, the implementation of which will ensure your pets a successful wintering.
1. Water recharge irrigation
During the entire growing season, coniferous soils should not be allowed to dry out - these are moisture-loving plants, and a lack of moisture will affect their general condition and endurance. Therefore, timely watering, especially in the absence of rain, is mandatory.
But at the end of autumn it is also necessary to carry out water-charging irrigation. Especially young coniferous plants planted in the current or last year need it. Mature trees and shrubs have a sufficient root system to independently produce moisture, but if the summer was dry, then they will have to be watered for the winter.
In the spring, the needles wake up quite early, when the roots can not yet work at full strength and often at this time burns occur. The amount of water for irrigation depends on the size of a tree or shrub, but, on average, it is 5-7 buckets per plant. Ordinary trees will tell you about the time of water-charging irrigation: as soon as most deciduous trees drop their leaves, it's time to water conifers.
2. Lack of feeding since the end of summer
Top dressing containing nitrogen is applied only until mid-summer. The fact is that nitrogen stimulates the growth of needles and branches, but for the plant to winter well, the shoots must ripen. Therefore, from mid-July to August, emphasis should be placed on phosphorus-potash fertilizers. For the same reason, complex fertilizers cannot be used at this time, since they all contain nitrogen in one or another proportion.
Mineral fertilizer "Autumn" contains potassium, calcium, phosphates, boron and magnesium and may well be used for conifers. However, they need less fertilizer than fruit crops, so the concentration should be half as much as indicated in the instructions. Since the end of August, fertilizing under conifers has been stopped.
3. Treatment for diseases and pests
One of the important measures in preparing conifers for winter is preventive treatment (spraying). Even if there were no noticeable diseases or pests on the plants, preventive spraying is still necessary.
To begin with, the plant needs to be cleaned - remove all dried or broken branches with a pruner, remove the spoiled needles from the thuja. If the plant is large and thickened, it is necessary to spread the branches, because it is near the trunk that there may be spoiled needles. All cut out parts from the site must be removed, and it is better to burn it.
Forming pruning, if applicable, is undesirable in autumn. Better to postpone this event until spring.
For the prevention and treatment of fungal diseases, conifers should be sprinkled with 1% solution of copper sulfate or Fitosporin. How to dilute “Fitosporin” is described in detail in the instructions attached to the drug, which can not be said about copper sulfate.
To get 1% of its solution, you need to dilute 100 g of powder in 10 liters of water. To do this, pour the powder into a plastic bucket (you can not use iron utensils) and mix with a small amount of water. Then we add volume to 10 liters, adding water heated to 45-50aboutC. The drug dissolves better in warm water. Before spraying, the mixture must be filtered. Processing is carried out in dry, calm weather, in the morning or in the evening. Air temperature should not be lower than +5aboutFROM.
After treatment with copper sulphate, approximately two weeks later, coniferous plants can be sprayed with pests. For prevention, you can use any insecticide for a complex of pests, or, if harmful insects have taken place, use a special tool.
In the article “Where do garden pests winter and how to ruin their life?” read how to protect your garden from pests in the fall.
For the winter, it is necessary to mulch the near-trunk circle of conifers. This measure will protect their roots in frosty snowless winters. The mulch is laid around the perimeter of the crown with a layer of 5-7 cm. This is especially important for young and conifers brought from other regions, in which the process of adaptation to local conditions has not yet been completed.
For mulch, you can use various organic materials (peat, straw, sawdust, mowed grass or coniferous litter from the forest). When collecting litter in the forest, be sure to pay attention to the trees - only under healthy firs and pines you can collect litter. Otherwise, there is a chance to infect your plants. In spring, the mulch needs to be removed - so the soil warms up faster and there is no risk of root sprouting.
5. Shelter from snow and frost
Thujas, yews, junipers and cypresses in winter can be threatened by snowfall. The heavy snowfall, even if it does not break the branches, will destroy them in different directions, and the tree will lose its shape. To avoid this, it is necessary to wrap the plant in a spiral with synthetic twine, slightly pressing the branches to the trunk.
Young conifers that grow on the site for less than three years must be protected from frost. The best material for insulation is burlap, as it passes air well and protects against frost. Many gardeners use ordinary gauze, wrapping it in a two-layer plant and securing it with twine. You can use agrofibre, but provided that it will be possible to remove it in the early spring, otherwise there is a risk of aging.
In special garden shops, a net began to appear for sheltering conifers. This is ideal - sheltered and forgot. For those who care about the aesthetics of their garden, special caps for conifers of various sizes and shapes can be found on sale. They are very comfortable, just worn on the plant and pulled underneath with a cord. The caps are made of a special breathable fabric and have a very nice appearance.
Conifers that have been living on the site for more than three years, as a rule, have already adapted to the environment and do not need shelter.
Young conifers planted this year do not have time to take root firmly in the ground by winter. They need to be strengthened with stretch marks. To do this, 3-4 strong ropes are tied to the trunk. Along the perimeter of the seedling, pegs are driven into the ground, to which the free ends of the ropes are attached. Such a measure will not be superfluous - the fixed seedlings will stand in strong snowstorms and will not bend under snowfall.
Read more about the materials that can be used to shelter plants for the winter, read in our publication "How to properly cover the plants for the winter?" Methods and materials. "
6. A separate issue - horizontal junipers
Separately, I want to say about horizontal junipers. These are low-growing plants, the lower branches of which spread along the ground, due to which they are considered ground cover. The culture is represented by all kinds of miniature and dwarf plants with an interesting color of needles - from bright green, as in the Cossack and Prince of Wales junipers, to blue, like the Blue Chip or Blue Alps.
Horizontal junipers do not need shelter, but in spring, when snow melts, the lower shoots are often in the water for a long time, and this can negatively affect the development of plants. In autumn, when preparing the garden for winter, you need to plant large stones or bricks under the lower branches of the juniper, lifting the branches from the ground. It is undesirable to use boards or wooden blocks because the wood gets wet, and various pests settle in the bark for the winter.
About the features of growing Cossack juniper in the garden, read our material.
7. Protection of conifers from the bright sun in early spring
All conifers that do not shelter for the winter can suffer from the bright spring sun. Needle burns occur not so much from the sun itself, but from sunlight reflected from snow. Experienced gardeners in the spring sprinkle snow around their coniferous land, harvested in the fall, or ash. This is a good way to protect conifers from burns, but with repeated snowfalls it is quite time-consuming.
Dear readers! Most coniferous plants grow well and develop even in the most difficult climatic zones. But the harsher the climate, the more concern these evergreens will require from you. Particular attention should be paid to preparing for the winter. But, as you see, there is nothing complicated here - ordinary procedures, which should not be neglected. Performing all the preventive measures described above, you will get rid of possible problems with the wintering of your coniferous plants and ensure their health for the whole next season.