Planning a garden filled with perennial flowers can be time consuming, as well as expensive. For many, protecting their landscape and investment in it is of great importance. As winter approaches each season, some gardeners find themselves wondering how to best protect perennial plants from swings in temperature. While frigid winter temperatures are obviously an issue, considering wind and overwintering of plants will also be of great importance.
How Do Winter Winds Affect Plants?
Overwintering in high wind areas can be difficult for many perennial plants. Convective heat loss resulting from high winds can cause damage to plants in cold climates. This issue is further exacerbated for plantings which are located in containers or pots.
Overwintering Plants in the Wind
When it comes to overwintering in high wind areas, protecting the plants will be key. When preparing for winter, perennial container plantings should be moved to a sheltered location. In many cases, this means closer to the house or in a space where they will receive less direct winter sunlight. Cold garages are another option once the plant has gone into dormancy. Other strategies, however, may be required for plantings that are directly in the ground.
Accounting for the wind, and overwintering more sensitive plants, is a delicate process that requires special care. While plants that are easily hardy to your growing region may not require any special treatment to survive the winter, others with less tolerance to cold, and especially wind, may benefit from additional protection.
Plant protection can vary widely, depending upon the plant. While some plants simply require an additional layer of insulating mulch, others may require assistance in the form of row covers or greenhouse plastics. Thermal blankets with varying degrees of plant protection are also excellent options for those living in regions with high winds.
Other garden structures that can assist growers in the overwintering of perennial plants include low tunnels, as well as full sized unheated greenhouses or hoop houses. Not only do these structures protect the plants from high winds, but also provide ample soil warming on sunny winter days. If the construction of these structures is not possible, various types of wind screens may assist growers in preventing winter wind damage.