Top 11 Fix-Ups for Garden Winter Damage

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2/ Pavers and cobblestones can be heaved up by the ground freezing and thawing. Once it’s warm enough to work outside, lift the pavers, add fine screenings if necessary to make the base level and firm, and reset the pavers.

3/ The support posts of wooden arbors and fences will eventually rot with the exposure to constant wet. Replace them before they fall over and do some damage. The sides of raised wooden flowerbeds often bow out as the soil expands and contracts over winter. Install a cross brace to hold the sides together.

4/ With the weight of snow and ice, trees and shrubs may suffer bent or broken branches. Bent branches often return to normal once the weather warms. Broken twigs should be trimmed back to an emerging bud, while larger branches should be pruned to a side branch showing new growth or right back to the main stem. If the top of a tree’s main trunk is broken, it will likely put up a new leader in time; but if more than 50 percent is broken off, the tree should probably be taken out.

5/ Upright evergreens, especially cedars, that have opened up from accumulated snow can be gently tied back into shape with twine. After a couple of months, the string can be removed and the branches should remain in place. Very straggly or broken bits can be pruned off but be careful not to cut too deeply into conifers, except for yews, as old branches won’t resprout new growth and you’ll end up with bare spots. For the greatest resistance to winter damage, look to spruces.

winter damage perennials


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