New England

November, 2004
Regional Report

Wrap Trees

To prevent sunscald and frost cracking on young, thin-barked trees, such as maples, wrap the trunks with tree wrap or paint the south- and southwest-facing sides of the trunk with white, outdoor, latex paint. This will reflect the warming rays of the sun so the tree bark doesn't heat up on winter days, only to be suddenly cooled when the sun sets and the temperature plummets.

Check Labels Before Storing Pesticides

Some pesticide products can be kept over the winter in an outdoor storage shed, but others need to be protected from freezing to remain effective. Check labels for storage instructions. No matter where you store them, be sure pesticides are safely stowed out of reach of children and pets. Even organic pesticides can be highly toxic if ingested or handled improperly.

Water Evergreens

Make sure evergreens have a good deep watering before the ground freezes because they continue to respire, albeit slowly, during the winter. Protect young evergreens from wind damage during winter by wrapping them in burlap. If you use wooden protectors, it\'s not too soon to bring them out.

Protect Roses for Winter

Once the ground begins to freeze and you have consistent temperatures in the low 20s F, it's time to protect modern hybrid roses from winter's wind and cold. The simplest method is to mound bark mulch around the base of the rose, covering the graft union (the swollen part of the stem near the ground). The mound should be about 1 foot tall. Wait until spring to cut back the canes above the mound.

Mulch Vegetable Garden

Bare soil invites weeds. Cover empty beds in your vegetable garden with a layer of straw or shredded leaves. This will help keep hardy weeds from taking over. In the spring, you may be able to plant directly through the mulch without the need for tilling.

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