Plants die in my yard every winter. How can I keep everything alive in the winter?

Possible Answer: Mulch – One of the many benefits of mulch is that it helps regulate the soil temperature.  It acts like a blanket over the soil.  It will protect the delicate root systems of plants over the winter months.  If you have a hard time keeping plants alive over winter, make sure you have a good barrier of mulch in the fall.

Possible Answer: Use Different Plants – We get very warm in the summer, and for most of the year we can grow tropical plants.  But in the winter, we often get a few cold days or weeks that are too much for some of the tropical plants.  Typically, exposed areas in the yard are subject to the extremes of both heat and cold, and plants should be selected that can take both.  A more sheltered location is more likely to help you overwinter a delicate plant, but that is no guarantee that it will live.  If that bougainvillea that you love keeps dying every two or three winters, you may need to look for something else.

Possible Answer: Water – We generally have mild winters, with a sunny day or week right in the middle of winter.  There is an assumption that when the temperatures start to drop the irrigation can be shut off until spring.  Many of the evergreen plants will need water even in the winter.  The cooler weather usually means that natural rain can meet most of our plant’s needs, but that doesn’t always happen.  If the weather is warmer, and there has not been rain recently, you may need to fire up those sprinklers for a day or two to keep everything alive.  Sometimes an hour with a garden hose once or twice per winter is enough to keep your plants happy and healthy all winter long.