How to prepare a garden for winter frosts
“Prepare a sled from the summer ...” is a saying that every gardener should be guided by. And all because in the winter our gardens have a hard time - frost mercilessly affects the shoots of tree crops, thereby causing serious damage to the future crop.
But if you know what the resistance of trees and shrubs to low temperatures is and, based on this knowledge, take good care of the garden, large losses can be avoided, and along with them, spring upset. Let's look at how to help the garden survive the winter frosts.
What is frost resistance is clear to everyone: this is the ability of plants to withstand low temperatures, below 0 ° C, for a sufficiently long period of time. It depends on several factors: first of all, on the varietal characteristics of the culture, and secondly, on the degree of maturation of the wood. And if it is impossible to influence varietal characteristics, then the ripening process can be completely promoted.
Aging of wood is one of the phases of the vegetative period of woody plants, occurring with a reduction in daylight hours, a decrease in moisture in the basal zone and an increase in the amplitude of day and night temperatures.
It consists in covering the cell membranes with lignin “F” and then “M” (as a result of which shoots acquire strength and flexibility), reducing the content of free water in plant tissues, coating coverings, structural changes in tissue protoplasm and accumulation of nutrients. Ripening continues until the end of the growing season and aims to prepare plants for wintering.
If for some reason the combination of factors influencing this process is violated (cold summers, a large amount of precipitation in the second half, a sharp cooling), the winter hardiness of tree crops decreases dramatically and can lead to serious damage.
You can determine the preparedness of plants for winter by the color of the growth bark, the appearance of the buds, the fragility and flexibility of the shoots. Matured shoots have a straw-brown color, well-formed apical buds (the kidney is clearly defined, has distinct opaque scales), they break when bent.
If these branches are cut, the clear border between wood and cambium will be distinguished on the cut - frost-resistant varieties, non-frost-resistant plants will not have such a border - they go into hibernation with the unfinished process of differentiation of wood and are therefore more sensitive to frost.
The ripening of wood continues in different cultures in different ways - in some, even the coldest, in others, frost-resistant varieties, it can end in August. In this case, the earlier the growth of shoots stops, the more fully they ripen.
How to influence the aging of wood
As noted above, a number of factors contribute to the aging of wood at once and one of them - lack of moisture combined with high temperatures. In such conditions, plants generally fall in the second half of summer, and therefore, if your garden has artificial irrigation, watering in late July - early August should be significantly reduced by carefully looking at only one-year-old trees - you need to water them in the heat as the need.
The second factor is top dressing. Based on the fact that the presence of nitrogen in fertilizers provokes plants to growth - from the second half of the summer feeding is recommended to be carried out only with phosphorus-potassium fertilizers. Phosphorus has an effect on enhancing the formation of fruiting organs of trees and shrubs, which means the formation of the next year's crop, potassium - increases their winter hardiness.
Suitable for use: superphosphate, potassium sulfuric acid, potassium magnesia, potassium phosphate, wood ash. It is better not to use chlorine-based fertilizers, as some crops, in particular berries, react to chlorine by dumping foliage.
The third factor is pruning. In order not to prevent woody plants from entering the period of winter cold prepared, starting in mid-summer it is impossible to carry out unjustified pruning, which can provoke a second wave of shoot growth.
And finally topping, or tweezers. This event should be carried out where other methods did not work, for example, due to atypical weather conditions for the zone, and the plants did not stop growing in time. Removing the tops of the shoots in this case switches them to fruit ripening, root system development and the formation (maturation) of wood.
Scientists have noticed that different parts of plants have different resistance to frost. Leafy buds and annual shoots tolerate lower temperatures better than buds located on seedlings, gloves and fruit twigs. The trunk is more resilient in relation to the root system. The flowers are more stable compared to the ovary. A rare crown is better at dealing with cold than heavily thickened. The most sensitive area of trees is the base of the trunk and the branching point of skeletal branches.