landscape design with lifestyle in mind
Keeping Your Plants Warm During Winter

The winter months can be brutal on plants. Hopefully, you researched your zone and planted plants designed for Hamptons landscaping. Even if your plants are meant for the frigid winters of the Hamptons, there are steps to take to protect them during the winter cold.

The coastal climate of the Hamptons calls for unique preparedness measures for your lawn and garden. Though the weather remains temperate for most of the year, the Hamptons frequently receive heavy, wet snow. The snow usually does not last long, but the weight of the snow can do damage because its weight can break fragile branches and stalks.

Vulnerable plants include young plants, plants that were relocated late in the season and all plants during prolonged spells of snow and ice. Garden care for the landscape during the winter months should include:

  • Burlap sacks—Burlap sacks can be placed over the plants during hard freezes. The advantage of using burlap sacks is that they are easy to put on and take off during the winter months. Store them with your gardening supplies, and slide them over your plants when the weather turns brutal.
  • Add mulch to your soil in late autumn, or even at the first freeze. Why? Because adding mulch too early in the season invites an infestation of rodents that can damage your lawn. Waiting to apply mulch allows it to do its job of acting as an insulator to keep the soil warm, and retaining moisture, without worrying about inviting mice and moles. Mulch protects the delicate root systems of your plants and should be a part of your standard garden care.
  • Use landscape fabric designed to hold in warmth during the winter months. Fabrics like this will also help prevent weed growth in your beds.
  • Use frost protection cloth, which is sold in wide rolls. The fabric is easy to use and can cover wide swaths, such as hedges or beds. The fabric can be re-used when the next hard freeze rolls in.
  • Lighting designed to give off a small amount of warmth is also a popular trend in Hampton landscape design. The lighting can be arranged to do double duty in making your landscape aesthetically pleasing during long winter nights, while also providing enough warmth to keep plants safe from the cold.

Plants kept in containers, such as on decks and lining walkways, can be especially vulnerable to the effects of cold. In addition to the suggestions above, you can also re-arrange container plants so that they are protected from predominant winter winds. Plants in smaller containers can be kept in garages and garden sheds to keep them safe from the cold.

Winter winds from the north are dry and can make it challenging to maintain a healthy moisture level for your lawn and garden. The northern winds of the winter should be considered when designing your landscape, with natural barriers used as often as possible. You can also use plants and hedges that can withstand wind and do not need as much moisture in areas that are openly exposed to winds from the north.

Your other options for wind protection include windbreaks. You will see these frequently built on oceanfront properties. If you cannot construct a windbreak, then use anti-desiccant sprays that coat the plants with a long-lasting film of wax, latex or plastic-like material. The anti-desiccant sprays allow the plants to breathe while still giving protection from evaporation.

Protecting your plants from the harsh drying northern winds, combined with quality mulch applied at the right time, will go a long way in keeping your lawn and garden beautiful year-round. Add in winter lighting designed to give off enough heat to keep snow accumulations off any delicate plants, and you can have a landscape that is easy to maintain and aesthetically pleasing during the winter.