What are some of the things I need to do in the garden for winter protection?
Fortunately our climate is mild enough that we don’t need to do a lot of winter plant protection.
Trees, shrubs and other perennial plants growing in containers can be damaged because their roots are less protected than when they are planted in the ground. It is best to move them into a somewhat sheltered area such as under a roof overhang or patio cover. Even next to a building out of the wind gives some protection.
Plants that survive in the ground may have roots frozen in exposed containers. There is no large mass of surrounding soil to buffer cold temperatures, so temperatures in containers drop much lower and roots can be killed. Water plants well and check monthly so they do not dry out during the winter. If they are in a covered area the rain will not reach them.
Expansion from freezing soil can cause ceramic or other containers to crack and break. It is best to empty soil mixes from annual containers and start with fresh soil next year. Spread container soil over flower beds or vegetable gardens and mix them in next spring. Even nonbreakable containers will weather the winter better if stored inside.