Spring Garden Tips

Boxwood

I understand that fall is not the best time to plant boxwoods in the upper Midwest, but the price was so good at the nursery I couldn't resist buying 27. I've carefully mulched them and put up a 3-foot burlap windbreak. Is there anything else I could do to keep them alive? Would covering them with leaves be an okay idea?

Boxwood

No gardener can resist a bargain. You did all the right things to give your boxwood the best shot at surviving. Do not cover the plants with leaves. These tend to hold moisture, ice up and don’t provide the needed insulation. If you feel you must do more, create some windbreaks. Strategically place discarded Christmas trees, screens of burlap or weed barrier or decorative fencing to further cut the wind and shade these broadleaf evergreens. You can take it one step further and encircle the plants with hardware cloth or chicken wire. Sink the bottom few inches into the ground to keep out rodents and wildlife. Once the ground freezes you can fill it with straw or evergreen boughs for added insulation.

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