General Conditions

Fall-planted material, especially perennials, and in the heavier soils, should be well protected during the first winter with a mulch of strawy manure or hardwood leaves. Compact or fresh manures should be avoided. Fresh manures, free from straw, will burn the plants, and compact manures will cause decay and fermentation, due to lack of aeration. A good strawy manure should be used. In the spring the litter may be removed, and the finer portions of the mulch spaded into the beds. When leaves are used, provision must be made to prevent them from blowing away. Boards, branches, or wire netting can be used for this purpose. Mulching, applied very early, may be harmful by reason of encouraging late root action and top growth. Therefore, it is always advisable to delay root mulching until, after several light freezes, a crust has formed on the ground. Evergreen boughs, when procurable, make an excellent protective covering. After a dry fall most plants, except some perennials, are benefited by being thoroughly soaked with water before freezing weather occurs. This is especially true of conifers and broad-leaved evergreens. Cultivation in shrub and perennial beds can be stopped as soon as danger from weeds maturing their seeds is over. This will furnish some protection and will also discourage late growth of plants.