December 10, 2014

Caring for My Boxwoods

I love boxwoods and have hundreds growing all over my Bedford farm. Each autumn in years past, we have wrapped them in burlap to protect them from the harsh winter elements. But the wrapping process is laborious, and takes quite a lot of time. This year, in consultation with boxwoods expert George Bridge, we decided to do things differently. Instead of burlap, we are wrapping the shrubs in plastic netting. The process is faster and easier. And netting alone does a perfectly good job of keeping the snow and ice from piling up and breaking the limbs. According to Bridge, the only reason to cover a boxwood with burlap is if they are planted near the coast and susceptible to damage from salt spray or severe wind. And in the case of small shrubs that may be difficult to wrap with netting, we will still be using burlap. In today's blog you will see the wrapping process step by step. At this time of year it's also a good idea to put lime down and fertilize the boxwoods - that way the lime and fertilizer have a chance to work their way into the soil in preparation for spring. We never do any pruning of our boxwoods in this season - we do not want to promote any new growth that could get damaged by snow or ice. Wrapping and caring for boxwoods can be labor intensive, but taking these preventive steps keeps our shrubs beautiful and healthy for the spring.