Winter Mulching of Perennials

Asked January 10, 2019, 11:39 AM EST

The plants listed below were added to my garden this past spring. I am in Pittsburgh PA, which is zone 6. The ground has finally frozen here and I want to apply a straw mulch for freeze-thaw protection but am not sure how to apply. Can you advise on a recommended depth and method? Specifically, I am not sure whether to cover the crowns or just apply around base. All plants except the fern and ajuga have been cut back. Subject plants: Ajuga reptens Heuchera varieties Brunnera Macrophylla Aralia cordata Cyrtomium fortunei Variegated liriope Thanks very much for your help.

Allegheny County Pennsylvania mulching

1 Response

Thank you for your question. Mulching now falls into the “better late than never” category, but let’s break these issues down. First, what type of mulch? Here is an excellent Extension article on the possibilities, with pros and cons of each: http://chemung.cce.cornell.edu/resources/mulch-in-the-landscap Second, when considering materials, you might want to accomplish a few more valuable things in your garden: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ec1561 Finally, information about the how and where of it: https://extension.illinois.edu/gardenerscorner/issue_02/fall_07_05.cfm I know this is a bit of reading, but your plants will thank you. Good luck!