Protect Your Plants from Frost Heave with Mulch

Protect Your Plants from Frost Heave with Mulch

In Utah’s cold winter climate, it’s common for there to be several hard frosts each winter, so it’s crucial to protect your plants.

The late fall and early spring often come with frost heave. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Frost Heave?

Frost heave is a phenomenon that occurs when soil is exposed to freezing temperatures while it still contains a lot of moisture. The freezing and thawing of the moist soil create pressure that lifts the plants up out of the ground. The moisture in the soil then freezes and eventually forms a layer of ice deep in the soil and around the roots of the plant.

As the ice grows and expands from added moisture and freezing particles, it compacts the soil and restricts drainage and airflow. The result is large cracks in the soil, which exposes plant roots to freezing air, rain, and snow.

Plants that experience frost heave regularly die from exposure, but there are ways to protect your plants from this fate.

Protect Your Plants with Mulch

When it’s placed over the top of the soil, mulch acts as insulation to your garden and keeps your plants safe all winter long. Mulch comes in many varieties, both organic and inorganic. You can choose a mulch based on your color preferences, cost, and durability.

  • Organic Mulch – Organic mulches consist of crushed leaves, pine straw, wood chips, grass clippings etc. They tend to cost less than inorganic mulches but need to be replaced more frequently.
  • Inorganic Mulch – Inorganic mulches include pebbles, rubber chips, crushed rock, and plastic mats. These mulches usually last much longer, but cost more than the organic alternatives.

In addition to protecting your plants from frost heave, mulch has many other benefits, such as:

  • Beautifies your garden area
  • Prevents loss of moisture in soil from sun exposure
  • Organic mulches lead to a healthier soil
  • Controls weeds and can prevent pest invasions
  • Protects from erosion, injury, and freezing

LaytonScape Can Help!

The cold weather is here, and now is the time to protect your plants. It only takes one hard freeze to destroy all the work you put into your garden throughout the year. The expert team at LaytonScape is experienced in garden design and protection.

We can make your garden beautiful while also keeping it safe from frost heave using a wide variety of mulches, among our many other services. We serve Davis, Morgan, Summit, and Weber Counties in Utah. Give us a call today for a free consultation or to request an estimate!