As you prepare yourself for winter do this one thing for me if you have broadleaf evergreens (plants like Yews, Rhododendrons, Holly); leave a garden hose out.
We’ve been through one of the driest summers on record; and yes we have had a fair amount of rain this fall, but I’m not sure if it has penetrated past all the root systems in your landscaping.
When winter does arrive you want to make sure your evergreens, broadleaf evergreens for sure, have sucked up enough water to hold in reserve to handle an early spring warm up.
What happens here, is you awake to the sounds of birds chirping, a slight southern breeze, and a bright sunny sky. You check the outdoor thermometer, Wow! It’s 58 degrees out there this morning; you sip your coffee, you ready yourself for the day.
Your Broadleaf bush has a similar experience. It to hears the sounds of birds chirping, it feels the slight southern breeze, and the sun warms its leaves awakening it from its winter slumber. It too tries to take a sip of liquid, but its straws are frozen. The air may be warm but the ground is not; so it goes for its reserves, but there are none because of last year’s dry weather. Its only recourse is to sacrifice a lot of its leaves and hope the ground thaws in time, but most times it doesn’t
You can stop this carnage by just having a hose on standby; I’ll tell you when to start watering in November so hopefully you do not have to blow taps over the dead shrubbery this spring.