Winters along the Central Coast of California are mild, especially compared to the North East and Canada. Still, gardens can suffer from damage during the winter months, and that is a sad day. This blog post helps you preserve all of your hard work, not to mention the beauty and harmony that a garden can bring. So read on to learn about the damage that winter can cause, and some landscaping ideas to keep your garden thriving through those more mild months.

What is Winter Damage?

During the winter months, gardens often times experience drastic weather changes and conditions that are difficult for specific plants to adapt to. As a result, damage can occur. Sometimes it is mild damage and the plant can recover. Other times, the plant is not strong enough for regrowth. Only time will tell, as oftentimes you will have to wait until winter is over in order to see who survived the season.

Winter damage can be due to increased moisture, among other factors. Since here along the Central Coast of California, we do not see any snow, frost is less of a risk factor. Nonetheless, the plants that grow in the Central Coast hardiness zone must go through the same climatic adjustments as plants who live in other zones.

Hardiness zones are the categorized regions that determine what plants can thrive based on the climate. Because the coast does not get much, if any snow, there is less insulation for the roots. When the ground does eventually get cold, the roots are more susceptible to the colder temperatures and thus, ensuing damage. Luckily, there are ways to prepare for this. Read on for tips!

What to Do to Protect Against Damage

The best way to protect against winter damage is to plant plants that do well year-round. But sometimes this does not always work out. Fortunately, there are ways to protect against the damage that those winter months can cause.

One such way is to add additional layers of soil and compost. This ensures that your plants have enough nutrients to last through the winter time. It also acts as a blanket for the roots. The added nutrients mean that the plant does not need to store as much energy in its stem, which can be dangerous to the plant’s survival.

This is especially the case if there are times during the winter that temperatures get close to freezing. The stem is not always prepared or capable of protecting energy stores from more extreme temperatures. In this case, the plant may survive through the winter, but when it comes time for regrowth in the spring, the plant does not have the necessary nutrients or energy.

Another way to help plants through the winter is in your landscape. If there are places that get more sun during the winter months, be sure to plant your garden here. The sun will warm the soil.

Keep in mind, the sun does not shine in the same places of your yard during the summer as it does during the winter. This is due to the rotation of the earth. Therefore, your landscaping can be very creative and effective in helping your garden thrive year-round. Check us out for more landscaping ideas that are sure to put you to work on landscaping ideas garden.

What Grows Well During the Winter Months?

Maybe you like to garden year-round. There are plants that are suitable for growing during the winter months. You can even coordinate your garden to where you rotate your plants by season. It is a lot of work, but if landscape and gardening is your thing, you may really enjoy this.

In order to successfully grow through the winter, you want to make sure that you plant the seeds in warm weather. Doing this gives them enough time to germinate before colder temperatures set in. After germinating, they will have more strength and therefore, a greater chance of surviving through the winter months without incurring much damage. Then hopefully they will continue to grow in the spring.

Finally, chances are that there are parts of your yard that have no plants because they do not grow at all during the winter months. It is a good idea to plant a cover crop. While this will keep your yard looking nice, it will also keep the soil rich in nutrients for the next season. Most plants need to be rotated anyway so that the soil does not get depleted of essential nutrients.

How to Help your Garden Through to the Spring Months

After the cold comes the rain and slowly warming temperatures. During this time, it can be easy for plants to get waterlogged. As such, you should try your best to incorporate water drainage systems into your landscape design. Ideas could include trenches or tiny rivers. You could decorate with rocks and make little fairy towns or turn into small ponds or bird baths. The ideas are endless, but the point is to give your plants space and resources they need in order to drain the excess water.

You will also want to slowly reintroduce fertilizer and compost. Remember that after winter, your plants may not be used to using a lot of energy. Therefore, overwhelming the plant with nutrients would be similar to eating a Thanksgiving meal right after a three-day fast.


All in all, your landscape design ideas can make or break the chances of your garden surviving through the damage that could occur during the milder months. It is easy to get creative while also being productive. While the best place to start is by protecting your current plants with added soil over the roots, you may also want to start planning drainage systems and plant winter crops. These strategies help prepare the soil for the spring and also make your garden look healthy and vibrant.