• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shares tips and techniques for protecting plants and shrubs.

    Steps:
    1. Use small-diameter rope to truss-up the plant and reduce its overall size.
    2. Cut the plywood panels and 2x4 legs to size.
    3. Connect the 2x4s legs at the top with carriage bolts.
    4. Attach the plywood panels to the legs with 1¼-inch decking screws.
    5. Stand the A-frame over the plant, then pound it a 12-inch-long 2x4 stake beside each frame leg.
    6. Fasten the stakes to the legs with 3-inch decking screws.
    7. Spread open the legs of a metal-framed fabric plant tent, and set it over the shrub.
    8. Secure the tent to the ground with plastic tent stakes.
    9. Protect roses by first trussing them with thin cord.
    10. Pound 1-inch-square wooden stakes in the ground all around the rose bushes.
    11. Staple burlap fabric to the wooden stakes partway around the bushes.
    12. Cover the base of the rose bushes with a thick layer of dried tree leaves.
    13. Staple up the last section of burlap to fully encircle the rose bushes.
    • 2 minutes to 2 hours, depending on method used
    • $20 to $40, depending on method used
    • Difficulty: Easy
      basic carpentry skills are required to build the A-frame plant protector
Ask TOH users about Winter Upkeep

Contribute to This Story Below

    Video Directory

    Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • sledge hammer
        Small sledgehammer, used to pound in stakes
      • drill
        Drill/driver, for drilling holes and driving in screws
      • circular saw
        Portable circular saw, used to cut plywood, 2x4s and wooden stakes
      • staple gun
        Staple gun with 1/2-inch staples, used to secure the burlap to the wooden stakes
      • utility knife
        Utility knife, used to cut rope and cord
      • Drill bit
        5/16-inch-diameter twist-drill bit, for boring holes for carriage bolts

      Shopping List

      1. ½-inch exterior-grade plywood, for sheathing the A-frame plant protector

      2. 2x4s, used to build frame for A-frame plant protector

      3. ¼-inch x 3½-inch galvanized carriage bolts, washers and wing nuts, used to assemble wooden A-frame plant cover

      4. Small-diameter rope and cord, used to truss up plants 5. 1¼-inch and 3-inch decking screws, for assembling and securing plant protectors

      6. Metal-framed fabric plant tent with plastic tent stakes, used to protect plants

      7. Burlap, used to protect rose bushes

      8. 1-inch-square wooden stakes, used to support burlap