We planted 3 emeralds this summer that we bought on sale in 1 gallon pots. Do we need to water them until the ground freezes and burlap them or would they be ok over the winter since they are very small. Also, do you normally wrap boxwoods, these ones are new in our front garden this summer.
If you have the patience to buy smaller shrubs and let them grow into the spot where they are needed, it is a very good idea. Not only are the shrubs cheaper but they will become better established than large shrubs in a shorter period of time assuming the allocation is good.
Often times when we purchase cheap shrubs at big bulk stores we don’t know where the shrubs were originally grown. They may have originated in a milder climate and need to do some extra adjusting over the next year, making their way through all of our seasons as well as settling in to their new spot. Changes in their new environment may include differences in soil make up, amount of sun, direction they are facing, amount of water and exposure to wind. These are a lot of changes that could be occurring. The farmer’s almanac is also predicting a colder than usual winter, another thing that should be taken into account.
Considering all these changes it is suggested that a burlap wrap or fence would be a good idea for this first winter. A nice layer of mulch around the base of the trees would also be a good idea as that will give a bit of extra protection for the roots as well. I have attached a link to a previous question about winter care needed for pyramidal cedars. Have a look at that article and embedded in that article is a link to Ontario Landscapes website that has a great article on how to use burlap and what method might be the best for your specific site.
I would say that this article and website on protection applies to your new boxwoods as well. Once your shrubs are more established you will be able to leave them uncovered in the winter so you will be able to enjoy them all year long.
YES, continue to water until the ground is frozen. It is important for plants to be able to continue to absorb moisture until dormancy occurs.