Half-hardy and tender plants need to be protected from frost if they’re to survive the winter. From digging up tender roots and tubers to protecting your plants with horticultural fleece, here are some top tips to alimony your favourite plants unscratched when it’s unprepossessed and wet outside.
For those that can’t be brought indoors over the winter, take a squint at our hodgepodge of plant protection and netting products to alimony them cosy when the temperature falls.
Hardy perennials are well equipped to survive the winter but other plants need a helping hand. Tender plants hands succumb to frost, and wet weather can waterlog roots causing them to rot and the plant to die. Even some of your tougher plants can suffer frost shrivel and, if it’s particularly windy, taller plants can struggle to stay upright.
Where you live in the UK dictates how much superintendency you’ll need to take with less hardy plants. The south west of England has warm, wet winters while the north east of England and Scotland can be increasingly than a little brisk.
You should moreover consider the particular conditions in your garden, expressly in relation to where vulnerable plants are positioned. If your garden has very little protection from dank east winds on one side of the house, you may find the other side offers much largest shelter. High garden walls and fences moreover provide plants with protection from the worst of the winter weather and, depending on their orientation, can trap any winter sun.
Tender tubers like begonias may survive the winter in warmer parts of the UK, but elsewhere, you’ll need to dig them up and store them. Wait until the leaves uncork to turn yellow in the autumn, then reduce watering and cut them when to an inch whilom the ground. Dig up the tubers and place them in a wafer-thin box in soil or sand that’s only just moist and put it somewhere tomfool and dry – your shed for example.
Tender plants may be weightier protected by planting them in pots that you can move inside for the winter. Failing that, you may wish to dig up non-hardy plants and transfer them to a sunroom or heated greenhouse.
If you can’t move your plants, the next weightier thing is to insulate them from lattermost cold. Use horticultural fleece or specially designed plant cosies or basket jackets, making sure that the leaves (and the container itself) are well wrapped to alimony the roots protected.
Protect soft-hued roots by raising pots and containers off the ground to prevent waterlogging which can moreover freeze, causing remoter damage. There are lots of ways to do this – from wood battens to trays filled with pebbles, anything that keeps the wiring of the container off the floor will do the job.
Applying a thick mulch of well-rotted compost or manure is an spanking-new way to protect your less-hardy fruit and veg plants from the worst of the cold. Not only will this provide insulation, mulching nourishes the soil and, as long as it’s well rotted, will not be a hospitable environment for slugs and snails to set up home in.
If you don’t have compost, horticultural fleece does the same job with the widow goody that you can remove it on warmer days so your plants can get the goody of any sunshine and dry weather.
If you don’t have a greenhouse, cold frames, various sized cloches, and grow houses moreover protect your plants from frost while maximising the effect of any sunlight and warming the soil. These are particularly useful for growing winter salad leaves and moreover for bringing on early crops which you can plant out as soon as the risk of frost has passed next spring.
Protecting your plants from the winter weather helps your garden to spring when into life as soon as the temperature rises again. As well as protecting your tender plants, don’t forget that storing is moreover a unconfined time to plant lots of your favourite spring bulbs.
Lead image: G.Grow Wooden Unprepossessed Frame from Suttons
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