How to Protect your Plants in Winter

 

Winter is a worrying time for any gardener and their vulnerable plants. A little preparation goes a long way in any garden. Here are a few things to do to ensure your garden survives the harsh weather.

 

Wrap up your garden plants to help them survive

 

Tree Ferns are prone to freezing. Cover the top of the trunk with layers of fleece and tie it with string, this will insulate it against frost throughout the winter.

 

Palms can sometimes be hardy, but most will need protection this winter. Especially if they aren’t fully established yet. Wrap the trunk and central grow point with fleece to help it survive the harsh weather.

 

Olive Trees should be moved indoors or to a shed or greenhouse if they are young. If they are fully established simply drape them with garden fleece.

 

Phormiums, unlike the above only need to be stuffed with straw for protection around the base. If you live in an especially cold place, tie the leaves up into a cone shape and cover with fleece.

 

Group your potted plants for protection

Plants in pots are particularly vulnerable to cold. Often the pot can become so cold in freezes the soil inside, making it hard for the plants to survive. To keep your pots warm, group them together and wrap fleece around the outer pots.

 

Brush off snow to prevent damage

A simple way to protect your plants is to brush off snow from their leaves. A white blanket over your garden may look stunning, but it’s harming your plants and making it difficult for them to survive. Heavy snow can bend and damage the leaves of many plants, even if they’re hardy. Make sure you knock snow off the branches before it freezes.

 

Don't tread on your frozen grass

Winter can be tough on your garden lawn and prove extremely frustrating to deal with. Make the harsh weather easier on your lawn by keeping off it. Cold weather and rain will stop the growth of your grass, making it unable to repair any damage. Frozen blades of grass will break under any pressure and will remain broken until spring. Lay stepping stones on parts of your grass if you need access to bird feeders and tables. This way you're limiting the impact to a few areas.

 

Bring herbs under cover

Mediterranean plants such as herbs hate our cold English winters, so bring them indoors. Move your pots of herbs inside and place them next to a sunny window or move them into a sheltered, sunny spot in your garden.

 

It’s not just outdoor plants that can suffer

Move indoor plants into a sunny spot, next to a window. As day length shortens your indoor plants will suffer, water them frequently, letting the compost dry out between waterings to avoid rot. Don’t forget that most indoor plants need little or no fertiliser in winter.


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