Here’s Chris Bonnet of GardeningExpress.co.uk with his tips on looking after your garden during this chilly winter.
Last week the temperature dropped so much that we and our plants are shivering. But what can you do to protect your garden or is it too late? It’s still not too late – the key is to act fast and identify plants that are vulnerable to freezing temperatures and below a blanket of snow.
There are some really easy tips that gardeners can follow and implement right away like bubble wrapping, moving plants to a garage or shed and mulching. Just remember that plants are made of sturdy material. Hardy plants may not look their best but will survive and bounce back in spring.
How to protect plants this cold weather
Gently covering delicate plants with bubble wrap can insulate the plant and keep it safe from some of the harshest weather. It’s also a good idea to cover the top of the soil with a wrap, as this will protect it from repeated freezing and thawing.
Bring tender plants inside when snow or frost is in the forecast. Somewhere unheated is best. The plants will hate being brought indoors, as it will be too hot, but consider clearing out space in a shed or garage for them to live in.
Read more: December gardening chores you should be doing on your lawn – prevent deadly snow mold
buckets and pots
For tender plants, try placing an inverted bucket or flower pot on top of them to provide extra protection from cold weather.
recycled plastic bottles
Individual plants can also be protected using homemade “mini cloches” made from plastic drink bottles. Just cut off the top and bottom before placing it around the plant. This should protect the delicate leaves on young plants from cold temperatures. You should try to remove these cloches every morning to make sure the air inside doesn’t overheat and harm the plant.
Mulch can be made using organic materials such as rotted leaves, bark, straw or compost. Placing it around the roots of plants will help insulate and protect them from freezing, however, this only works with hardy plants.
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avoid the lawn
Try to avoid walking on the lawn in snowy or icy weather. The grass becomes more friable in cold weather.
If your plants show signs of damage, don’t panic. Wait until the weather has warmed and new shoots have started to emerge before you start harvesting. Prune out damaged parts after new growth is seen.
enjoy the beauty of winter
Look for plant and seed heads that look amazing covered in frost, almost like a work of art. Get outside and enjoy the garden in winter.