Keep Your Plants Toasty This Winter!
It’s not just us that need protecting from the cold harsh winters. Cold conditions cause the ground to freeze meaning roots are unable to take up water and plants suffer from lack of moisture. Tender plants are more vulnerable to freezing conditions, although tough evergreens should not be ignored, as extreme freezing conditions can cause large plants to freeze and heavy snowfall can disfigure the plants posture as it continuously gathers weight on its foliage.
Action is needed! Here are some tips on what you can be doing to help protect your gardens from frost…
Water to prevent frost? Weird- we know. Adding water when frost is immanent can seem a confusing task, however wet soil will hold more heat than soil that is dry so it is vital in these conditions. Remember that it is just as bad to over water as it is to under water your plants. Over watering in these circumstances will be consequential in early spring as doing this allows your plants to be exposed to frost heave.
Brush away that pesky snow
Remove snow where it applies, mostly to the larger, dense evergreen plants that are big enough to gather snow on their foliage. You may see small snowflakes falling from the sky and with a blink of an eye, there is a thick layer of snow that has the tendency to make UK residents have a meltdown (no pun intended). When collected on foliage, this thick layer of snow will put a large amount of pressure on the plants structure and can result in damage to branches. Be sure to gently shake the foliage of these plants to remove the collection of snow as this will reduce the combined weight that heavy snow fall can create.
Leave Fallen Foliage
Gardeners have the tendency to remove fallen foliage as it’s not the most attractive look. It may not be the best looking option, but it certainly is beneficial and appeals to the lazy gardener as it requires no work. The fallen foliage is a great heat insulator and will protect the soil from becoming frozen. This is a great excuse to have a ‘spring clean’ once the weather warms up and clear away the leaves once they’re no longer needed. PSST! Wildlife also love leaf bundles- they can use them for nesting sites.
Throw a blanket over your plants & Winter housing
Covering tender garden plants in the evening will help retain heat and protect them from freezing as temperatures drop overnight. Ensure that covers are removed during the day so they are exposed to sunlight, or else tender plants may suffocate. Frost proof containers are available to prevent traditional pots from cracking as this allows efficient access for frost to gain access to the main root system. On the other hand, lift pots and containers inside for protection.
These tips will be sure to help your tender plants cope in the cold conditions we are currently experiencing around the country. As the weather shows signs of warming up, remove any added mulch and rake back the soil away from the plant.
Featured image taken from 41 incredible Garden Hedging Ideas For Your Garden