Winter is coming… and bringing the obligatory cold snaps to test your garden over the chilly season. No one wants the flowers that they tended so well over the summer to be ruined, which is why we’ve put together a simple guide on how to protect your plants against frost. Give the following tips a go, and be sure to let us know how you get on!
1. Move delicate plants inside
Anything that you know won’t survive the cold, like tropical species or houseplants, make sure they’re indoors from around November time until the spring.
2. Keep an eye on the weather reports
You’ll want to know when a frosty night is imminent so you can prepare your garden that evening. Forewarned is forearmed!
3. Water the night before a freeze
Cold winds and dry air will deplete moisture in plants, so keep them hydrated by topping the ground up with water the night before a cold snap. Water can act as an insulator inside the plants and moist soil stays warmer than dry.
4. Cover young plants
Another task to do before a frosty night is to protect delicate shoots of bulbs growing outside. Cover them with cloches if you’re prepared – or upturned buckets and plant pots will do in an emergency!
5. Use a fleece blanket for delicate trees and shrubs
If you know your tree won’t take well to a chilly night, keep it wrapped up warm in a fleece blanket or roll of fabric. Use a frame to avoid damaging the branches, and be sure to cover all the way to the ground to hold in maximum heat.
6. Build a cold frame
Shelter potted plants together in a cold frame. You can buy one ready-made or construct one out of bricks and an old window for a lid. Be sure to ventilate it to avoid the buildup of too much heat or moisture.
7. Lay down some mulch
Insulate budding plants and shrubs with a layer of mulch. This will trap in the heat well and provide them with nutrients.
8. Relocate plants inside a greenhouse
If you’re lucky enough to have a greenhouse in your garden, it’s invaluable during frosty periods. You can simply move all your pots inside, or even plant within the greenhouse to be prepared for winter.
9. Watch out for morning light
After a frost, be careful not to expose you plants to strong sunlight straightaway. If they defrost too quickly, it can damage the cells inside.
Hopefully these quick tips will get your garden through the winter safely. Please share how you get on, and let us know if you have any more helpful advice.
George works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.
George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!
He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.