Chidinma Zee, Gardening, Gardening Year, How To, Planting, Plants

If you like plants as much as I do, you devote time and energy to your garden throughout the year. But then winter comes and you feel as if all your hard work was for nothing. I decided to do some experimentation and finally came up with a few ideas that can help you keep your garden and plants alive during the cold weather.

I even like to plant my own vegetables like basil, spinach and sometimes even things like garlic, but it can be hard to get started. I recommend potted plants and herbs to begin with, but be careful when you start your garden.

First, let me begin by saying winter is different in every place. Sometimes you may experience the coldest winds and no snow, while others you experience tons of snow and almost no wind. Nonetheless, you should always have a plan in mind, and I recommend having a year-long plan.

keep plants alive over winter

Here are my ideas for keeping your plants alive during winter:

1. Plant them in cloches or cold frames

Cloches are bell-shaped glass covers, also known as bell jars, that help your plants grow even in temperatures considered very low for seeds to germinate. However, you should know that these are very susceptible to wind, so you should always keep the soil leveled before putting the cloche down.

Keep in mind that cloches work better when they have some sort of wind protection, which is why you can try to put them near a wall or a hedge. Though watering plants is considered hard when using a cloche, the soil around it will not only keep it in place, but also keep the plants watered.

Cold frames are very easy to make and they resemble a small greenhouse. Usually, a cold frame is made up of four boards with a removable glass or plastic top. By using solar energy and insulation, your plants will thrive even during the cold months of January and February.

When you use a cold frame, you should keep in mind that though humidity is important to germinate seeds, excessive heat can harm them, even during the winter.

2. Protect Your Potted Plants

If you are planning to have your potted plants outside during winter, you have to make sure that they are plastic pots planted into the ground. There isn’t a clay or stone-like material that will last during winter when temperatures drop below freezing.

By planting the plant directly into the soil, the plastic pot will protect the most important part of the plant, the roots. Just make sure you water them directly and then dig them out when the weather is warmer–most likely in spring.

3. Apply Mulch

Mulch will act as an insulator, which holds heat and moisture for your plants. The easier way to do this is to use mulch made of wheat or pine straws, as it is easy to remove after winter and works well keeping in the heat. This is an easy and affordable way to keep large plants safe.

apply mulch

Beware of using too much mulch. With some plants, such as roses, or fruits like strawberries, if you leave them covered for too long, they will not cool down in time for spring.

4. Bring In Your Exotic Plants

There are some plants that will definitely survive the cold weather outside, whether in a cold frame or potted right into the ground, but your exotic plants will not make it outside. The solution is to bring them inside, even if it sounds crazy, tropical plants will thrive when you keep them warm inside, especially when you keep them somewhere moist, like the bathroom or laundry room and when they have a window nearby.

5. Grow Plants That Will Flower During Spring

If you want to have healthy and pretty plants, it might be better to plant bulbs such as daffodils, day lilies or tulips, during the early winter so that by the end of the end of winter, beginning of spring, they will flower.

There are many other tips for keeping your plants alive during the harsh cold season. Make sure you don’t leave potted plants unprotected, water your plants constantly even when they are inside – but be careful about the amount of water, create insulation for your plants, and if needed, even find another source of heat.

We all love to have our gardens looking good during spring, and winter may not be that terrible, but rather a great time to start working towards your perfect plants for the new season.

ChidinmaChidinma is the founder of Fruitful Kitchen, a blog that shares delicious recipes and lifestyle tips. Most of her recipes help women with fertility issues, especially fibroids, PCOS, and Endometriosis. Sometimes, however, you will find other interesting recipes, as well as cooking tips and tricks there.

Events, Gardening Year, George

A new year means another twelve months packed with events to entertain every type of gardener. From flower shows and expert demonstrations to art exhibitions and plants to buy, there’s plenty to do in 2017. Now’s the time to book your tickets, grab the early bird discounts and fill out your calendar.

gardening events 2017 calendar

2017 Gardening Events

January

28 – 30 Big Garden Birdwatch – be part of the world’s largest wildlife survey by seeing what you can spot in your garden this weekend.

February

4 – 5 Mar Kew Gardens’ Orchid Festival – this year’s theme is the vibrant plants and culture of India.
14 – 15 RHS Early Spring Plant Fair – get cracking on the gardening season with expert advice and plants to buy from award-winning nurseries.
24 – 25 RHS Botanical Art Show – Lindey Hall hosts a collection of world class botanical art that is not to be missed.

March

29 – 30 RHS Spring Plant and Orchid Show – be dazzled by displays of exotic orchids and spring flowers in full bloom.

April

7 – 9 RHS Cardiff Flower Show – Wales welcomes a spectacular array of show gardens and plants to browse.
20 – 23 Harrogate Spring Flower Show – the perfect gardener’s day out with 100 nurseries, show gardens and community plots to admire.

May

11 – 14 RHS Malvern Spring Festival – visit the Malvern Hills for a great day full of crafts, food, plants and fun.
23 – 27 RHS Chelsea Flower Show – the gold standard of flower shows returns with garden designs to get the world talking.

June

2 – 4 Gardening Scotland – the epic national gardening show returns for three days packed full of inspirational plants and products for your garden.
7 – 11 RHS Chatsworth Flower Show – a new show that promises to showcase innovative garden designs.
15 – 18 Gardeners’ World Live – be part of everyone’s favourite show for talks with top experts, flower shopping and designer show gardens.
23 – 25 RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show – bright, colourful plants pack out this magnificent summer gardening festival.
24 – 25 Woburn Abbey Garden Show – visit the stunning abbey gardens for guided tours, tea, demonstrations and expert advice.

July

4 – 9 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – enjoy unforgettable floral displays in this magical setting.
12 – 13 RHS Summer Urban Garden Show – get inspired to start growing at home, no matter how much or little space you have.
19 – 23 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park – at the height of summer take a trip round gardens created by some of the country’s top designers.

August

3 – 6 RHS Garden Hyde Hall Flower Show – spend a summer day taking in plant stalls, photography, art and shopping.
12 – 13 The Great Comp Summer Show – jazz music, Pimms, plants and a splash of local craftspeople – what more do you want this summer?
17 – 20 Southport Flower Show – come down for a day of entertainment, demos, a food festival and garden roadshow.
18 – 20 RHS Garden Rosemoor Flower Show – visit Rosemoor’s first ever flower show to see the best gardening of the South West.

September

5 – 10 RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show – a floral extravaganza packed with plant nurseries for you to browse.
15 – 17 Harrogate Autumn Flower Show – return to Harrogate to get stuck into the autumn gardening season.
23 – 24 Malvern Autumn Show – celebrate the countryside with this spectacular show where you can buy seasonal food and plants.

October

3 – 4 RHS Harvest Festival Show – marvel at giant vegetables and buy some autumn produce to take home with you.
25 – 26 RHS Autumn Garden Show – enjoy the rich colours of the autumn season with these beautiful plants on show.

November

29 Wollerton Old Hall Garden Christmas Lecture – garden designer and TV presenter Chris Beardshaw returns for another inspiring talk.

December

7 Chelsea Physic Garden Tour – take a look behind the scenes of this botanical garden led by head gardener Nick Bailey.

So there we have a great selection of gardening events coming up in 2017. We hope you enjoy them and be sure to let us know if you have any more suggestions!

George at PrimroseGeorge 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.

See all of George’s posts.

Garden Design, Gardening, Gardening Year, George, Make over

Redesigning your garden over winter

Winter is the perfect time to rethink the layout of your garden while the plants are scaled back and the ground is clear. With few pressing gardening jobs to get done, take the opportunity to plan out how you’d like your garden to look for the coming year.

Here are a few tips to bear in mind when taking on your winter garden overhaul.

Watch out for the wildlife

Be careful when shifting things around in your garden over winter. Most wildlife will be unaffected at this time of year, but watch out for hibernating animals. Check compost heaps, piles of leaves, logs and long grass in particular.

Keep warm

If you’re working outside for extended periods, it’s essential to look after yourself in the cold. Take regular breaks indoors, have a nice hot cup of tea, and wrap up well – even consider some heated clothing.

Protect the plants

Many plants are easier to rehome while they’ve died back and aren’t in full bloom. In fact there’s less chance of harming them and affecting their growth. Just be sure to treat them gently during transit.

Designing garden in winter

Clear the ground

During winter you’ll see your garden stripped back. This is perfect for taking stock of the space and layout you have, making planning out your new design a whole lot clearer. Just be sure to allow room for your flower beds to bloom once summer comes around.

Make the most of the sun

With daylight hours so short in winter, you have to be fast to catch the rays. But it’s worth it to see where the light falls and which places will be best for patios and planting spots come the warmer weather.

Avoid any upheaval

The best aspect of redesigning your garden over the colder months is being able to make large-scale changes with minimal impact on its use, rather than disturbing it while everyone wants to spend time outside over summer.

So enjoy the blank canvas that winter brings to your back garden, and let your imagination run free!

George at PrimroseGeorge 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.

See all of George’s posts.

Charlie, Garden Tools, Gardening, Gardening Year, Grow Your Own, How To

One of Primrose's many fruit storage solutions.
One of Primrose’s many fruit storage solutions.

Following on from David’s post about the harvest, I thought I’d share with you Primrose’s top tips for keeping your fruit fresh all winter.

  1. Throw away bruisers. Despite the old saying, the truth is one bad apple really can spoil the bunch. Segregate any apples with bruises or rot on them. Storing them with healthy apples can lead to the good apples rotting as well.
  2. Space the apples out. Another way to prevent rot spreading is to space your apples out so they are not touching. It also helps to keep different varieties of apples on different shelves, as they tend to decay at different rates and you don’t want your faster spoiling golden delicious apples spoiling your long lasting cox apples, for instance.
  3. Wrap your apples. Following on from this, one piece of advice is to wrap your apples in newspaper – this will prevent contact and stop any rot from spreading between apples. Be sure to use plain black and white newspaper or paper as coloured ink contains poisonous elements that you don’t want in prolonged contact with your apples.
  4. Don’t let your apples freeze. Frozen apples are spoiled apples. This is why it’s best to store apples in a cool cellar, but don’t worry, you can always bring your apples into your conservatory or kitchen for a few nights if you know it’s going to be below freezing for extended periods.
  5. Don’t forget – here at Primrose we have a great range of fruit storage solutions. Check out our range of fruit racks here. They’re perfect for keeping out rodents and other pests and keeping your fruit off the ground and fresh through the autumn.

And that’s our top five tips for keeping apples fresh. But what to do with those rotten apples I mentioned? Well they’re perfect for making cider…

 

CharlieCharlie works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly in online marketing.

When not writing for the Primrose Blog, Charlie likes nothing more than a good book and a cool cider.

To see the rest of Charlie’s posts, click here.