With Autumn well and truly here, we will begin to notice some changes to our gardens. The green and wiry grass will start fading and become more orangey as the days get shorter. So, as we lunge for our jumpers and fleeces to get warm and comfy and prepare for the winter, the time has come to protect our plants as well, but what are the best methods to do so?
One of the reasons why your garden needs protecting during the cold, harsh winter is that it will keep your garden looking lush and fresh right until the springtime. With frost beginning to emerge every morning, now is the perfect time to get everything set before it is too late. Here are some tips that will help make sure your plants and other organisms survive this winter.
One of the best ways to shield your plants from the dangerous frost and high winds is to prepare during the autumn. This season is time to start covering your plants.
Selecting firmer and more hardy varieties of greenery to plant in your garden is a good shortcut to ensure that they will make it through the winter. However, other methods including sheltering, wrapping and potting, also tasks that will help keep your plants alive and kicking.
Pots are key
Making sure you have the right pots is important. One of the best things about pots is that they come in various shapes, styles and colours. With this extensive range available, it is not the most difficult task to pick the best ones for winter. Terracotta pots, used more for Mediterranean-style gardens, cannot hack a drastic change in temperature because of the porous nature of the ceramic body. Therefore, instead of selecting these types of pots, opt for materials including stone, plastic and fibreglass.
Plants do not like a dramatic change in weather, just like us. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that they are suitably protected. Covering pots with materials including bubble-wrap will help as they will act as a nice big jacket for the plants and will keep them warm during the cold and frosty temperatures that come with the winter season. This layer of bubble wrap will not only protect the plant but also the roots, stopping them from freezing. Because of this, your plant will not receive any damage from the thawing process that occur underneath the soil.
You do not need to watch and bite your nails praying that your plants make it through the winter outside. Bringing them indoors will guarantee that your plants will not wilt away and will be strong and ready for the spring. Best places to keep your plants safe include greenhouses, sheds and garages, areas that are not too warm. To begin this process, get your plants used to sheltered areas. This means that you can still keep them in the garden, but in areas that are more protected. Then a few weeks after, you can bring them indoors and so they will not react badly to the change in surroundings.
Rooftop or Balcony garden?
If your garden is higher up than usual, perhaps a rooftop or balcony garden, then your plants will be more exposed to the extremes that come with the winter and therefore cause significant damage. Because of this, one option would be to choose more hardy winter plants that will stand up better against the low winter temperatures. The Royal Horticultural Society recommends hardy winter plants such as Coronilla Valentina subsp. glauca, Helleborus niger, Mahonia × media ‘Winter Sun’, Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna and the Stachyurus praecox.
How to care indoor plants
When you are making sure you are looking after your outdoor plants, make sure that you are not forgetting the ones you have situated indoors. Despite them being very well sheltered away from the wintery weather, you do still need to ensure that they are not being overwhelmed with heat. As we begin to turn on our central heating systems and keep cosy, plants can suffer. Too much heat will mean that plants turn parched. Keep the plants that receive heat the best in the warmer areas but not too close to radiators or cold areas. Also, remember that plants do have a resting phase during the winter season so it is important that you do not excessively water them, allowing the soil to properly dry before topping them up.
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