garden hacks

Garden hacks: eight ways to protect your plants this winter

Tuesday 25th Jan 2022 |

With freezing temperatures expected across the UK this January and February, Brits are being advised to protect and prepare their garden as the icy mornings and chilly weather strikes.

January temperatures are predicted to plummet to below zero across the UK according to WX Chart, and the freezing temperatures will bring a huge snow bomb to the North of England and the Scottish Highlands.

This upcoming frost and prolonged cold spell can damage your plants and garden. Experts at Crown Pavilions advise that now is the time to ‘put your garden to bed’, and have compiled their top tips to help British gardeners get ready for winter.

These winter survival tips include raising and covering plant pots, mulching, tying back branches and avoiding walking on the grass.

A spokesperson for Crown Pavilions said: “Getting the garden ready for winter can be a satisfying process, and will be worth it when spring approaches and the garden is in a good state.

“Many outdoor plants are just left in the cold to batter rain, wind and snow, and will therefore need to be prepped for the extreme weather conditions. Hardier plants need little or no winter protection, but sun-loving plants will need some tender loving care to get them through chilly weather unharmed.

“The elements can cause havoc on gardens in winter. Heavy rains can cause root rot, while high winds can increase cold damage or cause dehydration

“By following our tips, and prepping your garden now, you will give your garden the best chance of survival and be ready to hit the ground running in spring.”

These winter survival tips include raising and covering plant pots, mulching, tying back branches and avoiding walking on the grass. Cover your pots

If frost or snow is forecast, you can throw some old newspaper or horticultural fleece over plants and pots temporarily.

Garden hacks – Move them

If you are unsure of how robust your plants are, move plants in pots to a warmer or more sheltered part of the garden or into a cold greenhouse. In colder parts of the UK, it’s advised to raise them from ground level or store them in a shed before planting them out again in spring.

Garden hacks – Raise pots

For your potted plants, it is worth considering raising pots off the ground to avoid them waterlogging, and potentially freezing and splitting when it turns even colder.

Garden hacks – Ensure drainage

If moving plants isn’t practical, then an alternative solution is to make sure they have enough drainage to protect them from heavy downpours. For added insurance, pitchfork holes in the surrounding area to drain excess water.

Garden hacks – Add mulch

Most plants will benefit from mulch over their roots for more protection in the winter. Mulch could be garden compost, wood or bark chippings or any loose substance to lay over the soil as a covering. It will also provide soil nutrients, help to retain water and prevent weeds.

Garden hacks – Don’t walk on the grass

Grass or turf has a fantastic way of surviving the freezing cold. Ice crystals form between the cells, actually protecting them from any damage. But the pressure from walking on grass causes the ice crystals to split the very cell walls they’re trying to protect.

Garden hacks – Tie back branches

Upright evergreen plants, like conifers, can benefit from having their branches tied back. If there is heavy snowfall this will prevent the branches from bending or breaking.

Garden hacks – Sort out bedding

Flower beds need looking after, digging up and replacing dead plants, and cutting back any perennials is important and gardeners will benefit come spring. Brits should also spread out a layer of fertiliser or mulch to help with soil nutrition and aid growth when warmer weather comes.

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