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 Post subject: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:47 pm 
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A little late in the day admittedly; but if anyone has their own advice about how they winter certain less hardy plants, we could all benefit here.

As tempting as it is to prune and tidy certain shrubs and perenniels, leaving the finished top growth will actually serve to protect the base of the plant. If you have cut back certain plants; protecting them with a good layer of bracken is highly recommended as it is more waterproof than straw, little animals don't like nesting in it, and it's free! Cutting back can then be done in early Spring.

Earthing up around the base of roses will protect the graft from frost - remember to remove the earth in springtime when you hard-prune the plant.

With banana plants and similar, again bracken (or straw) can be packed into the middle of
the plant, with an upturned pot or some plastic placed just over the middle to keep the majority of the rain out.

Flowerheads of Hydrangeas can be removed, as heavy snow could weigh them down too much and cause the branches to snap.

More tender plants should either be put under cover, or in a protected spot on the South side of the house (not indoors unless you have an unheated corner), covered with fleece or bracken, and don't forget to protect the pot itself.
If it can be sunk into a nearby flowerbed, or a corner of disused veggie patch, this will
protect the pot from frost damage, and the roots of the plant.

If you can brave the weather, light pruning of fruit trees can be done now. Also mulching around the base with compost or rotted manure will serve to insulate roots of newly planted trees and shrubs. But leave a gap of a couple of inches around the trunk.

If you are planting anything bare-root, please keep the roots warm and moist between collecting them from the garden centre, and planting them in your garden (keeping them in a plastic bag is sufficient). Half an hour of exposure to frost or sunshine could at best retard the growth of the plant by two years; at worst kill the poor wee thing altogether.

I'm sure I'll think of more to add, if anyone else has some failsafe tips they use, please add on!

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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:59 pm 
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Some useful info there, Bayleaf - thanks :-bd


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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:26 pm 
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Thanks Bayleaf.
I should go an "attack" my Hydrangea. It's under snow at the moment. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:18 am 
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Bumping up this as we are currently in winter (in Limousin).

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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:20 am 
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Yup - we had a frost this morning :-ss


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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:29 am 
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I'll go and do my hydrangea....

Are you open next week Bayleaf? I still need to get some shrubs...or is it too late to plant?


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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:40 am 
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I've just cut back the new growth on the forsythias, so they've gone from looking very leggy to a nice neat bush. The books tell you to cut the flowering branches after flowering. But our plants never looked as good as other people's round here, so I started asking around. The answer ? Cut back this year's growth to just above here it started. The difference is quite fantastic - I've done this for two years and now get wonderful blooms in the spring.

Bayleaf - a question about bracken : can you use it for mulching, or is it not good ?


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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:22 am 
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Just to add slightly to the excellent advice:

Pot plants. If like us you have very severe low temperatures, you should sink even the most hardy plants in pots into the ground. An exposed pot will let cold in from all sides and if the rotts freeze, that is likely to kill even the hardiest of plants.

I forgot to do this with our olive trees last year, and while they have survived -18° with the pots buried, they were killed stone dead by -10° for one night.

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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:30 am 
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minikmummy wrote:

Are you open next week Bayleaf? I still need to get some shrubs...or is it too late to plant?



Yes, open next week - fruit tree deliveries coming in, and children on half term, excellent combination!!! :shock:

Too late to plant? Nooooooo - the season is just beginning! It would just be nice to have some decent cool planting weather in between drought and frozen ground! :(

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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:31 am 
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Blaze wrote:
Bayleaf - a question about bracken : can you use it for mulching, or is it not good ?



It's said to be very good for mulching - doesn't rot down like straw and little beasties don't usually like nesting in it! And it's free!! :-bd

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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:35 am 
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Bayleaf wrote:
minikmummy wrote:

Are you open next week Bayleaf? I still need to get some shrubs...or is it too late to plant?



Yes, open next week - fruit tree deliveries coming in, and children on half term, excellent combination!!! :shock:

Too late to plant? Nooooooo - the season is just beginning! It would just be nice to have some decent cool planting weather in between drought and frozen ground! :(


Excellent, I shall bring the tribe. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:51 pm 
thelastoneout wrote:
Pot plants. If like us you have very severe low temperatures, you should sink even the most hardy plants in pots into the ground. An exposed pot will let cold in from all sides and if the rotts freeze, that is likely to kill even the hardiest of plants.


Alternatively, you can tie a thick layer of straw (or bracken!) around the pots, I believe.

One of our neighbours has just 'fleece bagged' their tall outside pot plants. In the half dark they look like a row of short ghosts ...


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