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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: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:30 am 
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Thank you Bayleaf. Presumably dead-heading hydrangeas should be delayed until the current snow has melted....?

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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:20 am 
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Great advice, Bayleaf. I would also add that if there is really heavy snow on branches of evergreen shrubs try & dislodge it if you possibly can so the branches don't break under the weight of the snow. I was out at 9pm last night doing that to a couple of (fairly) new things & I'm going to have to brave it again this morning. We must have half a metre of snow here - almost unheard of!


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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:28 am 
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MAD87 wrote:
Thank you Bayleaf. Presumably dead-heading hydrangeas should be delayed until the current snow has melted....?


Yup, 'fraid so MAD! This topic should have been raised earlier, but I think we've all been caught out! :(

Warm wet week due in the Limousin next week, so there's our chance!

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 Post subject: Re: Protecting your garden in winter
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:50 am 
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I'm just wondering if that large tropical houseplant which lives outdoors in the summer is happy out there covered in frost....oops, forgot to bring that one in :(

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