It’s getting to the time of year that you need to start thinking about putting your ‘garden to bed’, it can be a sad process, as it signifies the end of the summer, but, it is nice to spend the rest of the sunny, mild days pottering around your garden preparing your plants for the colder months.
Our gardeners have put together a list of things for you to think about, and tend to, before the temperature drops.
Know your plants
Knowing how much protection each of your plants needs will depend on what plant it is. Generally, native plants require the least attention, as they have evolved to cope with our wet, cold winters. Some garden plants, like sunflowers, are annuals which only live one season, other plants, like bluebells, are annuals that will stay safe underground until spring.
Think about wind and rain
The winter elements can wreak havoc on our precious plants. Over saturation from heavy rains can cause root rot, and strong wind can cause dehydration. If you have space transfer more vulnerable plants inside, or if not, place them against walls or fences, so they get a bit more protection. If moving isn’t feasible, our gardeners would recommend you ensure all pots have enough drainage to protect them from heavy downpours. You should also raise pots off the ground, to protect them from the freezing floor.
Think about frost and snow
When the temperatures really plummet, tender plants can be protected in three ways:
Depending what space you have available, you can relocate plants into greenhouse, cold frames, sheds, or houses. If a plant has completely died off for winter will be happy in a shed, a plant that won’t stand any frost will need to be in a light, warm room for the winter.
Our gardeners like to cover tender plant roots with some mulch, for added protection throughout winter. Mulch could take the form of garden compost, wood chippings or leaf mould. An added bonus is that these materials will provide soil nutrients slowly throughout the winter.
Wrap them up
If frost is forecast you could wrap your plants in horticultural fleece, newspaper or bubble wrap, to create a much needed barrier between your plant and the icy winds. You may need a few layers if the plant is particularly vulnerable, or if it’s going to be particularly cold.