Introducing Fiona Kirkcaldy who kindly took some time out of her day to write this guest post for us! We are extremely excited to open up this blog and invite others to write a guest post! We hope you enjoy this excellent article on winterizing your garden.
P.S If you are interested in writing for us, please go to: www.funflowerfacts.com/guest-bloggers
How to Protect Plants from Frost
Think it’s the end of the road for your blooms once the frost sets in this winter? Think again! With some careful preparation you can protect hibernating bulbs, prolong the last of this summer’s blooms and protect evergreens. To help you to prepare your garden for winter, we’ve created the essential guide to protecting your plants from frost.
Bring Remaining Summer Blooms into the House
A common mistake gardeners make is thinking that the shed is warm enough for the remaining summer survivors. Don’t lock them away in the cold! Bring delicate plants into the house and enjoy a splash of colour in your home. Just remember to be careful not to damage the roots when transferring plants from the garden into plant pots. Also, don’t forget that these blooms are crying out for light during the dark winter days, so make sure to place them in a well-lit spot near a window to ensure that they gain maximum light exposure.
Wrap Up Your Plants
You wouldn’t brave the cold without a jacket so why leave your plants exposed to the elements? When the temperature drops, add a light covering to any plants that are still in bloom to protect them from the cold winter nights. Any type of covering will do but blankets, sheets or burlap sacks are particularly effective. If you’re using a heavier cover or if the plant is particularly delicate, make sure you add a wire frame around the plant to prevent it from being crushed. Even hardy evergreens need some shelter when the winter frost sets in! Adding a cloth screen around the evergreens will help to minimise exposure from the harsh winter winds. Just remember to leave a gap in the top so that your plants can still soak up the fleeting winter sun.
Prepare the Soil for Next Spring
Once the frost sets in, it may look like your garden is dormant but under the surface, bulbs are busy gathering nutrients from the soil. To make sure that they get all the food they need, it’s important to prepare the soil if you want to protect bulbs from insects and decay. Before the ground freezes, start by removing any dead annual plants that are cluttering up the soil to decrease the chance of disease spreading. Next, boost the soil with nutrients by covering it with a winter mulch. If you have trees in your garden, the fallen autumn leaves make an excellent mulch come winter time. Make sure you don’t add the mulch too early in the season as you’ll risk rodents nesting in the leaves.
Create a Cold Frame
Cold frames are perfect for prolonging the life of delicate blooms by providing them with much needed heat and shelter. Most garden centres stock these but it’s easy enough to build your own if you’re a DIY fan. Wood, cinder blocks or bricks make excellent sides and thick glass panes from old windows are ideal on top. If it’s a particular harsh winter, pack hay or straw around tender plants to keep them nice and cosy. Gardeners’ World has great video guides on insulating cold frames if you want to find out more.
Fiona Kirkcaldy is a seasoned gardener and writes for eDecks. For discount winter supplies, visit eDecks.co.uk.