26 Nov

Protecting your winter garden


The frost has arrived! Time to make sure your garden is ready for the cold. This year has been hot and dry, last winter we had more snow that we have had in years, it’s been a tough time for our gardens.

The threats in your garden this winter aren’t just snow and frost, but the wind, the wet and cold temperatures.

Here are some ideas on how to avoid frost-bitten leaves, rotting roots, even frozen roots and saturation. To make sure your plants have a great season next year they must be protected now. At any time of the year when it comes to gardens you get out what you put in, it’s important not to neglect your gardening duties in the winter.

 

Flowerbeds

Believe it or not mulch keeps the plants warm. A layer of bark compost or mulch will prevent moisture from gathering and rotting the stems. The mulch will break down during the cold winter to add organic matter to the soil and improve drainage.

 

 

Potted plants

Bring potted plants and hanging baskets inside where you can. If this not an option there are ways to protect them outside. Wrap hessian sacking around plant pots and tie firmly to keep it there all winter. This will stop the roots from freezing. In the case of large plant pots several layers might be needed to make sure they are protected. Some say adding straw between the layers of hessian sack will help to add extra insulation.

Frost protection covers are also available, these can be ideal in snowfall too (more on those later). In a particularly rainy winter, potted plants can become victims of excessive damp. This will starve the roots of oxygen. Make sure your pots have drainage holes, you can also pop them up on bricks to facilitate drainage.

 

Vegetable patches

Place straw around and on top of a vegetable patch it to stop the ground from freezing around your veggies. Put mulch on top of soil at the base of any plants to insulate the roots. Cloches are ideal for root crops such as carrots and parsnips. Strawberries and roses can be completely covered over by mulch in winter to keep them insulated.

 

Delicate and tropical plants

If you have delicate or tropical plants bring them indoors, a greenhouse or conservatory is perfect to make sure they can receive the warm sunlight which they love. Be careful to make sure they’re not touching any icy cold window panes. Those which can’t be moved, such as palm trees can be protected by tying the leaves in the middle to protect the growing point at the base of the leaves.

 

Wind protection

Where possible moving plants to a more sheltered location is preferable. Wind can increase the problem of cold damage during the winter months so anything pots will benefit from more shelter. When planting, it’s worth considering a bit of winter proofing whether planting along a permeable fence, where there are hedges or a row of trees, to leave plants less exposed in the colder months.

 

Frost and snow proofing

At these frosty times it is worth doing what you can to protect your plants, frost protection covers do what the name suggests. Available from Frosts to Amazon, there are fleece jackets and bags in all different shapes and sizes. It is a good idea to put stakes in the ground to hold up the cover, and prevent the plant from taking the weight of the cover, this will ensure no damage to leaves and branches. If plants do still have leaves, they will need light and air, so it would be a good idea to take the cover off during the day and tuck them in at night.

When there has been snowfall, it is recommended that you gently knock snow from branches and leaves before the next nighttime freeze. Make sure to do this if you have trees or a shed roof overhanging your beds as its likely when the snow falls off it will land straight on your plants in a heap.

24 Oct

November Gardening

Tame Your Garden will still be out in the fresh air all year around, if like us, you love the outdoors and being in the garden, here are some ideas for keeping yourself busy. The seasoned gardeners among you will probably be more than aware of how much can still be done in the garden in November, for those of you just joining the gardening game or looking for inspiration, or indeed are a in need of a gardener to put some life back into your garden, have a look below:

Bulbs

Plant out your bulbs ready for a glorious spring garden:

Plant daffodils
Plant tulips
Plant hyacinth bulbs

Is the garden looking a bit dull?

If you can’t wait that long and need some colour in the garden now, plant heather and trailing ivy.

Pruning fruit trees

Now is the time to prune apple and pear trees, you have right up until February.

Don’t get carried away prune the plum trees, they won’t thank you for it, hold off until mid summer on these.

Get fruity

Plant your currant bushes and raspberry canes now for a deliciously fruit crop in 2019.

Lawn care

Gather up the pesky leaves before they do permanent damage to the lawn. If you are still mowing, set the mower up a level for a higher cut.There is still time for aerating the lawn and whilst you are out in the garden take care of the edging to keep things neat and tidy for the New Year.

Wishing your garden had a bit more life in November?

Think ahead to next year in your planning, consider some lovely red ivy plants, grasses and cornus which will add some colour and texture during the later months.

 

If you or a family member is need of an honest and reliable gardener for one off garden tidy ups, regular maintenance or  simple grass of hedge cut please get in touch. We have two vans covering from Milton Keynes to Buckingham, including villages; Steeple Claydon, Adstock, Padbury, Horwoods, Coombs, Thornborough, Gawcott, Swanbourne, Nash and Whaddon. Take a look our Facebook and Instagram accounts to see the quality of our workmanship and what our customers have to say about our gardening service.