Winter Garden Prep: Protecting Your Plants from Frost and Cold
by: Joe McCole
Welcome back to my blog. With winter fast approaching, this time I will be discussing how to protect your plants from frost and cold with some effective winter garden prep! Let’s get straight into it.
Know Which Plants to Protect
Unfortunately the extreme cold conditions that winter can sometimes bring isn’t suitable for all plants to survive and thrive. The first thing you should do is identify which plants will survive frost and cold and which ones won’t. As a general guide you can refer to your plant labels to identify your hardier plants. If they are marked as ‘Fully Hardy’ or ‘H7’ then they are capable of surviving sub zero temperatures. A lot of winter warmer vegetables are also safe from the frost and cold including carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and turnips.
Bring Potted Plants Indoors
Your potted plants are more at risk from extreme cold temperatures as their roots aren’t as well insulated in a pot as they would be in the ground. If you are unsure, it’s always best to bring your potted plants indoors to ensure they survive the winter and are still thriving in spring. If you don’t have room inside the house, your plants can be placed in a shed or garage to protect them, but always make sure they have a source of natural light and that the building doesn’t get too hot.
Move Larger Pots and Tender Plants into a Sheltered Area
If you have potted plants in large containers and it’s not possible to bring them indoors, you can increase their chance of survival in the winter by moving them to a more sheltered spot outside the house to protect them from the harsh winter elements. If you are unable to find a suitable place for them, try surrounding the pots with chicken wire and filling the space with leaves or mulch. You could also use bubble wrap around the pots to provide some much needed insulation.
Cover Flowerbeds with Mulch
The best thing you can do for your flowerbed plants to protect them from cold and frost is to cover the flowerbeds in a layer of mulch; around 2-3 inches should be sufficient. Remove any weeds from the flowerbeds to ensure that they won’t take all the nutrients from the soil, which can starve your plants. Always wait for the first hard frost before you spread mulch on your flowerbeds to avoid trapping moisture and mould growth in the roots.
What are your favourite ways to protect your plants in the winter months? I hope this blog as helped as you prepare your plants for winter and you get to enjoy your precious plants for many years to come.