Protecting plants in winter so that they come back in the spring, vibrant and healthy, takes a little forward planning. As we approach the coldest season, you may be wondering what you can do now to make sure your garden has the best possible start when the weather warms up again. Over-Wintering your garden means preparing it for the winter so that as much as possible survives.
After a warm summer, plenty of the gardeners amongst us will have a lovely collection of flowers, shrubs and herbs to show for our efforts in the garden. This is especially true for those of us with a ColourFence who haven’t had to paint their fence this year! We’ve had more time to focus our efforts on cultivating our gardens.
So, what can you do when it comes to protecting plants in your hard-earned garden? Read on for our top tips.
Protecting plants in winter: Get your greenhouse ready
It’s a good idea to clean the windows so that any Winter sun can make it into the greenhouse. Take this time as an opportunity to give it a little bit of a tidy-up. Make some space to re-bed the tender plants you’ll bring in from the garden. Use the opportunity to clean up your garden forks and spades too – sharpen where necessary and clean them ready for storage.
Consider planting vegetables and evergreens
How about a winter vegetable patch? This helps you to stay active in the garden and will give you a harvest to use over the winter months. Top veggies to grow over Winter include onions, garlic and spring onions. You can also fill gaps in your garden borders with hardy evergreens such as Daphne, or Fatsia. They’ll be an attractive feature over the frosty months!
Protecting Plants in Winter: Tidy up time!
This is a good time to give your lawn one last mow and nourish it with lawn feed applied on top. In anticipation of heavy winter rain, you can also improve winter drainage by making a few deep holes with a garden fork.
Consider tidying up the compost bin. Emptying it of compost and using that across the garden for winter-friendly fertilization will give your plants a better chance over the harsh winter season. If your compost isn’t quite ready yet, give it a turnover to encourage faster decomposition. If you don’t have a compost heap, you can learn how to start one here.
Leaf It Out There! Mulching
In tidying up any piles of autumn leaves, why not use them as mulch? Protecting plants in winter involves covering beds and pots with mulch to protect the plants from the most severe frosts. Leaves are great to help protect garden beds. Wildlife will also be thankful, too.
Sometimes protecting plants in winter involves bringing them inside. If you have the space, perhaps pop them in a shed or garage, helping protect them from the worst of the frost. Other alternatives could be a porch or kitchen or bathroom windowsill.
Cover larger shrubs and plants with special garden fleece to protect them from frost. You can get these at any good garden centre, or you can simply make your own. Using tarpaulin or bubble wrap, secure them down with stones to stop them from blowing away! You can also use a “cloche” to cover up plants such as seedlings or vegetables. Save money by making your own and reducing plastic use by recycling plastic bottles or milk containers.