Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Jack Frost Nipping At Your Rose!

Hey, it's the 1st of December! Did you all remember to open your advent calendars this morning? Me too, it's fun isn't it! December doesn't just mean advent calendars and Christmas wish lists though. The cold weather is upon us and we have to remember and look after our plants. Here are a few jobs to do over the next few days...

It's advent calendar time so watch out for frost too!

Protect Your Plants
Some plants are a bit tender and need protection from the cold (bit like my baby sister Tilda!) For instance, we have some blueberries in pots which don't like being too chilly so we have to wrap them up cosy. We have fleece (horticultural fleece, not like your favourite hoody!) bags and we pop our pots inside one of these and tie them up nice and cosy for the winter.

Here's an ickle me scoffing our blueberries!

If you have other tender/borderline tender plants around the garden, things like tree ferns, some pittosporums, cordyllines etc, then it's best to protect them too. Wrapping some fleece around them can help a lot. Adding some straw inside the wrapping helps lots too.

Other things you can do to help include:

  • Mulching - add a deep layer of organic matter around tender plants to help them keep as cosy as possible. A bit like a cosy blanket. 

  • Lift really tender plants such as dahlias as they won't survive the cold weather we have in Scotland. 

  • Use a cloche on low growing tender plants to protect them and surround them with some grit to help any water drain away quickly. Adding straw can help keep the ground a little warm too.

I can see where cloche hats get their name!

Avoid Problems
To save a bit of work over winter in future and to be sure your plants will be safe, there are few things to watch out for:

  • Avoid golden or variegated leafed plants which can be more tender
  • Select plants which are definitely hardy for where you live. You have to be even more careful in Scotland as some plants say they are hardy but actually can't survive really cold Scottish winters
  • Be careful where you plant in your garden. Choose sheltered, south facing corners for any slightly more tender plants.
  • Don't prune old growth over winter as this can provide more shelter (plus one less job to do outside in the winter!)
Don't cut down seed heads to allow extra protection
Lastly, but most importantly, once you have done all that work you can head back indoors to the warmth and wrap yourself up in a big fleecy blanket too!

Hugs & kisses,

Lulu xx 

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