Protecting plants isn't rocket science. Although you can never completely eradicate the threat of frost damage to the plants in your garden, you can at least use these helpful tips as a guide to prepare for the worst:
1. Group plants together
Choose a location at the top of the garden facing north, west or south. Plants in containers may be grouped together so that You can easily create a microclimate for your plants which allow them to provide shelter for each other. It also makes it easier for you to cover and water them in one go.
2. Cover plants in Fleece
Make sure you cover plants in fleece or hessian/jute. This will protect them from frost and allow light and moisture to filter through. If you want to make it even easier, you can use fleece jackets such as the one in the picture. These just pull over the top and fasten at the bottom. Note: Pots (especially terracotta ones) can suffer from frost damage so make sure you cover these in the same way.
3. Move tender plants to the greenhouse or indoors
if you have the space. You can also overwinter (gardening jargon for plant hibernation) by covering them with a cold frame, plant house or a polythene grower system cover.
4. Use mother nature!
It sounds crazy, but in fact snow can help to insulate your plants, especially from cold drying winds. Make sure you still clear snow from tree branches and conservatory/greenhouse roofs, though, as snow can become heavy and cause damage. Use mulch (old leaves, home made compost) and straw to provide natural cover for tree roots, especially evergreens in pots and with roots above the surface of the soil.
5. Keep plants watered
In the winter plants lose moisture in the cold, dry air so make sure you water them if they need it and this will improve their natural defense against the harsh effects of winter weather. Too much water (rainwater included) is a bad thing though - you don't want the ground around the roots to freeze.
We are well known for being experts in plant protection - so why not drop us a line or comment in the box below if you have any questions, would like more details or even if you have your own tried and tested tips for protecting your plants from cold weather.