Protect Your Garden From Snow
With snow and ice forecast for much of the UK over the next few days, we’ve come up with a few useful ideas on how to protect your garden.
Bring any frost-tender container plants indoors. Containers should be placed in a garage or porch, somewhere where they won’t get too hot but will be protected from freezing conditions.
Larger shrubs which cannot be moved can be protected by covering them over with an old bed sheet, a large piece of fabric or a purpose made frost cloth. For best results, drape the fabric over a trellis or frame to avoid direct contact with the foliage which could cause damage. Make sure your cover drapes to the floor, so heat from the soil will be trapped. Remember to remove your cover when the sun comes out and temperatures begin to rise.
While snow can act as an insulator by protecting plants from an even colder frost, the weight of snow can snap and damage small plants. Eliminate this issue by covering over smaller plants with everyday household items such as a cardboard box, plastic bag or plastic storage bin. These should be removed once the snow has stopped, particularly if they are not transparent and don’t allow any light through.
It’s best to leave frost-tender plants in their pots or containers until you are confident that freezing weather has passed. Winter bedding is a great option for adding a much-needed flush of colour in even the coldest of weather.
Remember to water your plants thoroughly before a frost to avoid desiccation. Water acts as an insulator and will plump out plant cells making them stronger against cold. Moist soil tends to stay warmer than dry soil so a good watering will prevent plants from drying out further.
It’s best to avoid adding fertilizer until the last frost has passed. This will minimise the risk of a flush of tender growth which would likely sustain damage from cold temperatures.
If shrubs, trees and hardy perennials do incur visible damage, it’s best to leave them until they start actively growing again in spring. This way you can determine which permanently damaged parts need to be removed and which can be left to recover. Plants are incredibly resilient!