How to protect your garden in Winter
As temperatures plummet, we must ensure our gardens are protected from the harsh effects of winter. By preparing your garden for the colder months, you can relax knowing all of your hard work has been shielded from a range of weather-related problems. There are a number of preventative measures you can take to ensure your garden is subjected to minimum seasonal damage as you put your garden to bed.
Mulching involves applying a layer of organic material to the surface layer of the soil. This mixture usually includes a combination of grass, leaves, straw and bark. By mulching your plants and trees, you can improve soil quality, retain moisture and prevent roots from freezing over. Mulching also prevents weeds from growing during the winter months when your garden is likely to receive the least amount of care and attention.
Cover your plants
Covering your plants protects them from any ice damage and reduces moisture loss. There are a number of covering materials to choose from, but seasoned gardeners often recommend installing netting to protect your garden. This ensures you are giving your plants the best possible chance at surviving the harsh winter climate. By investing in garden netting, you can also safeguard your plants from pests who may be tempted to feast on any exposed roots and leaves.
Move your plants
As well as being covered, plants can also benefit from being moved. By relocating plants to a warmer or shadier section of the garden, or even into a greenhouse, they are more likely to rebloom again next spring. You must also remember to uproot as much of the plant as possible. This reduces the chances of any roots being left behind in the soil which can prevent the plant from flourishing in its new location. A thick layer of mulch and ample water applied to the base of the plant after replanting can also retain moisture and avert the growth of any perennial weeds.
Water your plants regularly
It may sound surprising but regularly watered soil can protect plants from frost damage. Moist soil acts as an insulator to prevent plants from freezing over when temperatures fall below zero. Heat originates in the soil and radiates upwards, warming the plant as night falls. Plants should be saturated in the afternoon before temperatures drop as wet soil exposed to cooler temperatures can trigger frost heave. However, it is important not to overwater your garden as plants and shrubs tend to absorb moisture at a slower pace during winter and this can lead to poor drainage and waterlogged soil.
Fertilise your plants
Although fertilisation is not normally recommended in winter, it can also give your garden a head start for spring. Fertilisation can strengthen plants at the root and ensure they keep growing despite winter dormancy. One application is usually enough to tide your garden over roots until warmer climates return.
By following these steps, you can prevent your garden from falling victim to the harsh effects of winter.