Monty Don’s best ‘solution’ to protect all outdoor plants for £5

Homebase advises on looking after your garden in winter

Monty Don has shared a variety of methods to keep plants protected throughout the colder months, including supplying them with a layer of protection.

Sharing advice in a blog post, the expert explained: “Climate change has made our winters warmer and wetter.

“Twenty-five years ago you could depend upon a spell of a week or so of sharp frost around the middle of November where the temperature would remain below freezing for days on end, but this is becoming increasingly unlikely.

“However the temperature can plummet very quickly indeed overnight and semi-tender shrubs like pomegranate, olive, bay or citrus grown in containers – which are healthiest kept outside as long as possible – can suffer real damage. The solution is to have squares of horticultural fleece.”

Horticultural fleece can be bought in a long roll and cut to fit each plant, or multiple fleeces can be purchased in different sizes.

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Amazon sell fleeces for as little as £5, while online garden centres sell a variety of sizes, ranging from £8 to £30.

The expert said this will be enough protection against light frosts which the UK will inevitably see in the coming weeks.

However, when temperatures drop below freezing, they may need a double layer or might need to be moved indoors.

Monty said that he lightly secures them with twine so that the fleece is easy to remove as soon as the temperatures start to rise.

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The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) said: “These materials provide a small but significant amount of protection from cold or windy weather, and also often very effectively exclude pests.

“Fleece is often used to insulate plants against the winter cold.

“In fact without heat from the sun, the temperature around covered plants will fall quite quickly to the ambient temperature.

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“However, fleece doesn’t protect from other aspects of hard weather – wind and hail, for example – and is often used in conjunction with straw and similar materials where combined effect of fleece and insulation is very effective.”

However, it isn’t only shrubs and plants that need protecting during the winter, terracotta pots do too.

They are susceptible to cracking over the winter so they must be insulated with a layer of bubble wrap, straw or fleece.

This will help to protect the pots until the weather gets warmer and frost gets less severe.

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