Snow and frost: Prune ‘damaged’ plants to promote new growth in the garden – ‘act quickly’

Weather expert Dave King gives gardening tips for an icy spring

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According to experts at Primrose, it is best to put plant protection in place before any significant snowfall. However, for anyone who has been caught off guard and is worrying that their garden is ruined, the gardening experts have shared how to minimise the lasting damage snow and frost have caused.

Evie Lane, Gardening Expert from Primrose, said: “It’s important to note that a day of snow is not likely to do much harm to plants.

“In some cases, moderate snowfall can even act as insulation for your plants from low temperatures.

“The real danger with snow is the weight of it on your plants – especially if they’re small and newly planted.

“An inch or two of snow covering newly-planted veggies could mean you’ll have to replant your garden.”

To begin, gardeners can remove any damaged growth.

The experts said: “Snow can be unforgiving to new growth, so act quickly to stop any winter damage from spreading.

“Once the threat of any more snow has passed, remove any unsightly damaged parts of your plants by cutting back to a healthy bud or side shoot.

“Pruning stimulates new growth and in most cases, the plant will fill back in.”

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Next, gardeners should snake any snowfall off of trees.

According to the experts, large dumps of snow are heavy and can weigh down branches to the point of snapping.

They added: “Not only that, but frost or cold-damaged blossoms on fruit trees won’t grow any produce.

“Shake off any trees in your garden to prevent any damage.

“If you have access to a greenhouse, take a broom and remove the snow from the roof as it can prevent your beloved plants that you moved inside for the winter from getting their daily dose of sunlight.

“The weight and changing temperature of the snow can also cause cracks to appear in the glass.”

If recently planted, severe frost can heave the snow out of the ground, exposing their vulnerable roots.

Primrose experts recommended firming them back into the soil and adding a small layer of compost to improve their drainage.

They added: “An additional layer of compost will protect them should another frost return.

“You may be able to repair cracked and split stems, depending on how serious the winter damage is.

“Pull the split parts together and either tape them back together to give them their best chance of healing.

“Once you’ve done all the post-snow repair tasks you can, the most important thing, be patient.

“It will take some plants a bit longer to come out of their winter hibernation and some damage may show as we head further towards spring.”

Gardeners can also add mulch on top of the soil to help suppress weeds and lock moisture into the soil.

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