Winter gardening: How to protect outdoor plants from harsh weather – ‘insulate the plant’

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Although garden growth slows down during the winter months, there is still lots to be done to help ensure the garden thrives in the spring. One expert has shared how gardeners can protect their outdoor plants to ensure they survive the cold weather. Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress.co.uk, said: “Over summer, gardens provide a sanctuary away from the business of life, but over winter they start to look dilapidated.

“The youngest plants in the garden are most likely to be affected by harsh weather.

“However, even the hardiest varieties sometimes become damaged over a long cold spell.

“If you spot damage to any plant, it is best to remove it straight away to stop it spreading elsewhere. Look at any winter upset as an opportunity to improve your garden skills and make your plants stronger as a result.”

The experts at GardeningExpress.co.uk also shared top tips on how to insulate plants, helping to protect them from the cold weather.

This includes using bubble wrap, making mulch and recycling old bottles to save the plants.

The gardening experts explained: “Gently covering delicate plants with bubble wrap can insulate the plant and keep it protected against some harsher weather.

“Covering the top of the soil with a wrap is a good idea too, as it will protect it from going through frequent periods of freezing and thawing.

“Get ahead of the game and start potting next year’s plants in bubble wrap lined pots in anticipation of the next chill.”

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Bubble wrap can also help to prevent plant pots from cracking, especially terracotta ones.

Plants often like to lean against structures such as sheds and fences as well as walls to help them grow.

The experts said: “Make sure that these structures are strong enough to make it through the windy, rainy and cold weather.

“Plants trained against walls can be protected from the cold with fleece-covered frames.”

However, if it does get too frosty, sensitive plants can be brought inside to protect them.

The gardening experts added: “Somewhere unheated is best. Plants will hate being bought inside for the home, as it will be too hot, but consider clearing out space in the shed or garage for them to live.”

Recycling plastic bottles is also a great idea to help protect outdoor plants from the winter weather.

Individual plants can be protected by making “mini cloches”.

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GardeningExpress.co.uk explained: “To create this type of cloche, simply cut the top and bottom of the bottle before placing it around the plant.

“This method should protect delicate leaves on young plants from chilly temperatures.

“You should try to remove these cloches each morning to ensure the air inside does not overheat and damage the plant.”

Placing mulch around plants in the garden can help to insulate them, protecting them from frost and windy weather.

However, this tends to only work on hardier plants and other steps should be taken to help protect others.

The experts added: “Winter throws a lot of challenges at gardeners and no matter how well looked after your plants are, there is still a small risk of them dying.

“It’s a great idea to keep the plant tags that comes with non-perennial plants or take a cutting from perennials that are a worry.”

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