Fleecing Up Your Garden
As the frosts roll around, we look out into the garden as fear for some of our more fragile plants, trees and shrubs. So, which do we need to fleece up and protect?
Why do we protect our garden?
There are a number of plants in our garden that are susceptible to frost. This means that the morning frost we are starting to see is likely to kill off our gardens should we not protect them. By using garden fleece, (or blankets, plastic sheets and wicker baskets) we can help to reduce the effects the frost has, saving our plants.
While it may be easier to fleece up your garden and leave it until the risk of frost has passed, this can also be detrimental to your plants. Should we have a slightly warmer day, many types of fleece should be removed to avoid damage from the heat focused from the sun, in particular any that are plastic.
What needs extra protection?
Any fruit plants that you have in your garden will need extra protection to ensure that there is future growth for the next season. Ideally, use breathable fleecing for these as it allows the plants to breathe throughout the winter without removing the fleece, as previously mentioned.
Tender Perennials, such as Dahlia, will require extra protection as frosts will turn stems black. You may find that sheeting across any low level plants helps to protect them in larger quantities, and makes daytime removal much easier. Remember to stake it down at regular intervals.
Whilst evergreens are named for their ability to remain green all year round, harsh frosts will find them “burnt” leaving them with browning extremities.
Where you have bulbs under the ground, covering the ground with mulch and straw with help to reduce the impact of the frost.
Remember that any pots can be moved either indoors or into pre-wrapped or heated greenhouses, saving the need to wrap them.
Take care when covering all of your plants as some are liable to damage if you are too rough, or on removal of wrap if they have grown underneath.
Issues to look out for
While covering your plants provides great protection to them, it can also provide that same protection to your weeds. This means that, should you leave your weeding until the spring months, you may be inundated. It is best to keep your eye on this throughout the winter to avoid an abundance.
You may also experience an increase in pests taking shelter. With effective fleecing those little critters that may have gone into hibernation in the cold will be feasting on your plants. Ensure that any pest killers you may use are safe to be covered over and wont case damage to plants if not aired.
Any plants that have started to turn black will unfortunately have been damaged by frost, however, even if it is too late for them, do not rush to dig the plant up, as it reduced into the soil it can help to feed the other plants around it.
Even during winter there are jobs to be done in and around the garden. We work in the garden throughout the year, allowing you to stay inside in the warmth. For all your winter gardening needs, get in touch with our team and we will be more than happy to discuss this with you.