Outdoor plants ‘affected’ by ‘harsh weather’ – how to protect them this winter

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Although some plants are dormant through the winter months, outdoor plants can suffer immense damage from the cold, especially if it is frosty. Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress.co.uk shared top tips on how to protect outdoor plants through the winter. He explained: “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.”

Top tips on protecting plants throughout winter include using bubble wrap, secure structures and removing damaged shoots and limbs.

The experts at GardeningExpress.co.uk 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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Plants often rely on leaning against structures such as sheds, fences and walls to grow to their full potential.

Gardeners should make sure these structures are strong enough to make it through the harsh weather that the UK could see this winter.

Those plants already placed against walls can be protected using fleece.

The experts continued: “Before any turbulent weather, it is a good idea to streamline plants by removing any dead shoots.

“This will also reduce the risk of any long limbs or branches snapping and tangling.”

However, when it gets really cold, sensitive plants should be placed inside to help them.

GardeningExpress.co.uk explained: “Somewhere unheated is best. 

“Plants will hate being brought inside the home, as it will be too hot, but consider clearing out space in the shed or garage for them to live.

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“Individual plants can also be protected using homemade cloches made from plastic drink bottles.

“To create this type of cloche, simply cut the top and bottom of the bottom before placing it around the plant.”

This can be used to protect young plants from the cold weather.

However, the experts warn that these should be removed every morning so that the plant doesn’t overheat and become damaged.

Mulch can also be used to protect all types of plants from the cold.

The experts said: “Mulch can be made using organic matter like decaying leaves, bark, straw or compost.

“Placing it around the roots of plants will help insulate and protect them from the cold, however, it only tends to work with hardier plants.

“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 come with non-perennial plants or take a cutting from perennials that are a worry.”

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