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Best practices to keep your garden healthy in winter
Winter presents challenges that are unique only to the frosty conditions of the season.
Not a lot of plants thrive in the freezing cold. Extreme cold can lead to the formation of frost, which can then freeze the water in plant cells damaging the cell wall in the process. Additionally, prolonged spells of icy conditions can freeze the soil, making it hard for even the toughest of plants to get the nutrients they need to survive.
Preparing for Winter
The icy chill of winter will always come around. So, you must prepare accordingly, unless you want all of your gardening efforts to go to waste. (You can, by the way, find some tried-and-tested gardening tips in our article ‘Take Care of Your Garden Better’.)
Here are some tips on how to maintain your garden during winter:
Get Rid of Dying Plants
Today recommends that you pull out and then burn dying plants, this ensures that only healthy plants are in your garden when the cold spell comes around.
Protect Those Plants
Different plants require different means of protection. For example, the BBC recommends using simple, fleece-covered frames to cover plants trained against a wall or on plants growing in open ground. The BBC also recommend that tender bulbs and herbaceous plants should be covered with a thick mulch of either manure or old leaves as doing so can prevent the soil from freezing. This protective covering, though, should not be placed too early as mice might move in to get shelter and munch on your plants.
Make a Compost Cover
Covering your garden with compost, which can include food waste, manure, and everything you have cut off in your garden, during the winter months will enrich your garden’s soil with nutrients as well as help prevent the ground from freezing. As an added bonus, this extra serving of nourishment keeps the soil from becoming depleted. Just make sure that your compost is balanced, which means it is equal parts green and brown.
Use Frost-proof Containers
A good tip to keep the plants protected during colder months is to transfer potted plants into frost-proof containers, or those that are sturdy and do not easily crack. You may insulate the plants afterward using a layer of bubble wrap.
Water Is Still Needed
Plants still need a sprinkling of water even during winter, according to Gardening Know How, and the best time to bring out your hose to water the garden is early in the day, or when the cold is not as severe. Screwfix feature an array of garden hoses, which showcase how modern hoses are designed to be tough and durable. However it is still important to make sure that you bring it back inside, as the water inside the hose could freeze and potentially damage the inside of the hose.
Bring Some Plants Indoors
Some plants—frost-sensitive semi-tropical, and tropical plants—just won’t be able to beat the cold spell. Southern Living suggests that you take these plants indoors so they can make it through winter alive and well.
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