Gardening: Expert advises on growing climbing plants
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Some of the plants gardeners grow in their gardens can easily be damaged by frost, or require some winter shelter, especially young plants. There are several ways to protect the garden, including watering, and leaving fallen leaves. Some outdoor plants may even need to be brought inside for shelter, away from radiators and draughts.
The experts from Hedges Direct, leading hedging and plant supplier, have shared four ways to protect plants from the frost.
1. Leave fallen foliage
The experts explained: “Gardeners have the tendency to remove fallen foliage as it’s not always the most attractive look, however, the fallen foliage is a great heat insulator and will protect the soil from becoming frozen.
“This is a great excuse to have a ‘spring clean’ once the weather warms up and clear away the leaves once they’re no longer needed.
“Wildlife also love leaf bundles as they can use them for nesting sites.”
2. Brush away the snow
If it does snow, it is important to remove it from larger plants which are big enough to gather snow on their foliage.
The experts added: “You may see small snowflakes falling from the sky and with a blink of an eye, there is a thick layer of snow that has the tendency to make UK residents have a meltdown.
“When collected on foliage, this thick layer of snow will put a large amount of pressure on the plant’s structure and can result in damage to branches.
“Be sure to gently shake the foliage of these plants to remove the collection of snow as this will reduce the combined weight that heavy snowfall can create.”
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Although an “unusual” trick, the experts said adding water when frost is imminent can help to protect the plants.
This is because wet soil will hold more heat than soil that is dry so it is vital when frost is on its way. The experts continued: “Remember that it is just as bad to over water as it is to under water your plants.
“Overwatering in these circumstances will be consequential in early spring as doing this allows your plants to be exposed to frost heave.”
4. Use plant protection
Covering tender garden plants in the evening will help them to retain heat and protect them from freezing as temperatures drop overnight.
The experts from Hedges Direct continued: “Ensure that covers are removed during the day so they are exposed to sunlight, or else tender plants will suffocate. Lift pots and containers inside for protection where felt necessary.”
The pros also said Britons should think about how they can help the wildlife which enters the garden, including hedgehogs and birds.
They explained: “Hedgehogs require enough fat in order to survive the hibernation period.
“They hibernate between November and March and can be fed almost anything except milk and bread.
“It is not unusual for them to wake during hibernation as they may require a quick nutritious lift to get them through the remainder of the season.
“But, as food sources are in short supply and with limited time to forage in the cold before returning to their chosen habitat, the mission to find food could be deemed impossible.”
Supplying food and water for birds will also help them find their necessities which are often harder to find during the winter months.
The experts said birds rely on bird feeders as their natural sources of insects and grubs during the winter months.
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