You are well-aware that cold weather and frost can have a devastating effect on your garden plants. While it is true that it is beautiful to look at, frost can easily turn your landscape gardening efforts into a nightmare, if you don’t take precautions.
Like with many things, prevention is actually the best cure for frost. If you are worried that your plants may not be able to cope with the freezing temperatures, you need to take steps to ensure their survival. If you are not careful in your efforts, you will see plants dying and evergreens turning brown. You must be especially careful in case your garden contains tender plants, as these can use all the help they can get to make it through. What action you take to protect your plants depends mostly on what plants you have and your current garden situation. In general, you need to consider the following:
Provide a layer of protection – for plants located against a wall or any tender specimens growing in the open, you can provide a regular fleece-covered frame. As an alternative, you can add a layer of straw/bracken leaves between two sections of chicken wire. Use that to cover your plants in the evening, when temperatures are particularly low. In order to prevent the soil where tender bulbs and plants are located, you can add a thick layer of compost – manure, leaves and straw work well enough.
Keep the soil around evergreens safe – evergreens usually do well enough throughout winter, but they do need some attention. One thing you can do is to mulch the area around the base of evergreens. The purpose of this is to keep the soil frost-free. That way they will take moisture and not become dehydrated.
Grow tender plants in pots – the main benefit of growing plants in pots is that you can move them once the weather becomes bad. Make space inside your home or in your greenhouse during the worst periods of bad weather. If you cannot move the plants, take cuttings of them and store them somewhere warm till next spring, when they will be ready for growing.
Protect trees – trees can be protected in various ways, but the most common include wrapping their trunks with fleece (or straw stuffed hessian) and protecting the crowns of tree ferns. If you have palms and cordylines, you should tie their leaves into branches and in that way protect their crowns.
Protect low-growers – low-growing plants are particularly vulnerable to frost, because they experience the worst of it as frost tends to linger more in low areas of the garden. What you can do is protect them with a cloche or a sheet of glass and surround the area with grit and gravel for crown protection.
These are all very good tips to protect your plants in the winter. Implement them all and you can expect to see the success of your landscape gardening efforts.