Preparing for Frost – December Gardening

Garden Frost

It’s December, the temperature is already falling in many parts of the UK, but you can save those tender plants in your garden from the frost. During the UK winter the temperature frequently falls below zero during overnight frosts and this causes a lot of damage to unprotected plants.

In these conditions the plant’s cell walls become frozen, causing them to wither. Also, frozen plants may quickly defrost if the sun comes out the next day, and the rapid rate of defrosting can also cause harm. But don’t worry. There are many ways to protect your plants, and this is the time to act.

Some plants are hardier than others, for example, perennials may be able to survive winter. However, all tender plants are prone to destruction if they are not protected.

The cold winter weather has adverse effects on some garden plants such as the vegetables, beans, flower bulbs, and fruits such as apples, apricots, peaches, and strawberries.

Regarding the protection of vulnerable plants in the garden, your goal is to remove the new buds, shoots, and tender plants to a safer place.

In preparation for the frost, you must ensure your greenhouse is properly fortified against the cold weather. Then start the process of moving tender plants into the greenhouse. You will need a few more pots depending on the number of tender plants you must move away to safety.

There are other plants that can survive the winter in your garden, with some help from you. This is what you can do-

Apply mulches to the soil

Mulching will help plants and vegetables that are becoming established in your garden survive winter. Mulching enables the soil to generate heat that can keep the plant warm during winter. Please note that you should monitor the progress and reapply mulches when necessary during winter months.

Mow the grass

Grass and bush growing around your garden plants can hinder the soil from producing the needed heat energy during winter. So they have to be cleared away.

Use crop covers

There are many types of crop covers you can use to protect plants and flowers from frost. For example, you can use fleece or cloches. The fleece, which is commonly used, is a transparent film of protective material that can prevent frost from gathering beneath the plant and destroying its lower parts.

Prune dead leaves

Frost causes leaves to lose their colour and eventually wither. If you discover dead or dying, leaves they should be quickly pruned.

Fresh supply of fertilisers

Your plants need more nutrition during the winter to survive the frost.
You can also set up sprinklers to ensure your plants and their roots get enough water during this period.

With these tips, you can have a good harvest. So get started, before the weather worsens!

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