Telephone 0161 440 8060
Wholesale plant nursery serving the industry for over 40 years

See our Latest Stock

Download our stock list for our comprehensive range

CLICK NOW >>

Find the
Perfect Plant

Browse our comprehensive plant library
for inspiration

CLICK NOW >>

It’s time to wrap up your gardens and start your preparations for winter

When the nights close in and the temperature drops, most sensible people will wrap up. Well, the same principle applies to your garden too. At this time of year you should start preparing your garden for winter. There are plenty of things you should be doing, like protecting annual crops from frost, putting perennial gardens to bed for winter, and preparing trees and shrubs for the cold. By spending a little time this autumn sprucing up the lawn or weeding the perennial garden, you can ensure a healthier start to next year’s garden season. Here’s Ladybrook Nursery’s checklist of what you should be doing this autumn to prepare your gardens for winter.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Protect young trees from sunscald (splitting of the trunk due to extreme temperature changes in winter) by painting the trunk with an outdoor, white latex paint or wrapping the trunk with tree wrap.
  • Protect tender evergreen shrubs, such as rhododendrons, from cold winds by driving four stakes into the soil around the shrub and wrapping burlap around the plant, or applying an anti-transpirant spray to the foliage.
  • Place wooden tepees over shrubs growing under eaves where snow tends to fall off the roof.
  • In warm winter areas, plant evergreen trees and shrubs now. Only plant deciduous trees and shrubs after they have shed their leaves. Keep plants well-watered if it doesn’t rain regularly.

Plants and flowers

In warmer parts of the country you can still plant vegetables and flowers for winter and spring harvests, providing you protect them and grow them in warmer microclimates, such as on the south side of a rock wall or in a protected nook near your house or garage. These areas are often protected from cold winds and stay warmer throughout the autumn. In warmer microclimates you will still be able to plant vegetables like arugula, beets, garlic, kale, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, spinach, and Swiss chard. The greens and root crops can be harvested through the winter, while garlic and onions will mature next summer.

In all areas, spring-flowering bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, should be planted six weeks before you expect the ground to freeze. Transplants of snapdragons, primroses, ornamental kale and cabbage, pansies, and violas make great additions to an autumn garden. In warmer areas they will flower all winter, whilst in colder parts they may survive the winter and flower again in spring if you cover and protect them with a thick layer of mulch.

Extending the Season

The first frost doesn’t necessarily have to signify the end of the growing season. If you’re growing cool-season crops, like lettuce and broccoli, or trying to coax the last few vegetables from warm- season crops like tomatoes, you can protect them to extend the harvest window. Drape cloth sheets or fleece over the plants, making sure they touch the ground to hold in the heat around the base of the plants. Shield choice plants with plastic buckets when frost threatens, then remove them the next morning.

There also are a number of effective products that can protect plants into autumn and even earlywinter:

  • Floating row covers

Made from lightweight polyester or polypropylene fabric, floating row covers are loosely laid over plants and anchored down with soil, stones, or sticks. They allow the sun, rain, and air to reach plants, yet protect crops when temperatures drop. They come in different thicknesses; the thinnest ones won’t protect against frost, but the heavier ones can protect plants down to around minus 2° C.

  •  Grow or poly tunnels

Grow tunnels are made from row cover fabric stretched over a metal or plastic frame. Some grow tunnels have slits allowing for natural venting so plants don’t overheat, but these don’t offer much protection against the cold. The thickest grow tunnel fabrics protect plants down to about minus 3° C.

  • Cloches

Shaped like a bell or dome, cloches are usually made of plastic or glass. They’re great for protecting individual tender plants. Some cloches are airtight, offering more frost protection, but these need to be removed during sunny days so plants don’t overheat. If you want to keep maintenance to a minimum, choose cloches that are vented on top. They won’t protect plants from freezing temperatures as well as closed cloches, but plants are less likely to be burned from excessive heat during the day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get inspired,
read our blog ...

Help Hibernating Butterflies in the Winter

Have you ever thought about what happens to hibernating butterflies in the winter? As a landscaper, this is something you should take into consideration. It’s a difficult season for them, but a butterfly house could be the perfect solution! Butterflies are beautiful in sunnier months, but in winter, they need a place to hibernate.

The Great Pumpkin Harvest

The final transition to autumn is a wonderful time of year, with one last bloom before the winter takes over. For many people, one of the highlights of this season is when the large leaves of pumpkins and squash finally die back to reveal the fruits beneath. It’s the moment you discover that all of…
read more >>

2019 Garden Trends to Watch Out for with GLEE

At the beginning of September, GLEE, the horticultural trades show in Birmingham, demonstrated the future for gardeners and landscapers across the UK. We are seeing a rise in products designed to make gardening and landscaping easier. What’s more, we are now seeing the rise of the urban garden! The average UK garden size is 50…
read more >>

Common Chilli Plant Problems

Many people are getting into the habit of growing their own edibles in their garden. However, some edibles can be quite difficult to grow, especially for beginners. The chilli plant is a common struggle for many newbies. Growing Chillies is a rewarding endeavour as you can make delicious recipes straight from the garden. There are,…
read more >>