Protect against the big freeze

by Andy Cawthray, 20th December 2017

January is a time to minimise the effects of the weather to your garden (before enjoying a nice hot cuppa)


While January can be a cold month, when gardening seems to be the last thing on most people’s minds, there is still plenty of work to do, albeit mainly revolving around minimising the effects of the weather.

The must-do task is to protect vulnerable plants from the ravages of cold winds and frost. If a frost is severe, it can lift autumn planted shrubs or border plants, so keep an eye on them, firming them back into the ground if necessary.

Should snow fall, don’t worry too much about smaller plants and shrubs as the snow will protect them, but do brush heavy snowfall from larger shrubs, hedges and evergreens to prevent branches from breaking.


Tip of the month

Heathers can still be planted in January if the ground is workable. Firm in newly planted heathers that have been lifted by the frost.


Ask Andy

Q: I’d like to plant a hedge along one of the boundaries of my garden. Is this something I can crack on with during the winter months?

A: You certainly can, assuming the weather is suitable and the land you’re planting on is well drained. Bare root dormant hedge plants being plunged into cold, wet, and then possibly frozen, ground is not going to produce the desired results. But if you don’t get the right break in the weather, or it’s too wet to plant the hedge after you’ve purchased the plants, then keep them in a frost-free shed and cover the roots with straw until you can get them in the ground.

Got a gardening conundrum? Ask Andy by mailing


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