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PPG_Blog_May_image 1_winter gardenWinter can create a harsh environment for your garden, especially in cold areas. Growth slows down considerably and problems become more evident when a plant is in a cold-weakened state.

But there are many things you can do to help your garden cope with the cooler months:

  • Move potted tropical plants and other warmth loving pots into more protected areas – perhaps onto a verandah or porch. If cold-sensitive plants are growing in the garden or are too heavy to relocate, spray them with a layer of Yates Stressguard. This see-through polymer can provide several degrees of frost protection.
  • Reduce watering. Plants require much less water when the weather’s cooler. But when you do give your garden a drink try taking the chill off tap water by mixing in a small amount of hot water. This means it won’t shock the roots so much.
  • Construct frames around the plants that are likely to be damaged by the cold or frosts. If supports are already in place it only takes a few minutes to throw a piece of cloth or plastic over them in the evening and remove it in the morning.
  • If your garden soil has any drainage problems, winter is the season when they’ll expose themselves. Use a garden fork to push vertical holes into heavy soils. Create surface drains to carry away excess moisture. Dig gypsum where possible into clay. Gypsum has a miraculous effect on most clay soils. It binds particles together, allowing air to get into the spaces between the particles and helping excess water to drain away.
  • Deep layers of mulch on soil can ensure that it remains cold and damp for three months or more. Hence, it can be a good idea to remove some of the thickness of mulch over winter so that the sun can penetrate and add warmth to the soil.
  • If space is available and you haven’t done so already, try installing a rain water tank. You can store the precious water for summer 2013 when your garden will be thriving but thirsty!
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