Protect your plants from harsh weather with plastic bottles & more – ‘make them stronger’

Gardening: Expert shares advice for watering outdoor plants

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Bad weather such as rain, wind, and snow can easily damage plants and hinder their growth. It is also important to protect outdoor plants from the cold and frost during winter.

There are many easy and cheap ways to protect plants and, fortunately, experts at Gardening Express have shared some of their top tips.

The website sells a range of different plants but also offers advice on how to look after them.

Chris Bonnett, one of the experts from the company, said: “Over summer, gardens provide a sanctuary away from the business of life, but over winter they start to look dilapidated.

“The youngest plants in the garden are most likely to be affected by harsh weather.

“However, even the hardiest varieties sometimes become damaged over a long cold spell.”

If you spot damage to any plant, Chris recommended removing it straight away to prevent the disease – or whatever damage it may be – from spreading anywhere else.

The gardening expert added: “Look at any winter upset as an opportunity to improve your garden skills and make your plants stronger as a result.”

One way to protect plants form harsher weather is to cover delicate plants with bubble wrap.

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It is a good idea to cover the top of the soil with the bubble wrap too, as it will protect it from going through frequent periods of freezing and thawing.

Plants often rely on leaning against structures, such as sheds, fences, and walls, to be able to grow to their full potential.

Gardeners can build these structures themselves but they should ensure they are strong enough to make it through windy, rainy, and cold weather.

Plants growing against walls can also be protected from the cold with fleece-covered frames.

One of the main tasks gardeners can do to prepare for bad weather is to streamline plants by removing any dead shoots.

This will also reduce the risk of any long limbs or branches snapping and tangling.

Another option is to take some more sensitive plants inside to give them shelter – but somewhere unheated – where it isn’t too hot – is best.

A handy tip is to use recycled plastic bottles to protect plants from bad weather.

Simply cut the top and bottom of the bottle before placing it around the plant.

Doing this should protect delicate leaves on young plants from chilly temperatures.

But experts at Gardening Express added: “You should try to remove these cloches each morning to ensure the air inside does not overheat and damage the plant.”

Using mulch is another clever method – this can be made using organic matter like decaying leaves, bark, straw, or compost.

Placing it around the roots of plants will help insulate and protect them from the cold.

However, experts warned that it only tends to work with hardier plants.

Although gardening is still encouraged in winter, experts warned that no matter how well looked after the plants are, there is still a small risk of them dying.

Gardening Express urged: “It’s a great idea to keep the plant tags that comes with non-perennial plants or take a cutting from perennials that are a worry.”

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