Plant Protection in Winter:-
Around September or October, depending on where you live, you should be thinking of protecting your plants for the winter. During this period many plants succumb to frost, cold or excessively wet soil. The most common approach for protecting plants in planters outside is to wrap them with some kind of insulation. Any insulating material should do the trick. The goal of overwintering most hardy perennials is to prevent them from getting too cold, not to keep them warm.
For general protection of your garden apply a layer of bark compost or mulch 5cm (2in) deep around herbaceous perennials but use grit around the plants themselves. This will stop moisture collecting and rotting the stems while the mulch will keep them warm. By rotting down over the winter months the bark will also be adding organic matter to the soil.
Tender herbaceous perennials that can be lifted and stored include dahlias, cannas, tuberous begonias and gladioli. All these plants have fleshy tubers, rhizomes (underground stems) or corms that can survive in a dormant state when lifted and stored.
JOBS FOR WINTER
Plant bare-rooted roses: Soak the roots in water for an hour. Cut out damaged growth and remove crossing stems. Dig a hole wide enough to hold the roots and deep enough for the bud union to be 2.5cm below ground level. Add compost and a handful of blood, fish and bone. Set the plant in the hole and spread out the roots. Refill the hole and firmthe soil to remove air pockets. Finish this job by early winter, or before the ground becomes too cold.
Plan for next year: Order seed catalogues so that when the weather is not suitable for going out into the garden, you can make up a list of crops to purchase for sowing in the new year.
Winter-prune wall shrubs: Shape evergreen shrubs, such as flowering quinces or pyracanthus, to keep them flat against a wall. Prune out any outward-facing shoots and those growing towards the wall. Remove unwanted stems at their point of origin. Space out the other shoots, pulling them down horizontally and tying them in. Prune back the longest stems by two or three buds to keep the shrub balanced.
Sow seeds in the greenhouse: Start sowing seeds in mid-winter if you can provide sufficient warmth for germination, and a well-lit position to put the seedlings in afterwards. Make sure that
the glass is clean to let in plenty of light. Wait until later on in the winter to seeds of bedding plants and planter plants.
Clear away snow: Don't let snow weigh down conifer branches. Brush it off immediately or tie the branches together with twine to preserve the plants shape.