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Garden Centre


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How to Prepare a Border for Winter
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The danger for plants over the winter is not really due to cold temperatures and snow but more to high winds and heavy rain, that can either damage plants directly, or stress them (cold winds can cause evergreens to wilt, winter rains can make soils cold and wet) particularly when they are newly-planted. Unseasonal mild spells can also cause early shoots to emerge which then get hit back by later cold spells. A border in a sheltered site on a well-drained soil needs little winter care although this is a good opportunity to repair any boundaries or climbing supports.
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you will need
Secateurs; insulation e.g. leaves or bark chips; netting plus pegs; elastic bands; plant ties or garden string;
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step1
Once the first hard frosts have arrived, cut to the ground any unsightly herbaceous perennials that were not cut back in autumn. Ornamental grasses that produced autumn seedheads can now have these cut down.
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step2
Once the top growth of the herbaceous perennials has died back, it is easier to get to the back of the border. Take this opportunity to repair any boundary fences or walls. Any climbers grown towards the back of the border should have loose stems tied to their supports. Whippy growth can be shortened to reduce the likelihood of wind damage.
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step3
Any tender plants you want to keep should have been lifted out of the ground in the autumn but there are plants of borderline hardiness that can stay where they are with a bit of insulation. Also any plants that were planted in spring or summer could do with a bit of protection over their first winter. Plants like Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia) that keep their grassy foliage can have it gathered up and tied with an elastic band to protect the crown of the plant. A loose covering of a 10 - 15 cm deep layer of dry leaves is the best way to protect the base of plants like hardy Fuchsias or Japanese Anemones. Stretch netting over the leaves and peg the netting down to stop the leaves blowing away, if you have not got enough leaves use bark chips.
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step4
During mild spells, plants that have been insulated may start to shoot too early and then get knocked back by frost. So, keep an eye on the weather and remove the insulation in early spring.
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Cut back the dead top growth from plants
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Identify plants that need a winter covering
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Make sure you check winter covering regularly

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