Sunday , November 19 2017
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In the winter your garden need protection from severe frosts. Snow is beautiful and also helpful as long as is not too heavy. The coldframe plants will also be more protected if you decide to insulate your coldframe over the winter. The pond also need  protection during icy weather. So there is still plenty of work to do in the winter garden.

Snow and wet
A carpet of snow will give some sort of protection to the garden plants by insulating the ground from penetrating frosts. It will also bring a undeniable beauty to the garden. But heavy snow is no longer welcome as it can cause damage to certain plants. If it accumulates on top of hedges and conifers, it may weigh them down and push them out of shape. You can brush or shake the snow off or prevent it building up in the first place by trimming your hedge in late summer so that they do not have a flat top and by wrapping up conifers with fine-mesh netting or garden twine.

Winter Garden Protection

Also you may want to replace the roof netting on fruit cages with wider-mesh netting that will keep the pigeons out but won’t collect large amounts of snow that might cause the collapse of the cage roof.

Winter wet can be a real problem for early flowering plants, like winter-flowering hellebores and early bulbs. They are hardy plants but their delicate blooms are often only just above soil level. Cover the plants to reduce mud splashes and to keep the blooms clean and in good conditions, especially if you want to cut some of the flowers to take indoor. This protection will also help to keep off the birds from stripping the flowers.

Insulating coldframes
Coldframes with brick or timber sides are not as light as aluminium and glass or plastic coldframes but they are warmer. Glass sides coldframes allow more light in but they lose heat rapidly. So you might want to insulate a glass or plastic-sided coldframe during the coldest weather to offer more protection to the plants inside. In spring and summer you can take full advantage of the clear sides.

Aluminium coldframes may have small gaps between the glass and the aluminium frame. In hot or warm weather this is not a problem, but if you want to keep this kind of coldframe warmer in the winter seal the gaps with draught-proofing strip. Also insulate the glass sides with sheets of expanded polystyrene making sure they fit into place tightly.

Any type of coldframes will benefit from heaving a warm blanket or a piece of old carpet thrown over them on very cold nights. Put it in place before the temperatures drops and remove it the next morning if the weather does not remain exceptionally cold, because the plants need warmth but they also need light.

Ponds protection
Small water features and ponds can freeze solid during icy weather and this may damage the container and kill any aquatic creatures. Empty small water features and move plants and animals to a temporary winter home under protection before sever frosts occur. Even larger pond can freeze if the cold snap is prolonged. Prevent ice forming on the surface by by installing a pond heater. If ice is allow to for it will put pressure on a solid liner and might cause it to crack. Help[ prevent this from happening by floating an inflatable ball on the surface before it freezes to absorb some of the pressure.

A complete covering of the ice will trap gases that could poison the pond wildlife, so stand a pan of hot water on the surface to melt a hole or use a special electric heater to keep a small area free of ice. Do not hammer the ice to break it because this will send shock waves through the water and could kill any fish that are sheltering down at the bottom of the pond.

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