Autumn is the time to consider overwintering and protecting your tender plants in the garden, as the days get darker, colder and wetter many plants that gave summer interest will need protection.
There are a few ways in which you can protect them depending on what type of plant you have and how big/small they are.
You can move plants indoors onto a windowsill in a cool porch so they still get enough light. If you have a greenhouse that is a perfect place to store your plants, if you keep it warm enough to protect from frost you will save them for next year.
When moving the plant isn’t easy (it may be very heavy or well-established in the ground), you can cover the soil above the roots with mulch, straw, garden compost, chipped bark or well-rotted manure. This will act as a blanket to ensure the soil doesn’t become water logged and prevent frost from penetrating the soil. For smaller plants you could use a cloche or upturned clay pot filled with straw so it creates a layer of warmer air.
Photography by GAP photos
Plants that are too large to move indoors, such as tree ferns, can be wrapped in fleece, hessian, or straw to create insulation. Tie with string or use clips to make sure it’s secure. Open the wrapping during milder weather to prevent overheating the plant – moisture can build up and cause the plant to sweat and even rot.
What are tender plants?
Photography by Terry Eaton
Tender plants include summer bedding, like dahlias and fuchsias, also houseplants that you may have had outside in the summer, including succulents and cacti, or patio plants.
See our ‘How to
‘ on gardening during the winter.