Greenfingers 28- Frost
By William Mills
Autumn is here again with nights drawing in and mulled wine simmering on the stove. The heating is on and we are all warm and cosy, but what of our plants outside?
At a certain point we have to decide between which plants to leave outside and those to be brought in. It usually depends on how large our cherished plant has grown over the summer and our estimation of whether it will survive spending winter outside.
Plants do adapt to their surrounding surprisingly well. If a plant has been outside for the summer months and it has settled in a spot it may survive some really cold snaps during the coming winter.
On the other hand it’s awfully disappointing going outside on a foggy morning and feeling that sharp sting of freezing air and have the sudden thought; ‘Are the plants OK?’ If they are limp and the stalks all mushy they are probably beyond help. Once the frost has got at them that’s it.
Fortunately Brighton being so close to the sea rarely experiences hard frosts, however they do happen. In autumn it pays to watch the weather forecast. If cold weather and frosts are predicted, rather than wait to see if a much loved, and consumer of hard work, plant dies, take action first.
If the pot has become too large to lift inside protecting the roots is the most important step we can take by wrapping the pot with an insulation material such as paper or bubble wrap.