Sim­ple care will help them through winter, says Ruth

Amateur Gardening - - Contents -

Ruth ex­plains how to help them through the winter

If you took cut­tings of favourite plants in sum­mer and au­tumn, you are prob­a­bly keep­ing your fin­gers crossed that they will see winter through suc­cess­fully.

I took sev­eral sets of cut­tings, from ten­der peren­ni­als to rock­ery plants and hard­wood cut­tings. I also pot­ted up a set of last au­tumn’s black­cur­rant hard­wood cut­tings and am nurs­ing them through the winter to plant out next spring.

So how to keep them healthy? Most cut­tings will be fine in a green­house or cold frame or in­doors, but they they all have slightly dif­fer­ent re­quire­ments.

Those in­doors are more likely to dry out in a cen­trally-heated at­mos­phere, so keep them in a cool room with plenty of light, check them reg­u­larly and wa­ter where needed.

If they are over­win­ter­ing in a green­house they will need good ven­ti­la­tion to pre­vent mould and fun­gal prob­lems. Open win­dows and doors on warm days, mak­ing sure you close them in the af­ter­noons. Check for pests shel­ter­ing from the cold, too.

Cold frame cut­tings are the most vul­ner­a­ble. Lift the frame lid on warm, dry days to im­prove air­flow and check the plants reg­u­larly for pests. Use a layer of grit spread to de­ter slugs and snails, and a hu­mane mouse­trap will re­move hun­gry ro­dents.

Make sure the cold frame is

some­where shel­tered and won’t blow away in strong winds (as mine did last year) and have some hor­ti­cul­tural fleece or old car­pet ready to lay over he top dur­ing pe­ri­ods of in­tense cold.

Give your cut­tings an oc­ca­sional health check through au­tumn and winter Keep in­door cut­tings light and warm

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