Help plants cope with the snow
Snow is good news for some plants and bad news for others. Snow protects perennial plants that have retreated underground from harsh temperatures. It suits bulbs too: they generally welcome the snow melt once better weather arrives.
Evergreen plants, although fine under fresh powdery snow, can be damaged by the sheer weight of wet snow once a thaw sets in. You can either knock snow off as soon as it arrives or remove it with a gentle push once you sense a thaw setting in.
Conifers or hedges may become misshapen under the weight of snow. To reshape them, bind them up with garden twine and canes, and leave in place for three to six months.
Flimsy garden structures such as fruit cages often bear the brunt of heavy snowfall. Ideally, overhead nets should have been removed in late autumn – but often aren’t. Shake off any accumulated snow and store the nets.
Avoid pruning, watering or feeding plants at this time of year. Dormancy is what protects them from the elements, so encouraging fresh growth is not helpful.
Raise plants in pots off the ground to prevent roots from freezing, remove saucers to ensure plants don’t stand in water, and wrap the whole thing in bubble wrap or hessian if you want to be doubly sure.
Don’t walk on the lawn when it is frosty, as it damages the grass. If you have plants in the garden that already look frosted (i.e. drooping, blackened foliage), and are not sure what to do, leave them alone. They will probably die back but, if perennial, they will reshoot in spring.
It’s probably too late to revive frost-tender plants, so start making plans on what to plant in the gap next spring. This is best done indoors, by a roaring fire, with a selection of 2013 seed catalogues. Seasons seed feeder, and a bag of high-energy Supreme seed.
To enter, email competition@ naturesfeast.co.uk with “Telegraph Competition” in the subject, including your name, address and contact phone number. Winners will be picked from entries received before noon on Friday, February 1.
For more information on Nature’s Feast, call 0800 093 9123 or see naturesfeast.co.uk.
Winter friendly: knock heavy snow off evergreen plants