Tip of the Week – Preparing Your Plants for Winter

Autumn is still great growing weather right through to June…many plants adore this time. But here a few things to keep in mind to prepare your plants for the colder winter months.

faradaya splendidaCold Sensitive Plants

Put them in a warm place under cover, against a wall that reflects the winter sun. Give them as much winter sun as possible. Place away from wind exposure.

Indoor Plants

In nature of coarse there is no such plant. If the plant is sub-tropical or tropical in origin it will like humidity. So try and create humidity near the plant by sitting above but not in water in a saucer…separate the two with some pebbles. Heaters take humidity out of the air. Rotate plants outside into winter sun for 2-3 weeks. Be aware that reflection off white concrete could burn your plant.

Fertiliser

If you have not already fertilised this year give some slow release fertiliser now so the plant will have something to utilise straight away in spring which is now only 3 months away! There will not be much fertiliser uptake in winter but your plants will think winter is spring if you give them vermicaste.
Now is also a good time to apply fish and kelp fertilisers. They act as a food for the beneficial plant microbes in vermicaste.

Vermicaste

You can use vermicaste right through winter and your plants will think its spring already!! Its because vermicaste has billions of beneficial plant microbes. Just turn it into a liquid by adding water…fill a 20 litre bucket with a handful of vermicaste add a couple of cupfuls of fish/kelp for food and spray it on your plants with a weed & feed container or similar. See our video on vermicaste!

Frost

If you need to protect your plants from frost there are some options but if your plant is not frost resistant it will always be in danger. Once you know where frost hits hard you can not put plants in that area..Physical protection can be placement under eaves near buildings, under trees or putting a physical cover over the plant. Larger plants may need to be protected in this way until they grow above the frost zone. Ground frosts are measured below 0oC at ground level. Normal air temperatures are taken at 1.25m and if below 0oC are called an AirFrost. The air at 1.25m can be 5oC warmer than at ground level. So the higher your plant is off the ground the warmer the air is but it still can be frosted if its cold enough.

There are evapotranspirants that protect plants from frost. We have one here called…..
Plants can be also be protected from frost on a daily basis by spaying with sprinklers before the sun rises or using large fans to move the cold air away.

Wet & Cold

Tropical¬† & sub-tropical plants hate being soggy wet in the soil/potting mix and cold at the same time. Use a well drained potting mix with added coarse material…this is more well drained than most of the TV plant gurus know about. Do not let your tropical plants get soggy wet and cold.

 

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