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Protecting shrubs against frost

There are two reasons why one should take frost protection seriously in February: Firstly, because solar radiation, which is now already stronger again, ensures powerful daytime heating at times – and therefore in combination with severe night-time frosts represents an often fatal contrast to the daytime temperatures. Secondly, because the frozen ground (regardless of whether this is the earth in the garden or the soil in the pot) makes it impossible for the plants to take up water from it. Evergreens in particular are therefore now particularly at risk of drying out.

And in both cases you are on the safe side if you proceed as follows:

Protect sensitive plants, such as espalier fruit in front of walls (especially white walls which reflect a large amount of sunlight!), pricked out figs, but also exposed roses and evergreen leafy shrubs, against strong sun radiation and daytime heating by shading them with felt and straw mats. With smaller plants it is sometimes also sufficient to densely pack them in spruce brushwood.

These measures are also useful for thirsty evergreens. In addition, with these you have to ensure throughout the winter season that the evergreens are not standing in too dry conditions. If there is a risk of a period of frost, water these plants again copiously (approximately ten litres of water per square metre) so that they can soak up sufficient water again before the onset of frost. They are thus better protected against the drying-out effects of the weather conditions.

Tip: In the case of winter planted tub arrangements, ensure that not only the plants are protected against frost but that the plant container itself is also frost-resistant (for example frost-proof plastic, frost-proof fired earthenware, siliconised terracotta). Such containers can also be cracked by frost if you do not ensure that excess water can reliably flow out of the pots. Therefore, either place the containers on ceramic feet or place small strips of wood underneath. In this case, however, ensure that the container is stable and cannot tip over.

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