Posted: 09/12/2012 at 16:23
I learnt my lesson a few yrs back when I lost a lot of things-
Am in Nwest & aim to have all my outside patio pots wrapped securely with bubble wrap by the end of October.
The Agapanthus & Nerine pots are all also wrapped & covered with 2 layers of fleece in a solid coldframe. The HA seedlings, those that have survived the latest slug attack are fleece covered in a 2cnd coldframe. This one is also insulated around its' sides with polystyrene sheets.
The 2 surviving dahlias & Chocolate cosmos, also in glazed pots, have been dried off still in their pots, the pot wrapped & a fleece cap tied over each They are now under a plant table in a part-glazed porch.
Had I been using the very cold greenhouse to store things this winter I would have insulated with bubble wrap the North side & bottom half of the remainder. Then any stored pots in there would have been under a couple of fleece layers & an expanding cloche. I also use that reflecting material, that you fit behind radiators on outside walls, under the bubble wrap on the N & E sides. That then is good at reflecting any light back into the greenhouse in the spring for seed sowing.
As I've cleared away any dead, dying foliage I've forked over any soil compaction & mulched with my compost as I've gone alone. No problem this yr worrying if the soil was moist! I tend to do the mulching sooner rather than later as have a lot of spring bulbs in the borders, so spring isnt the best time for me.
Any spare glazed/unglazed pots/planters have either been brushed out & stood under the greenhouse staging or put into a 3rd coldframe!
All my HH cuttings are on sills either in the porch or in a spare bedroom- but if really cold nights are expected they get moved away from the windows! Losing all my HH fuschia cuttings one yr did not go down well!
The tap to the water butt is now slightly open & the butt drained. I'll reclose it usually about the end of Feb. 1 yr I ended up with a cracked butt re the water inside freezing. Havent an outside tap to worry about.
In the 2 coldframes containing plants there are water filled plastic bottles around the inside edge acting as 'heat sumps' to keep a more even temperature in there.
Once the last border is cleared, hopefully this next week? I can curl up with seed catalogues & my new gardening books, plus a pad & pen & make plans for next season!
Oh & this yr sometime I need to clean out the greenhouse properly & same for the shed, listing what I need to buy & taking all the stuff have acculmulated that is really rubbish to the tip! May even try painting some new fence panels whilst am less likely to demolish the plants in front of them.
Who says there's nothing to do in the winter?