Cold Cultivation: How to Look After Your Hedges in Winter

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While your garden plants may thrive during the warmer months, you may be concerned for their welfare once winter arrives. There may be ways that you can protect your hedges from issues when the weather is colder, as well as take note of wildlife that may have decided to call your hedgerows their home. In doing so, you might be able to make things easier for your hedges to grow once more, and even make your garden a positive place for wildlife to spend time.

look after your hedges in winter

Consider When to Trim

It can be tempting to continue to trim your hedging even when the cold weather is upon you. Some species, such as a Griselinia hedge, may not fare well in exceptionally cold climates, but may still be content in a semi-cold winter garden. That being said, it could be useful to avoid trimming them. Doing your research can allow you to figure out when it is best to trim a hedge, most commonly in the spring or summer. Trimming them in the winter could lead to a lot of stress on the plant, or even potentially stunt its growth for the next season. In the worst cases, it may even be possible to kill the hedge, especially if you wanted to cut it back quite significantly.

Find Ways to Prevent Frost Damage

As with many plants, the frost can damage the cells of the hedge through repetitive thawing and freezing. This could jeopardise the health of the plant. Rather than leaving it to see if it manages to last the winter, you could instead look into the ways you can stop this frost damage from occurring in the first place. While the placement of your hedge can be important, it may not be feasible for you to continuously move the plant dependent on the time of year.

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Instead, you could opt to cover it with horticultural fleecing that can help to insulate it. Mulching the roots could also add an additional layer of protection at the base, and even enable your plant to remain hydrated.

Check Around the Hedging

It isn’t just the hedging itself that you need to pay close attention to in the winter. Local wildlife may also value the protection it gives them from both the elements and their predators. Before you rake leaves or alter the soil, you may want to check that there are no animals using your hedge as a place to safely hibernate. Should you find an animal curled up beneath your hedging, you may want to try and figure out if it is either hibernating or deceased before you attempt to move it. If it is merely sleeping, you may want to refrain from clearing that section of hedging for the remainder of the winter, until the animal has woken up and moved on. 

Looking after your hedging in the winter can be beneficial to both the plant itself and nature as a whole. Educating yourself now could allow you to cause less harm to your garden.

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