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Preparing your garden for snow

Preparing your garden for snow

The last few years, the UK has seen its fair share of wintery flurries. There are a few easy things you can do to protect your garden during these cold snaps. Many of the plants that are grown in our gardens are perfectly hardy and, if growing in the ground, are not damaged by low temperatures. However, there are some easy ways to give your garden extra protection against snow fall.


1. If you have a greenhouse or poly tunnel check to make sure there are no cracked panes of glass or rips in polythene. Heavy falls of snow can make this worse. Any lying snow should be cleared from these as soon as possible to prevent the structures from buckling under the weight.

2. Replace torn felt on shed roofs to ensure that your shed stays dry when snow melts.

3. Make sure that you have adequate supplies of paraffin for your greenhouse heater!


Round up any empty containers and store them in a frost free place until they are needed in the spring.

Ponds and Birdbaths

1. Use a pond heater to stop the water from freezing if you have fish.

2. Placing a tennis ball in your birdbath may prevent the water from freezing but remember to supply fresh water each day, along with food during snowy weather.


1. Many evergreens have a mechanism that makes their leaves droop in very cold weather. This helps the plant to shed snow and prevents branches being broken if it should build up.

2. Upright growing evergreens such as conifers and clipped Box should have their branches tied together during the winter to prevent snow from breaking them or bending them out of shape.

3. Lying snow can be gently knocked off plants with a broom or bamboo cane to prevent the branches from being broken or bent out of shape.


Make sure that you have a supply of rock salt available to spread on paths that you use regularly.

Remember that snow is not always a bad thing for your garden. Many pests are killed by a spell of hard weather and lying snow insulates plants against freezing winds. Many plants are held in a state of suspended animation through the winter months and will almost always grow away in the spring once the temperature rises.