Mon, 12 Nov 2007 13:19:23 PST
One subscriber mentioned concerns about frosts but in fact, growing plants as I do in northern Scotland where we had a -4C on the 19th June, frost is not the so much the problem as might be imagined. The real damage is done by direct sun light shining on frozen - frosted tissues. In very simplistic terms, the stomata moisture, like water in a household water pipe, expands when frozen and if this is heated up by sunshine which acts through the frost as a magnifying lens is the 'bit' that does most damage. One simple cure if confronted with a situation that is concerning on a morning is to fill a watering can with mildly warm water and melt off the frost before the sun shines on it. 

Here I plant things which might be prone to damage on a north facing hillside or part of a rockery or a group of trees or shrubs. This allows the sun to raise the ambient temperature of the air before it shines directly onto the plants leaves, etc. We always plant things like creepers and climbers, including roses, on the north side of the tree they are trained up so that even if the higher branches etc are affected the species can recover from lower down. Another tactic is to cover susceptible material with what we call 'fleece' its really a gossamer like sheet bought from the horticultural wholesalers - an ordinary bed linen or dish towel will do in emergencies, and it also gets used here in the autumn to keep leaf litter and conifer needles off the plant pots in the sales area.  I hope some of the above is of use to somebody. Our first snows have arrived but will soon be gone back and forth until back with a vengeance in a few weeks, all in the aid of Santa having a trouble free ride. Right now if he sticks to the high tops he should do OK, so much for global warming, maybe somewhere but not here.


More information about the pbs mailing list