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Are Your Plants Feeling Cold?

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Published: Monday, January 30, 2012, 11:18 [IST]

Are Your Plants Feeling Cold?

Plants feel cold in different ways from human beings but dropping temperature affects plants just as much as us. We can wear sweaters and put room heaters in the house but what about our poor green friends who are left out in the cold to battle nature? Winter gardening, thus has its own rules and ethics. To help your plants, especially the perennials (as special winter plants are adapted to live in cold weather) combat the falling mercury levels you have to understand how they are being affected.

How Does Cold Affect Plants?

1. Frosty Soil: What Happens when it snows in winter? You can dig it up and drive your car but how will the roots survive the frost. If your plant is an old one with really deep roots to draw up water then such plants will survive the cold. But for young plants, it gets really tough to get water from the frosty hard soil. So avoid planting around this time.

2. Water Or Ice: Watering potted plants also becomes a bit of a challenge because in really cold regions of Canada, the water itself will make the soil more frosty and your plant may die of frost bites! In that case you have to use slightly warmed water for winter gardening so that it gets a chance to get absorbed.

3. No Sunlight No Food: The dropping temperatures plants can deal with, but what about sunlight that is essential for photosynthesis? Some parts of the world (UK) don't see the sun at all for the dark winter months.

4. Potted Plants? Potted plants are more difficult to handle during the winter. The plants on earth can be left to fend for themselves because they have lots of soil at their disposal. The potted plants with limited soil pose a bigger problem.

How Can You Help Plants In Cold Weather?

1. Over Wintering Potted Plants: This is a method to protect potted plants in cold weather. You have to scoop them up from the pot and plant them in a sheltered spot in your garden. This gives them access to more soil. Another trick of winter gardening is to add more soil to a bigger pot.

2. Take Them In: Just like you don't leave your pets out in the cold, extend the kindness to your plants too because they just as 'living' as you are. Plants can be protected from snow storms or direct impact of cold this way.

3. Green House Garden: You can build a greenhouse in your garden for the cold months. The green house effect (green tinted glass) basically traps the heat from the sunlight and does not let it escape.

4. Artificial Lights: Plants need 'light' for photosynthesis and it does not essentially have to be sunlight (though that is the best). You have to put really strong lights in your garden to help your plants make food.

Use these gardening tips to care for your plants in cold weather.

Topics: garden, gardening
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