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Bark Chippings or Winter Plant Root Insulation For Free

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Hi - I'm just after some general advice about plant root insulation - and given the hard winter, does anyone here recommend the use of bark chippings for insulating plants?

My dad has recommended Rolawn Direct (https://www.rolawndirect.co.uk) for buying bark chippings - however, I'm not sure he fully understood the question I asked him: "Can I insulate my plants for free dad?"

Any advice very welcome.

IIDT (freezing cold, wet feet and thinking hard about whether to give up gardening.)
:sad:

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  • Sally_A
    Sally_A Posts: 2,266 Forumite
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    Best to say which types of plant you wish to insulate, and whereabouts in the UK you are.

    I don't leave "softy"plants in the garden, all those that may be affected by cold are in the greenhouse (unheated), eg, french lavender, tarragon etc.
  • alanobrien
    alanobrien Posts: 3,308 Forumite
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    As a general rule, yes wood chips as a mulch will help to insulate root stock.

    I use leaves fallen from trees mainly because they are free as i live next to a wood and most of it seems to fall into my garden in autumn :o
  • imindebttoo
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm in the North of England - near one of the National Parks, and it is usually a good 5-6 degrees colder than the weather forecast due to our feet above sea-level - hence my concern this year which has been astonishingly cold this year (as I'm sure you're aware!)

    I have already put less hardy herbs etc inside in a warmish to cool but well lit room, which gets enough warmth from the winter sun through the double glazing - and they are happy.

    Outdoors in a south facing bed we have a few evergreen shrubs which seem happy enough - we also have some mature Buddleia which I'm a little concerned about.

    I like the leaves idea - although I may have left this one a little late this time around! :(

    I've read newspaper several sheets thick held down with rocks makes a good insulating mulch?

    IIDT
  • alanobrien
    alanobrien Posts: 3,308 Forumite
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    I've read newspaper several sheets thick held down with rocks makes a good insulating mulch?
    IIDT


    Yes that will do as well.
  • choille
    choille Posts: 9,710 Forumite
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    You don' t need to worry about the roots as such unless the plants are in pots in which case dig the plant pots into a trench if you can.

    Last Winter & this we've incredibly low temps - Alright I will lose a couple of tender plants but it is amazing what will survive. Snow actually acts as insulation.

    Thought I'd lost a fancy fushia last year but it came back from the roots in late May when it really did look dead.
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