Get tender plants under cover now

Protect your special pompom dahlias. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
Protect your special pompom dahlias. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

November 6 brought a dawn whiteness to the lawn, the pond was frozen over for the first time in ages, and healthy foliage on border dahlias was reduced to a black, gooey mass overnight.

Summer was over for the large pots of citrus fruits, which had stood since early June in a sheltered, south-facing spot outdoors.

They welcomed the sack-barrow journey to a holding place in the unheated greenhouse.

And there’s still room there for a few more ‘late’ chrysanthemums, which are about to be rescued from the elements.

It’s high time to find room under cover for any plants you know to be tender.

You should also offer on-the-spot protection to those that are too big to move or which are completely immobile in huge pots.

Straw, bracken, bubble film or fleece, firmly fixed in position, might not look particularly attractive, but it should help your precious plants to survive all that winter brings.

At ground level, straw weighed down by a mound of soil offers a degree of warmth to globe artichoke crowns and dahlia tubers.