Recycled packaging for overwintering tender plants.
I am going to tell you how to use a postal packaging to add insulation to your plant pots outside. These supplies are completely free and reusing them for this purpose stops them from ending up in landfill.
I am sure I’m not the only one that gets overwhelmed by the amount of non-recyclable wrappers, plastic films, padding and bubble wrap that deliveries are sent in. If like me, you’re looking for a way to reuse your "rubbish" rather than throwing it away, you’ve come to the right place. I have a handy hack for you to use it in your garden for a job that needs doing at this time of year anyway.
Sheets of bubble wrapping and wadding create fantastic frost-protection for succulents and tender perennials - meaning that you can leave them outside all winter, saving you from finding space inside to overwinter them.
By adding a layer of thermal insulation around your plants and the pots they are planted in, you’ll prevent your precious plants from becoming frozen and dying. The protection will help to keep the compost and roots warm, whilst also stopping terracotta pots from freezing and cracking.
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Here’s how to protect your plants this winter:
- Bubble wrap – I used the foiled type which came wrapped around a parcel.
- Wool padding – You’ll find this in a lot of chilled food packaging. Mine came from the cool bag in a Hello Fresh delivery.
- Horticultural fleece (optional extra) – Reuse this for as long as it lasts.
- String/twine – Biodegradable twine is best. You can also reuse plastic ties/string from your postal packaging.
- Carefully wrap fleece (if using) up and over, and around the plant. Cut back certain perennials such as Salvia amistad beforehand, and take care not to squash plants such as Echeveria.
- Tuck it in at the sides or secure with garden twine.
- Wrap the wool padding around the pot itself. Wrap tightly and tuck just under at the base if there’e enough slack. Secure with string or ties.
- Wrap the plastic bubble wrap around the pot, on top of the wool wadding. This can extend up, above the sides of the pot, around the plant for extra protection. Keep the top open.
- Secure everything with string. You can make use of (nasty) plastic string taken from postal packaging, or use a biodegradable jute twine like the kind that is on my string holders. If you're reusing plastic string like I did, make sure that you dispose of it appropriately after use, to prevent it from going into the soil.
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Top Tips -
- From time to time check on your insulated plants to make sure they’re receiving adequate rainwater, and that they’re healthy.
- If heavy snow is forecast, go round and brush it off the tops of all your plants, including the ones that are wrapped up. This will prevent them from snapping or getting damaged under the weight of the snow.
- Pull your plant pots and containers close to the house where possible. The slight overhang from the roof and the warmth from the wall will give them added protection. Some plants won’t even need added insulation if you can do this.