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Glassing It Over

AndrewR

By AndrewR

10 comments


Many alpines come from open positions high up in the mountains, well above the tree line. While they are used to surviving hostile conditions, autumn and winter in the UK can be a testing time for them. Soggy leaves can cause rotting while our generally wet winters with mild spells lead to freezing and thawing, can damage delicate resting crowns or rosettes. In the wild, they come from areas with low winter rainfall, or are protected from the elements by a blanket of snow.

With this in mind, the easiest way to protect alpines, especially if they are all growing together in an alpine bed, is to cover them to keep the rain off while still allowing a good circulation of air. One way to achieve this is by using panes of glass, supported by bricks. Using this method, every plant in my alpine bed came through the test of last winter – I can recommend it.

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Comments

 

great tip and very useful, thanks Andrew

1 Dec, 2011

 

Thank you. I've done it with the thyme in my herb garden. I've got some alpines to go in a trough next year, and I'm keeping them in a cold frame for now. I'll cover the trough with glass next winter.

1 Dec, 2011

 

Sound advice, Andrew. I am pleased to see that you have bricks on top of the glass as well as beneath it. I have serious problems with the wind lifting glass covers off. It is not fun picking glass shards from amongst the precious alpines beneath.

1 Dec, 2011

 

Thats a very good tip Andrew, I have pets so wouldn`t use glass but plastic would work along the same lines I guess, thankyou....

1 Dec, 2011

 

A very useful tip, did it last year and all ours survived.......

1 Dec, 2011

 

I'm a bit shy of glass - it tends to be heavy and doesn't bounce! and there's the problem of where to store it safely while not in use. I suppose sheets of clear plastc would do the same job? Or even hoops with flexibl clear plastic over the top, leaving the sides and ends open?

10 Feb, 2012

 

Yes Fran, anything to keep the rain or snow off to stop water getting into the crowns and freezing

10 Feb, 2012

 

thanks dear! *starts inventing a trough-cover* - ha, just thought of this, Arc de Trough????

10 Feb, 2012

 

Oh clever Fran.......could be a winner!!

11 Feb, 2012

 

pity one can't patent an idea! i'll have to fudge a prototype to take to the Patent Office. but that's got me thinking ...

11 Feb, 2012

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