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Taking fleece off plants.

West Somerset, England Eng

This is probably a very silly question - but it's the first time I have had to fleece any plants down here in the mild SW of the UK. The question is - should I take the fleece off during mild spells of weather and put it back when frost is forecast, or can it just stay around the plants all the time until - say - March?




Not a silly question at all Barbara, in times of severe frosts as we have experienced recently, putting fleece on is essential, but must be taken off when it becomes mild again. I was asked by someone last year, "what has happened to my pear tree", the tree was purchased and planted in October wrapped tight in fleece which was taken off at Easter, resulting in premature growth showing the first leaves and flowers, which were immediately frosted. So off and on is the answer. Hardy plants and shrubs should be left to the elments.

12 Jan, 2009


Thanks, Docbob. It's pouring at the moment, but I'll get my raincoat on and 'un-fleece' them.

DONE! One of the new Coprosmas looks a bit unhappy, but all the other plants are fine.

12 Jan, 2009


Hopefully it will recover in the spring even from the stool, it's not hardy.
Perhaps two layers of fleece may have kept the frost out.
Hope there isn't too much damage for others on the site.

12 Jan, 2009


i am really glad you have asked this question Spritz, as i have left mine on, i too am now putting on the rain coat and getting the torch - it's already dark out there, gonna take them off, as i was thinking this just this afternoon, as the rain is'nt getting underneath them. thanks Dr.Bob

12 Jan, 2009


Oh dear, sorry to have the two of you running around in the rain, hope you won't both be down with the cold again tomorrow. You could have borrowed my wellies.Lol.

12 Jan, 2009


I hope you noticed that I 'borrowed' your brilliant method of fixing the fleece on the u-shaped canes, Angie!

If I feel up to it, I am going to the GC tomorrow to get more fleece - and canes!

Docbob, as the fleece is now soaking wet, have you any thoughts about drying it please? Would it disintegrate in the tumble drier?

12 Jan, 2009


LOL i was just thinking the same Spritz, mine is also covered in fox wee as well, so was thinking maybe a wash and dry lol. and yes i did notice Spriz, it was a good little brain wave was'nt it, think it is working really well, everything that has been under them seems fine, now having a nice does of much needed rain. and thanks Dr.B, as always good advice, and i have a pretty snazzy pair of wellies myself, but thanks all the same x

12 Jan, 2009


Well,as my wife tells me my knowledge of all things domestic are not to be relied on, I would not like to commit myself to drying the fleece in the tumble drier. Perhaps it would be best to hang them up in the shed. Wash the fox's wee out first Angie.
I've got a question, if you've used your pegs for your fleece Barbara, what are you hanging your washing up with.?
If the frost warning comes to be more than -2, double up with old newspaper rolled up underneath the fleece.

12 Jan, 2009


I'm hoping my Echium's have pulled through. I've had a peek inside and they all look alright, a bit sad but still hanging in there.

Last year I left the fleece on until march on my bannanas.
Fingers crossed all round.

12 Jan, 2009


yes i had intended to wash out the foxes wee lol just did'nt fancy hand washing! lol - gues that one will be lost on you guys, but Spritz will know. and i doubt very much that Spritz is using her pegs for washing at the moment Dr.B. that is what the tumble dryer is for lol. and thanks for the tip about newpaper, you could get quite a nice blanket full under these tents we have made. I have left the fleece on my trumpet vine Trees, as it is nailed to the wall it is climbing on, so would be a pain to keep putting it on and off, hoping that one will be ok.

12 Jan, 2009


You are spot on, Angie! Yes, I do use my tumble drier. Not very eco-friendly, I know, but quick and easy!

Docbob, do you mean just wrap the newspaper round the plant under the fleece? Not sure - sorry to be a bit dense.

12 Jan, 2009


The fleece will protect your plants down to -2, if you roll up balls of newspaper and just put under the fleece, it should give you protection up to -4, also if the wind has a high chill factor, the newspaper being denser should give more protection. Can be easily thrown away on the compost heap when it is finished with.
Hope this is clearer now.

12 Jan, 2009

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