Getting set for winter

With herbaceous plants ill-equipped to survive the British winter, has outlined several ways to protect plants and save money.

Geraniums can be protected by uprooting and placing them in a plastic bag.

Once moved, the soil around the roots will dry out and fall away, at which point gardeners are advised to tie the bag loosely and put the plant into storage.

A water spray can be used on the roots if checks reveal shrivelling, and opening it up regularly will release moisture and discourage mould. Replanting can take place when spring arrives.

Dahlias should be uprooted either after the winters first frost or when they first flower, trimmed to six-inch stems and then hung upside down for several days to dry.

Soil should then be removed and the plants placed in a tray of dry horticultural sand, only watering in the winter if tubers start to become dry.

Chrysanthemums can be dealt with in the same way, using moist compost instead of sand.

Gardeners with a greenhouse can simply move their plants here for the duration of the winter months.