Now is the time to protect tender or half-hardy plants that are growing in pots. Move them into a warmer spot to make sure they are shielded from frost. A greenhouse or unheated porch is ideal. Next, if you have any spare containers now is a good time to plant them up with hardy, colourful evergreens and winter-flowering plants.
Look out for flowering plants like pansies and cyclamen, colourful evergreens like heather and conifer and even berrying shrubs like gaultheria and pernettya.
The key thing with containers over winter is to prevent waterlogging. Soggy compost will rot and kill roots, so make sure excess rainwater can drain away. The top trick is to lift containers off the ground and onto pot feet. This creates a gap between the bottom of the pot and the ground to stop soil blockages.
You can buy pot feet from most garden centres. Or you can use wine corks – they are great at creating a gap to help water drain. The only problem is that if you have a lot of pots, you’re going to need to drink a lot of wine!
But you should also check containers that are up against the walls of your house. Because they sit underneath the eaves, they often don’t get as much rainfall as containers out in the open. If we have a dry spell you may need to water them over the winter.