Take steps to protect your patio plants

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1. Lag outdoor pots of permanent plants with bubble wrap or hessian before persistent cold weather freezes the soil within the pots. If the compost freezes, the moisture turns to ice and the plants will die of lack of water.

2. Stand containers of spring-flowering bulbs in a sheltered spot close to the house on pot feet, so persistent rain doesn’t rot the bulbs.

3. If you have emptied your pots, give them a good clean with disinfectant and put them in the shed, to stop any spores or bacteria over-wintering and affecting plants you pot up next year.