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How can I prepare my perennial herbs/veggies for winter? Do I need to cover them to keep them safe from frost?

I would like to know if I need to protect my herbs in winter from frost (TAS), e.g. cover them with mulch or anything else?
Will I need to worry about my lemongrass, which I only planted in November or should it survive the cold?
I also have some young fruit trees (lemon, olive, apples, hazelnut, oranges, plum - some of which look very fragile with brownish leaves) I only planted in October/November? Will I need to protect them in any way from the frost?

Submitted: 02:39PM, 26 Mar 2015
Answer: Frosts can be devastating to a garden although plants do have strategies to survive frost. You don’t need to be too concerned about your deciduous trees like your apple, hazelnut and plum they will be losing their leaves in preparation for winter.
Your citrus may need some protection from frost, you can do this by placing four tall stakes around the trees and placing some shade cloth over the top and down the sides a short way to protect the leaves from overhead frost.
Your olives should be tolerant of the temperatures you receive in Launceston. To help it cope it is best to keep it well watered but not too much. This link explains the it well http://www.oliveaustralia.com.au/About_Olive_Trees/Frost_Damage/frost_damage.html
Your lemon grass may be damaged by frosts, it is hard to completely cover a lemon grass plant (with cloth), if you are only getting minor damage to the tips of the leaves wait until the worst frosts are over then trim them back and you should get new growth. It is important to leave the damaged tips as they will help to protect the centre of the plant from further frost damage.
For your perennial herbs each plant has different frost hardiness, in general you shouldn’t mulch over the plants as this will kill them or leave to diseases, frosts also tends to settle on mulch if you remove the mulch during the day and replace it at night you will conserve more heat in the ground.
Answered: 09:30AM, 07 Apr 2015

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