Gardening Q&A: how can I protect my fruit trees from frost?

Is there anything else you could suggest I use to protect my fruit plants from the frost?
Question: Each winter I try and protect my potted fruit trees (a fig, Victoria plum and blueberry bushes) wrapping them with garden fleece and securing it with cord and pegs. However, every year when it is windy, the fleece unravels exposing the vulnerable branches to frost and again I have to put the fleece back on. I have also used hessian sacking on my plum tree, but the branches tend to poke through the material.
Is there anything else you could suggest I use to protect my plants from the frost (and is also wind resistant)?

Answer: Plants in containers can be more vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather, but it is mainly the roots that may need some protection. Hessian or bubblewrap can be used to wrap the containers, should long term frozen conditions be forecast.  Bluberries and plums are hardy, so usually need no protection.

The overwintering fig fruit and shoots are vulnerable to extreme cold, so move to a sheltered position or create a frame with canes and peg a double layer of fleece to the canes. To prevent the canes piercing the fleece, use cane tops, or recycled bottles or cans. 

The plum is totally hardy, but the blossom is not, so protection would only be needed for a relatively short amount of time. A similar framework to the fig could be used. Horticultural fleece is still the best material as long as it is a reasonable thickness. 30mg is available and heavier duty than many.

Send your questions for the RHS to:

Only a few questions per month can be answered. For further advice on handling problems in your garden, visit

Follow us on Twitter @HomesProperty and Facebook