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Preparing containers for winter

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Question from Sybil

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I have lots of pots, mostly on wheeled stands, some are on the patio, some on decking. Has anyone any advice on the best way to protect them in case we have a bad winter. I dont have a greenhouse. Bubble wrap of course, but are they better standing off the wheels or on the wheels and are they better on wood or stone. Some are so large that I will have to take a chance with them anyway.

  • Views: 584
  • Replies: 3
  • Posted: Sun. 7th October 2012 10:56

Re: Preparing containers for winter

Reply from Angie Robertson

Sybil
One of the main reasons that plants kept in containers die during the winter is the fact that the moisture in the compost/soil freezes therefore it is important that you keep your containers raised from the ground to allow for drainage - eg on their wheeled stands.
I wrap my containers in bubble wrap - this adds insulation which stops the compost/roots from freezing.
I also huddle all my pots together - which adds further protection.
Wrapping the plants with fleece will also provide protection.
In my borders - I protect some of my plants with an upturned cheap wire hanging basket filled with straw (not hay) - I am going to try this on a couple of containers as an experiment this year - obviously these wont cover larger speciments but should work a treat on some of my smaller pots of perennials.
You could also consider placing some of your pots nearer to the walls of the house - again a bit more protection. Do you have a garden table you could put some under?
I keep pots on stone/decking and gravel - I can't say I notice any difference.
I hope this helps.
Cheers
Angie

  • Posted: Sun. 7th October 2012 16:04

Re: Re: Preparing containers for winter

Reply from Sybil

Angie
Thank you very much for you advice. I was thinking of putting some of the pots along a narrow passage at the end of an extension we had built. It is very sheltered but may not catch a lot of rain. Do you ever find that you need to water pots during the winter?
Sybil

  • Posted: Wed. 10th October 2012 10:05

Re: Re: Re: Preparing containers for winter

Reply from Angie Robertson

Sybil
Up here in Scotland - the need for watering pots during the winter has never arisen :))
If you find you do need to water - just be very cautious - excess water will freeze and cause problems at the root.
Bear in mind what plants you have in your containers - herbaceous perennial and deciduous shurbs will be dormant so will need nothing.
We have had our first frosts up here - the last 2 days. I was out today bubble wrapping the pots in which I keep my Acers and storing them round the side of the house, not an easy job as some of them are heavy. Larger ones will be left where they are.
I hope it's not too cold where you are yet!
Regards
Angie

  • Posted: Wed. 10th October 2012 16:07