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11 messages
10/11/2013 at 14:05

I have a pergola, If I put all my pot plants in the middle and the put fleece or bubble wrap all around the outside of the down posts would it suffice in keeping the plants frost free, also I imagine I would need to cover the top at night. Which would be preferable, bubble wrap or fleece.

10/11/2013 at 14:11

It won't keep them frost free.  It will be like a cold GH with less light.

What plants do you want to protect?

10/11/2013 at 14:17

There are a miniature cherry tree, hebe's,  clematis and a potted climbing rose. most ofmy other plants I have just wrapped bubble wrap around the pots but it was just an idea if might give more protection, I have lost hebe's in the past both in the ground and in pots.

10/11/2013 at 14:54

I raked the autumn leaves over my outdoor pots yesterday, and this morning there was fron on the lawn, but not on the leaves. I think I chose a good spot. That is what autumn leaves are for, though, right? The trees drop them to keep their seedlings warm, don't they?

10/11/2013 at 17:11

You'll probably be OK finty, they're not tender. But make sure it's not too dark in there.

Outside, right up against the house gives a lot of protection as an alternative, wrapping the pots to protect the roots but leaving the top open.

10/11/2013 at 18:07

I'm with nutcutlet on the 'right up against the house'. Just check the pots for moisture (occassionally). The eaves and walls of a house can be quite a 'rain shadow'. Unless your house has extremely efficient insulation there will always be some heat leakage. A south facing wall (if not shaded by anything) will capture whatever winter warmth there is from the low sun.

Problems I've encountered when overwintering 'hardy' plants in containers hasn't necessarily been with sub-zero temperatures. Low single figures plus rain can lead to prolonged waterlogging of the compost in containers (dependant on compost, container type and any drainage 'enhancements). The roots start to rot, and that is a very good way of killing off any plant

10/11/2013 at 21:30

Up until this year I have just wrapped individual pots and most have been successful  apart from Hebes I just wondered if it would give sufficiant protection without doing all seperate. we have had such severe winters here lasting for days and almost the whole garden is a frost pocket I could put half by the house and the other surround with fleece and see what happens. If we have a warm winter so much the better apart from the bugs etc.

10/11/2013 at 21:37

I did an experiment one year with half plants against the house and half in the cold GH. Those outside the house did better

10/11/2013 at 21:49

Hebes as a genus of plant are perhaps not that long lived. "The genus is named after the Greek goddess of youth". A lot of them don't like prolonged sub-zero temperatures. That is a trait that many (broadleaf) evergreens exhibit - watch for the wilting leaves when it gets frosty. The ground freezes, the roots can't draw moisture and the result is almost like drought. I can think of some hebe species that won't curl up there toes in sub-zero, but there are others who could be susceptible. In my experience H. rakaiensis is almost indestructible (unless hard pruned). Larger leaved hebes can be a little more susceptible to cold winters.

10/11/2013 at 23:22
nutcutlet wrote (see)

I did an experiment one year with half plants against the house and half in the cold GH. Those outside the house did better

I second that.

A cold GH can be colder than outside, and for longer, in winter. I find the biggest killer in GH's is moulds causing dieback/death, esp with seedlings.

11/11/2013 at 07:19

My stuff in pots is overwintered 'up against the house wall' on the terrace, pots up on feet or bricks making sure that drainage holes are clear and bubble wrap around the pots.  

Every thing of note survived last winter which was about as cold and as wet as it could get around here - but  a couple of ornamental pots crumbled a bit.  

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