November 2, 2008
Putting the plants away for the winter!
Probably the single "busiest" day of the entire "CP year" has arrived again..
the annual "putting the plants to bed day"..
I always leave the plants out as long as possible..late October or early November..
until nights start falling below freezing on a regular basis..
This year the date is November 2.
there have been a few frosts already, I just left the plants out in the first few light frosts,
its fine, they can handle it.
but we did get a few lows during the last few weeks that dipped down to a around 27F (negative 3C),
so I did move the plants into the garage for those nights.
about a week ago I took the plants out of their water trays, and I tipped the bogs on their side to drain:
I do this so the media isnt soaking wet all winter..I want them to be slightly drier over the winter than during the growing season..
so I give them a week or so to dry out a little bit..
then..the big event..CUTTING away of all the growth!
I do this because the plants are wrapped tight in plastic all winter, they are in pitch-darkness, 35 degree (+2C) temps,
and they simply do NOT grow all winter..at all.
they dont need their leaves, and all that extra greenery would only encourage fungus to grow,
so I snip everything away, right down to the ground.
the bogs are lined up, ready to go:
the scissors come out, and after about 45 minutes of cutting, we have this!
All those lovely pitchers, and all the nutritious bugs they still contain, go into the compost pile, to feed next years flower gardens:
Now its time for the wrapping..
I use regular black plastic trash bags, stick the bogs in sideways:
Twist up the ends of the bag so its air-tight, and tape it down with regular clear plastic packing tape:
In addition to the three mini-bogs (which contain only Sarracenia and VFT's)
I also have four other pots that need to join the bogs in dormancy.
One D. binata clump, a D. filliformis, a S. flava 'veinless' and the big S. minor clump:
Open up the stairwell and clean out all the spider webs with a broom:
Put all the plants in place:
Close both doors..and the plants are ready to snooze away the next three and a half months..they wont be seen again
until the middle of February. (I sometimes check the temp over the winter, but its always nice and cool..and even when
its 0 degrees F outside (negative 18 C) its still around 35F (+2C) inside their little chamber..its perfect!)
the view from outside the stairwell:
Its also the day for putting away the rain water collector, it wont be needed again until spring:
the "normal" downspout is replaced, and the water bin is cleaned out and stored in the shed for the winter.
The "CP corner" on the deck looks barren and lonely:
And the trees are ready for winter too:
Autumn is a short season around here..it only lasts about 6 weeks,
and by November 1st, its pretty much over, and winter is here.
And thats it for the 2008 growing season!
but its not the end of the "year in the life"!
there are still 3.5 months to go in the year..
They plants have merely started their "fourth quarter"..
only 75% of the year is over..the remaining 25% is very important to the long-term
health of the plants..
now we wait for winter to pass by...