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Thread: Help Me Brainstorm How to Keep Plants Through Winter -- Not Inside -- Frugally

  1. #9

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    After a couple of good freezes, cut the tops off all the big sars and shluup them, and any other temperates you need to store, to a friends or relatives garage. Unheated works okay, if its connected to a lived in house, I think it works better. Heated garages only work if its kept just a little above freezing. If it gets to warm your plants will get confused and come out of dormancy early, which will suck in December. Find a nice safe place for them out of everybody's way and check on them every few weeks. Keep just moist. If you notice any mold then spray with a anti-fungal. Don't worry about light, since they will be dormant they will be fine. In the spring they get to go back to a nice sunny spot and all is right with the world. As for the subtropical dews, since they don't really do the dormancy thing, they probably would have to go on the grow rack in the garage you mentioned. By the way, nice looking plants. Wish I had that much sun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ57 View Post
    Yeah, the cost of a heated storage unit may be cost-prohibitive. In your situation with options limited, I would dig some holes in a protected area and bury the pots and mulch the top. If you get freezing winds, cover the pitchers of the sarrs (if you leave them on) with black plastic until the winds die down. As for the capes, if you end up losing yours over winter...I can replace them come spring as I will have plenty.

    Another option is to check with local nurseries and see if they might lend you some space in one of their temperate greenhouses?
    Protected area.... I'd forgotten about wildlife if I bury the plants under mulch in the woods. Wildlife is the whole reason I have chicken wire up. A raccoon (I think) shredded some of my plants two years ago, so I wanted to be extra careful.

    I could hold onto billions of my cape seeds, but that wouldn't give me any grown plants come Spring. I'll definitely keep your offer in mind if I manage to not have any cape survivors. Thanks.
    Tim

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  3. #11
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    First off, beautiful plants! Smart to use the chicken wire.

    You're right, you deffinately don't want to leave them outside unless they are put in the ground and mulched. Assuming your garage gets pretty cold, I would just put them in the garage for the winter. Any reason that wont work?

    ...and then put your capensis in a sunny window for the winter?
    Da' mishu
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    My Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...29#post1089429

  4. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpbobby View Post
    Not sure how soon your cold season starts in Pittsburgh but you have already solved a third of your problems....you don't necessarily need to keep it warm just above freezing I would imagine except for that one plant you mentioned......You should definitely consider foster care for that one perhaps at a friends house.

    Lastly, depending on how understanding your parents are you could construct a makeshift hothouse if there are any windows close to ground or porch level. With the use of wood or plastic or whatever and plastic sheeting you kinda make an extension off of one of your windows and seal it. Then after it is sealed simply open the window and temperature control is basically leeched from your furnace. Not sure if it is viable but just throwing it out there.
    Winter's is beginning to start. Had a frost advisory the other night. A major advantage of having the plants at home with me is I can put them in the sun during the day and back in if the nights freeze or frost, coming into winter and into spring. Last year or the year before, my VFTs started putting out bean sprout-colored growth in the garage, because they wanted to grow and it was still cold outside. So I'd put them out during the day and back in at night. They needed the additional light.

    My parents wouldn't go for that good window idea. I'm not sure I even have a window that'd work well with, other than on the front of the house on the porch, and that'd look pretty bad. :-\
    Tim

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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by richjam1986 View Post
    First off, beautiful plants! Smart to use the chicken wire.

    You're right, you deffinately don't want to leave them outside unless they are put in the ground and mulched. Assuming your garage gets pretty cold, I would just put them in the garage for the winter. Any reason that wont work?

    ...and then put your capensis in a sunny window for the winter?
    My garage gets plenty cold. It gets below freezing, which is a worry for me. It's attached to heated rooms on two sides, but still gets below freezing, but not too far, and probably not for very long at a time.

    I may be able to fit all my plants on shelves in there. I'm not permitted to keep plants inside in living areas, so capensis in a sunny window wouldn't work, at least not in my house. Maybe a friend's.

    Hmmm, I just remembered there's storage space above the garage, which might be warmer than the garage, because half of it is directly over the heated family room. There's no window, but it may be a possibility if space is an issue in the garage.

    If I can fit every dormant plant in or above the garage, I won't have to take my mom's advice to "put them on craigslist for free."
    Tim

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  6. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsmanshorn View Post
    In the spring they get to go back to a nice sunny spot and all is right with the world. As for the subtropical dews, since they don't really do the dormancy thing, they probably would have to go on the grow rack in the garage you mentioned. By the way, nice looking plants. Wish I had that much sun!
    That's the big advantage of getting to keep them at home; I can put them out when the days get warmer and still bring them in at night for the freezing or frosty nights. It's a lot of work, and I found out the other day that the pots get brittle in the sun (nepenthes fell into a big mess in my house when I was trying to sneak him back out after sneaking him in for the frost advisory). The rack in my garage isn't really a "grow" rack. It's a rack full of garage-type stuff, like wasp spray and weed killer, so I'd have to move all that to put my plants on there. And there's no light above it, just a north-facing glass block window next to it. the plants in the back of the rack don't get any light from it.







    My blog entry about my garage plants.
    Tim

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  7. #15
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    I took all my temperate plants into my garage last winter, and put them on a windowsill. I have winters that are exactly the same as yours, and this was fine. I think they may have even wanted it colder. Our winters are very very cold, so I doubt leaving them outside will keep your plants alive.

  8. #16
    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    How big are the large pots? If you keep them raised off of the ground like that they'll freeze much faster than if they were placed on the ground. You could always wrap them with some sort of plastic insulation.
    I'm not that much further south than you are, and I leave all of my temperates outside for the winter, even S. psittacina. All do perfectly fine.

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