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

  1. #17
    TENroaches's Avatar
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    My big pots are probably a foot tall and a little over a foot across, I'd guess. I have no intension of leaving them off the ground outside for winter. The only heat source is the ol' earth at night, and they'd surely freeze away from it.
    Tim

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  2. #18
    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    Actually, geothermal heat is at a constant 54 F. If you can dig them into the ground somehow that will keep their roots warm.

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    Great discussion guys! I am preparing for my CP's first winter in zone 4-5 and I have to say I am a bit worried about what my game plan is also.

    Hopefully a cold basement can work for me. I'm planning at this point to put plants against a south wall of our unfinished basement and insulate with faom packing.

    Perhaps you could sell your parents on a cheap flourescent strip to mount on your garage shelving? Not great for spectrum or intensity, but maybe enough for sleepy plants. However, I would not increase lighting time to make up for weak intensity as extra light hours might confuse your plants.
    My Grow/Want Lists
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  4. #20
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    I didn't have the time to read thru this entire thread,
    however I noticed your VFT's are still trying to grow, but lacking in enough light to do them much good.
    It shows that they are not yet going dormant enough to stop growth.
    It isn't that they need light during dormancy, however it shows that they are not dormant yet!
    Thus, I don't understand why you are "saving them" & other plants from experiencing the short freezing temps overnight....
    for it is the cold temps (warm days, cold nights, short days, etc.) that will put them properly into dormancy.

    Not suggesting you are doing anything wrong, but trying to help you realize that some cold (even a bit of freezing) is not the enemy!

    My other thought is to try a few plants in one location, a few elsewhere, etc. It is the first few winters where you will learn a lot!
    Like what works best! There is no way around that, if you are going to master this. Besides, with a few here & others there & so on,
    if one area does poorly, you won't lose your entire collection. Its like putting all your eggs in one basket otherwise.

    As none of us lives there with you, only you will be able to figure out what is best..... and experience will help greatly.
    Wouldn't eant to see you loosing everything with one method that was "supposed to work" but didn't!

    We have all been there at one point, and it seems others who haven't will be in a similar spot as you too...
    so you are not alone in this situation.
    Good luck!
    Last edited by GrowinOld; 09-30-2012 at 08:09 AM.
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  5. #21
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpbobby View Post
    well the sarracenia, vfts and perhaps some of your sundews are temperate so they should survive the winter.
    Not in Pittsburgh..

    Tim, ignore all suggestions of keeping your plants outdoors in the winter..Virginia and Oregon climates simply do not apply to you.
    what people can do there has zero relation to what you can do in Pittsburgh.

    From reading everything you have posted, IMO your best option, by far, is inside the garage for the winter..
    put them up against one of the walls that the garage shares with the house, away from the garage door, and they will probably be fine..
    MUCH better odds than being outside! dont worry about the cold as garage doors open and close..as long as the doors are closed at all times except when a car is going in or out, thats closed doors 99.9% of the day and night..

    Don't worry about light..your plants will be "fully dormant", not growing at all, and will not need light.
    (I have been over-wintering my Sarrs and VFT's in complete darkness and 35 degrees F for almost 20 years..they do just fine)

    yes, your garage might be a bit too cold, but I bet they will be fine..
    the garage is probably much warmer than you think, especially being attached to the house.
    If you are still worried about the cold, you could "wrap them up" tight in plastic, like I do, sit the pots up against the "heated" wall (getting warmth from inside the house)
    then cover the pots in old blankets or some such material, to hold in what little warmth they get from the wall..
    get two or three cheap thermometers and scatter them around the storage area, to keep an eye on things.

    for the ideas on the "wrapping up" process, check out my webpage,
    here: http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/sco.../CP/page2.html

    and here: http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/sco...CP/page5c.html

    Sarrs and VFT's do fine in the low 30's..and even a light freeze or two wont harm them..
    I think your garage will probably work fine..its the best option you have! I bet you can make it work..

    Scot

  6. #22
    TENroaches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrowinOld View Post
    I didn't have the time to read thru this entire thread,
    however I noticed your VFT's are still trying to grow, but lacking in enough light to do them much good.
    It shows that they are not yet going dormant enough to stop growth.
    Are you going by the pictures of my VFTs last spring, not currently? The pictures in the garage are not current; they were just to show how the shelves are not ideal in the garage because of lack of light. My VFTs haven't been inside yet at all this fall.
    Tim

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  7. #23
    TENroaches's Avatar
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    Thanks, Scottychaos. I never trimmed off still-green pitchers for winter before, but I'm going to have to if I intend to fit my plants on a shelving unit.

    I do have a few digital thermometers I've used int he past to monitor temps. Even when it does get below freezing, if a hot car comes home from somewhere, it warms it up a bit in the garage, so that should help.

    Tell me if this is a problem, though: If I bring them inside in the garage once it gets too cold outside for them, it's going to be warmer inside than they were at outside. Think that matters?

    Thanks
    Tim

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  8. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TENroaches View Post

    Tell me if this is a problem, though: If I bring them inside in the garage once it gets too cold outside for them, it's going to be warmer inside than they were at outside. Think that matters?

    Thanks
    No, not a problem..
    yes, inside the garage will always be generally warmer than outside the garage, but in the Autumn, temps fluctuate all over the place..you can have one day at 45 degrees and 75 degrees the next, but the plants aren't "fooled" by an autumn warm spell..they generally know what season it is.
    So yeah, I see your point, but it simply wont be an issue..

    wait until late October, or until the might-time temps start to fall below freezing on a regular basis..if its 10 degrees warmer in the garage in the autumn, that wont be a big deal at all..the important thing is that the garage stays generally 35 to 45 all winter, which it probably will..

    Scot

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