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Thread: Moveable Gardens

  1. #1

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    As a military family member, we are often called upon to move at what seems like the drop of a hat. They say move, we say how fast. For now, I have my VFT's set up in my sun room. Its actually more of a mud room, lots of big windows that open to allow air, and great sunshine most of the day, but I would really like to get some of my plants outside. I will be here for two and a half more years ( I hope ) and when I go I will need an easy way to pack up all my babies to move. Any suggestions for outdoor planters that work? Any insight into keeping them outdoors in pots for extended periods of time? And mostly, how traumatic will it be for them to go from outside in Ohio to outside the next year in Georgia? Or is indoor the best place to keep them so avoid unneccessary stress on them?

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    There is a forum member called Entwined Scylla who has expressed the same approach for a portable minibog. Basically, a place like Home Depot or Lowes sells large, round planters and whiskey barrels that can easily be converted to a minibog. They also sell a product that which a planter sits on top, that is on wheels.

    VFT's really do best when outdoors. They are not at their best on a window sill of terrarium, as many sundews and butterworts and bladderworts are. I live in the Buffalo area and what I do is use buckets with handles for minibog type plants - VFT's, temperate sundews, and American pitcher plants. When the temps are going to have overnight lows below freezing, I just tote the buckets to the attic, where it is cold, but not frigid, and place them by a south facing window. They stay there for the winter and I'll take them back outside when the overnight lows are going to remain above the freezing mark.

    When you get to Georgia, you will be dealing with providing cold enough temps in the winter, instead of trying to keep them from freezing to death in the North. Many people in the South will get them as cold as they can outside and place them in the fridge for the winter. But more important than cold is photoperiod. People on the northern west coast may not get the temps to naturally go to freezing, but the decreasing photoperiod puts the plants into dormancy.

    I had to pack my plants this past December, moving from Reading, PA to Buffalo, NY. For the VFT's and the rest of the minibog plants I just put the buckets into the trunk. They were already cold. The rest of the collection I put into the largest cooler Kmart had.

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    The large round planters I use are about 18" across and made of a foam material, made to look like stone or terra cotta.

    They are light and waterproof, and since they are inert foam, will not leech minerals into the soil. Plant 'em with pure peat, top dressed with live sphagnum moss. When you're called on to move, dig 'em up, with soil around them, and put them in small plastic pots. Put the live sphagnum in a large ziploc baggie. Either discard the peat, mulching it into your yard somewhere, or wring the water out of it. I am guessing you have a pretty strict weight limit before you have to pay extra, so I'd discard the peat, and just buy more. Transport the pots with the plants and the live sphagnum yourself, and let the movers deal with the planter and dried peat.
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