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Thread: planting a bog garden in late summer/fall

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    planting a bog garden in late summer/fall

    I'm moving this Saturday from Atlanta, Georgia to Ithaca, New York for grad school. If I have the time, I would like to set up a mini-bog planter a week or two after the move (either on an apartment balcony, or at the Cornell horticulture complex, where I will be working). I haven't set up a bog garden since about 10 years ago when I helped my dad set up a bunch of in-ground Sarracenia planters in the backyard. I figure that planting in spring is the ideal time to set up bog gardens, since it gives plants the entire growing season to acclimate, but I was wondering about the practicality of setting one up later in the growing season.

    To give more background regarding the area/climate, Ithaca, New York is a solidly cold-temperate climate (USDA Zone 4b/5a) with long, cold winters and short mild summers with cool nights. Both D. rotundifolia, S.purpurea, and P.vulgaris are native to the immediate area(adjacent counties). With the exception of P.vulgaris, which has very specific habitat requirements (dripping cliff faces), I want to grow these native varieties. Additionally, I want to grow D. anglica, D. filiformis v. filiformis, and some European temperate pings like P.grandiflora, which I have heard adapt better to conventional sand-and-peat bog garden culture. I am looking forward to growing these varieties, since I could never grow them in Georgia.

    Since all of the plants listed above are very cold-hardy, would there be any risk to planting them in late summer rather than spring, or would they need an entire growing season to acclimate? Also, since I only have room for a small container bog, rather than an in-ground one, what precautions can I take to prevent the whole thing from freezing solid for extended periods of time? I am almost certain that I will have access to an unheated garage or shed at work, so that would be my go-to plan for shelter during the coldest parts of winter.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Welcome to New York!
    I grew up half an hour south of Ithaca..its a great town!

    Are these plants you already own? or would you be buying new plants for this bog garden?
    If you already own them, and they have been outside all season, then it would probably be fine..
    If you are planning to start fresh with new plants, then definitely wait until Spring!
    tissue culture plants especially should have a full season to acclimate..I wouldn't risk it to start them now, its too late..

    Another part of your post stood out for me:

    "I am almost certain that I will have access to an unheated garage or shed at work, so that would be my go-to plan for shelter during the coldest parts of winter. "

    Dont bother to plan to move plants only during "the coldest parts of winter."..and have them outside otherwise..
    ALL of winter is "the coldest part of winter"..its not worth the hassle to try to watch the weather and move them in and out..
    your plants need to be in a sheltered environment pretty much November 1st through April..
    Put them in cool storage November 1, and basically leave them alone for 5 months..
    just checking occasionally to make sure they dont dry out..
    If it starts to warm up in March, you can start to put them outside during the day, but typically they cant go back outside until April..

    I think you have already checked out my webpage! (P. vulgaris gave it away)
    but in case you haven't, I have some tips for winter storage in this environment, here:

    http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/sco.../CP/page2.html

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

    Scot

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    Yep, I've read your website before It's kind of been my reference point for what to expect in upstate NY. Would sheltering the plants all winter be necessary even for the native/cold-temperate varieties? (D. rotundifolia, etc.). I'm not planning on growing any southeastern US plants (Sarracenias other than purpurea v. purpurea, VFTs).

    I'll go ahead and wait to grow any outdoor stuff until whenever the last frost is next year. With the exception of a couple succulents and bromeliads I got from a recent trip to Florida, I don't have any plants right now. I had to take a break from carnivorous plants during my undergrad since I lived in a dorm. I'm excited to start again now that I have my own place! Luckily for me, I have some bench space set aside for me in the greenhouse complex I will be working/researching in, so I will probably be able to keep a few tropical/subtropical plants there in the mean time.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Ah! for the native NY plants..well, they should be fine! in theory.
    but honestly, I have never tried to keep them outside all winter..
    because im already growing "non-native" VFT's and "Southern Sarrs",
    which I need to give a sheltered spot to anyway..so I just put the "native" plants right in with them..
    because I figure even if the natives can technically handle it, 35 degrees all winter is still better than 5 to 15!
    they dont *need* to freeze solid..a milder winter increases their chance of survival too.
    So even for the supposedly "very cold"-hardy plants, I just treat them the same as the "non natives"..
    they all go into dormancy together..
    I dont see any sense in leaving them outside if I dont have to.

    Scot

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    and..even if the "native" CP's can technically handle a NY winter outside,
    only well-established and robust plants could handle it..
    plants that are newly potted in August probably wont be well prepared for winter this year.
    so even for those plants, it's still much better to wait until Spring..
    and even for those plants, it's still better to give them a sheltered and slightly warmer dormancy! if you can..

    Scot

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    Thanks for the info.

    Also, the mention of P. vulgaris growing on cliff faces reminded me, I recently found out (From USDA PLANTS profile) that there are herbarium records of P. vulgaris from Tompkins County, NY, Where Ithaca/Cornell are located. When I toured the Cornell campus last summer, I walked along the gorge and noticed many seeps and areas where sphagnum was present some 50ft up the rock faces. I wonder if there could be P. vulgaris there, right in the middle of campus!

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