i remove the plants and then i place a large thick tarp on my deck, put the containers in the middle of it and then fold it up and over them. i tie the tarp to the deck and leave it there for the winter. i usedto bring the containers down into the garage but it became a real chore to do it so i decided this was better. here's a picture of the finished product
I generally pull out the plants and about half of the soil (depending on the pot). Stack them in a dry area outdoors with the saucers as lids until spring. Smaller ones get scrubbed and bleached if the weather isn't too cold. I have a small shed they get stacked in for the winter unless I think I want them in really early spring in which case they are left in the porch because the shed is north of the house and I can't get in it when there is snow around it.
generally, I spend ALL year wrestling my pots out of the jaws of Border Collies. The ones that I rescue spend the winter in the lean-to attached to the studio. The others are often found in strange and wonderful places when the snow thaws.
Saturday, I bought some new pots for the new Gerbera daisies that I bought for the house. No Border Collies will come near these pots, as they are strictly outdoor and in the barn dogs. Safe!
Most are perennial plants or hardy annuals so I don't remove the plants; just trim them and move them in the shop. Some will live and thrive inside, others go dormant. But a lot of seed are dropped during the fall and will come up when spring weather hits. When we bring them out in the sun and nothing comes up in a week or so, then we will replant in those containers.
The main problem I have with them is remembering to water the ones that need it all winter!!
I can leave plants potted and outside year round. Guess I've been in Florida too long ... hadn't even thought that some folks have to store their pottery over winter! Gee ... that must be a chore! I can't imagine digging up bulbs or tubers or unpotting plants to store pottery. I guess I would be called a lazy gardener because if I lived up north and had all the chores of hauling stuff inside in winter and back out in spring, I wouldn't like it much!
But, then again ... down here we have to mow our lawns 9 months out of the year.
I dump all of my tender plants and save the soil. The soil was organic mixed natural native soil, potting soil, coir, sand, and vermiculite. This is all dumpped onto a compost pile and mixed in to get refurbished over the winter. To this I add some fresh manure and the end of the seasons bottom of the barrel final aerobic tea brew. I dump some fresh fallen leaves over the pile and just let it rebuild itself over the winter. Come spring this plus some purchased organic potting soil will be my makings of the new potting soil for the new year. In my case this amounts to about three wheel barrow loads of reused refurbished potting soil. Everything including the new worms gets reused. The tops of the plants go on normal unfinished compost piles.
I have only containers, with Succulent and Cactus in them. They stay out all year long, as I'm in Tucson, AZ the SW desert. We do get about 5-12 days of frost, not all at once, then out come the newspaper, sheets, then blankets or comforters. Don't water if you know it's going to freeze, a certain way to kill succulents is watering at that time. I layer on the above, using objects taller than my tallest plant, so they don't take the weight of my protectors. I should look into something more appropriate but you use what you've got, right? I could use some tips, though; so bring them on, please and thanks
We occasionally get frost and even a hard freeze once in awhile here in this part of Florida. We cover our tropicals and tender plants with old blankets and sheets on cold nights and the plants are usually fine. When we do get frost or real cold temp's they only last for a few hours. Once the sun rises it warms up again. And, luckily we only have a few nights like that during the winter, usually in January/February. I know Home Depot and Lowes sell some sort of frost cloth during the winter but I've never tried it. It looks to be some sort of thin fabric type stuff that doesn't look like it would hold up very long to me, so we just use the old sheets/blankets which can be thrown in the wash and used over and over again for a long time.
I have a lot of tropicals in big pots, so many of them get migrated to the garage for the winter. Others that are tougher (Satsuma Mandarin orange tree, for example) go up on the patio where it's a little more protected. Really delicate ones are dragged inside to the sunroom, kicking and screaming all the way. (Cuban oregano seems to especially hate being brought in - I've never been able to overwinter them successfully indoors...but I keep trying.)
It's gotten a little ridiculous for me this year, as I've had to actually make a list of the containers that require some sort of action before the first freeze comes - that's how many I have. Not to mention the things I need to dig up and put into containers before storing for the winter.
*sigh* Plant addiction is a wonderfully awful affliction.
We do get hard freezes, but it's so infrequent that we just protect the potted plants on those nights. Unfortunately, we do sometimes get unexpected cool weather without warning, such as the 49 degrees we had last night when we were wearing shorts during the day. Usually, though, it's pretty safe to rely on the weatherman to know when to kick into protection mode. We don't have basements here (because they would quickly become swimming pools in Louisiana!), so storage space is quite a premium. There's just not enough room at the inn for the potted plants too.
Many are lugged down to the basement to overwinter...some are already dead and just left until there's time to deal with them...some are emptied, turned upside down and kept in a (hopefully - I try!) neat stack and line, and some smaller annuals or simply 'dead' plants' pots are emptied and the pots thrown in the recylables, the soil added somewhere to the yard or garden areas.
I put other but "all of the above" applies, too. Some plants, I drag indoors. Some I dump in the compost pile. One horse trough container with perennial valerian stays out. Some go in the garage and get dragged out in the sun on warm days, like rosemary. This time of year I always wish I had fewer potted plants. Last summer I potted up some lambs ear, ribbon grass, tansy, and other perennials from the yard just to fill in around my "pond". Those I can plant or dump, whenever. I am currently in the process of cleaning pots and putting them in the shed. I'm afraid I am not scrubbing them with bleach but more like spraying them off with the hose and letting them dry! Drained the "pond" and cleaned gravel yesterday.
Hey TexasTam: Plant addiction...Let's just say I live in a greenhouse. Nine hibiscus (one we call "Big Red" at 6' tall x 4' wide including the pot, with 2 almost as much), several jasmines, a gardenia, an orchid, fircracker plants, 40 geraniums, cannas (yes Cannas), 2 Mandevilla vines, 4 'Tiny Mice' cupheas, basil, cilantro, begonias, iris that I started late, 3 chrysanthemums, a 4 year old impatiens, a Kaffer lime tree, 2 olive trees... Some Japanese Maples will go into the garage until we have below 0 temps. I have one inside already because it doesn't like it outside. Large floor to ceiling windows keep the electric company from getting too rich.
I bring in a few (geraniums, impatiens, begonias) to brighten my office through the winter. By February I always wonder why I am nursing these poor straggly plants along when I could just buy new ones next year...
The bigger pots get emptied and put away in the years when I am organized (i.e. when I am not overwhelmed with canning tomatoes, bagging potatoes, etc.). More often, they get forgotten until they are frozen too hard for me to deal with. Then they sit in place, dead plants dangling from them, looking sad and ugly until it warms up enough in the spring for me to start all over again.
Well aren't you all/ y'all the neat and tidy bunch. My containers are in various stages of disarray. Some have been dug up to pot up and move plants/tubers inside and they are now spewing soil kinda looking like lumpy volcanos. Others are looking dead as doornails but are actually reseeding. Some are looking dead as doornails and will remain that way as reminders that they were kissed by Jack before flowering (why do try these southern plants anyhoo???). I've left most pots in erroneous places so I'll be sure to trip over them at some point. "Emptying and stacking" is an interesting concept. Is there a thread on that where I can study up??
"Other". I bring in the containers that have houseplants in them. I dig any corms/tubers I may have had in them and bring them inside (to die over the winter!). I leave my huge containers where they are, soil and all. Sometimes I'll get a cracked container; it's one of my Spring chores to empty and repair pots- then replant 'em. I just don't have the room to empty and store every container!!! (I have dozens and dozens, big and small!) Also, I can't afford to replace all of the potting soil every year!!!
I'm currently rearranging pots and plants but only for my satisfaction. They can stay out year round here in East Texas since I rarely buy anything that won't take our just occasionally freezing winter temps.
I used to drag all the potted plants into the shed and garage on the few nights each year that we have freezing temps. Last year, I was out-of-town when a freeze hit. Nothing died -- not even the impatiens. I'm so relieved that I don't have to drag stuff into the shed anymore! I had brought the orchids and epis inside for the winter though, so I'll do that again.
I'm in Christchurch NZ so we get some good frosts and every so often a little snow over winter.
I have mainly herbs in my pots & just shift them from the exposed side of the terrace to under the eaves for a bit of protection.
It is North facing so even in winter they get loads of sunshine
For us downunder the south side is the shady side - and cold when those winds blow up from the Antarctic!
This winter I managed to keep a tomato plant alive in a pot on my terrace - covered each night with a large plastic bag.
It is now in the garden & looking good:)
Songs of Joy, I'm with you! Last winter caught me by surprise! This year I have GOT to get with the program, any program. Some of the perennials are meant to be in pots year round. but some were only there until I had a chance to plant them... which doesn't seem to have happened yet. Some are very pretty cheap pots, which will last if I dump out the plants!
"Other" - I've kept the most of the tender plants in the greenhouse, and just last night I brought them inside. I've got them under a Grow Light, and the Daturas are doin' juuuuuust fine, ty. I'll have to see if the Hibiscus rebounds...
The hanging planters are doing ok, even with the several killing frosts we've gotten, cuz some of them are protected from wind, etc, or are just darn hardy!
When I have time, I'll just cut the plants down, empty 'em, and stack 'em in my greenhouse, or maybe the shed. I'm thinking of dismantling the greenhouse until the spring. Any real cleaning of pots I leave until the spring when I'm ready to plant again.
You betcha! For me it's about anticipation, and when the spring finally hits, you get to re-acquaint yourself with your neighbours.
And we sure appreciate the summer, in all it's glory! It may be short, but it's vibrant and rich - has to be, in order to survive (bees gotta pollinate, and every bloom is vying for the honour! LOL)
what amazes me is the fact that even the hottest weather type of flowers will do well here, even cactus (of course we have some native to our colder climes...), hibiscus, and brugs/dats! We may need to plant every year, or bring them inside, but bloom they must, and bloom they do!
I'm in SW Washington state Zone 8b.
I mostly grow in containers so most of them are just left where they've been growing. Some will be moved to a more protected area of the yard. I also grow many tropicals and those get moved into either my dark garage to go dormant or my lighted, unheated shed.
I try to water the shed plants about once a month or so through the winter.
I choose other, many years I was just lazy and left them to clean in the spring( never had a cracked pot yet). Some I put into compost, this year I brought a couple inside, have to save my elephant ears and I will be switching some out for more seaonal friendly plants.
I'm an other.I bring in cacti and succulents,Gerbera Daisy,sometimes a special Coleus,Begonias,and a few others.I leave all the hardy plants outside in pots,but I do sometimes get some cracked pots.I also dump many annuals,clean the pots,and try to bring in more tender annuals.This year I'm trying Persian Shield,Fanflower, and Mexican Firecracker plant,as well as a few others..I have had good results from Lantana,also.I keep some upstairs in natural light,but some are in the basement under a shop light.Some can look a bit scraggly by spring,but I cut them back and they are even bigger the next year.
I can't even imagine having all of my pots clean at the same time.
All the pots with tropicals are already inside, vigna, pineapples, passiflora, plumeria, cane yucca, EE, caladiums and broms. They enhance the end of our bedroom by the window and enjoy their winter time there chatting while I am at work!
All the dahlia pots are right now in the garage awaiting to be emptied and the tubers cleaned and dried for winter storage.
Cannas stayed out a day late and got severe frost so will stay that way.
All other containers have been washed and in the little pot shed that Steve made me this summer.
You can bring impatiens inside??? Sigh. I have always only had them in the ground and let them die during the winter. This year though, we got a bargain $5 hanging basket and have been watching them slowly die as the frosts got worse. Now they are all gone, and the pot has been emptied. Next year I'll know, and bring the color INDOORS!!
Liz_crbnsl, I lived in Canada when I was a kid, and my Mom had an impatiens that she grew in a pot on top of the refridgerator. It was the biggest, most beautiful one that I have ever seen. It bloomed there all year. Everyone she knew asked for cuttings.
The geraniums stay in pots all year and are just moved to the greenhouse when frost comes. Pots with tender annuals such as petunias, are replaced with flowering kale (which I grew from seed this year because I refuse to pay 3Euros apiece for them!) and pansies.
Well, living in Del Rio, Texas, and the yucky brick hard caliche, I have no choice, but to do all container garderning. Most of my plants are in the pots year round, and I don't move them, This year, I am new to Nagel trumpets, so we will see what survives. I will cut them back a little to at least have some cuttings to start me out with next year, and if the plants do survive, I will have nicely rooted cuttings to share with friends.
lets hope we have a mild winter?
potted plants get moved inside the atrium or my potting shed with the heater for the winter then move back out next spring.. brugs , palms and hibiscus.. looks like a jungle.. they just get bigger each year and I have to pot up to larger pots.. running out of room for the larger pots each year!
I am in a temperate climate zone, so have succulents and Bromeliads in containers. I just move them from winter sun to summer shade and back again really. Ahhhhhh!
I also really admire all you cooler climate gardeners who are so dedicated, and move your plants too and fro as the weather dictates. I don't think I would be so keen!
Most of mine I bring into the greenhouse, sunroom and or house b/c they are tropicals. The ones I have annuals in, I leave out. A lot of times they will re-seed and I don't have to put new plants in them. Last year I planted purple Wave Petunia in a pot, left it out and it reseeded. This year I had a pot full of pale pink "regular type" petunias. I quit putting pansies in pots for winter. They just don't do good for me.
WOWSER I think its amazing and great how many do transitional planters (in/out). It used to be that everyone was annual fans. We are have been experiencing drought for quite a few years now so I'm sensitive to the extra waters needs of the shallow rooted annuals. I have moved to more deep rooted perennials that I move into the garden to winter over, bulbs and drought tolerant self seeders. Although I still do luv to try some off those cool southern plants that are annuals here
I'm just barely organised enough to pile them in some unused corner of my yard/back deck. The snow then covers them for 5-6 months and I can forget about them while I dote on my houseplants all winter. I jusy use annual in my pots and replace them each spring.
droooooooooooool KatG says mitten-clad dahlianut. I'll be flaunting my stuff when it comes to spring bulb time though. Note to self: post pics off kick butt spring bulbs pics on the FL forum. Just kiddin KatG. You GO GIRL!!!! Outstanding container!
And lilacs baby o baby you would droooooooool over our lilacs my friend. It's all relative. That's what makes DG so cool. We're all doing different stuff at different times. Look at what the upside down people in Austrialia and New Zealand are doing right now! It's spring there! Good to chat KatG. Hope to see you in other forums in the future. Do you grow dahlias perchance?
I grew up in Ontario and the things I really miss are Lilacs and Hydrangeas and Peonies and Hostas and Climatis and Cherry trees and Grapevines and Sedums and good tomatoes and good roses and the list goes on...
However, I've got a whole year to garden with some very incredible Tropical beauties that get me over my sadness...hehe
Yeah? I wonder what those upside down people in Australia are growing right now? LOL! Probably upside-down pineapples for right-side up pineapple cake! (SMILE)
I LOVE Dahlias and I planted a bunch of Tubors in this particular bed a couple of years ago...I had Dinner-plate, Luncheon-plates, saucers, whatever, and not 1 came up! Arrrrrggghhh. I'm convinced it's a bad bunch of soil/sand in there as nothing I plant there does well...but I'm gong to try again.
Great to chat with you! I'm sure we'll meet again.
I don't have any container plants because my pets (cats/dogs) try to dig in them; including my young grand-daughter. I finally gave up when the last plant was uprooted. I don't understand the attraction.
I put a few in the crawlspace under the house, like EE, Lady Fern. The rest come inside and go on a bakers rack near the window in the spare bedroom.
If I had to dig up tubers and bulbs every fall, I would find another hobby! Hee ;)
I'm northeast of Atlanta.
Most of my containers stay as they are but come inside for the winter. I have a few railing planters and misc. containers on the deck that in theory are emptied, cleaned, and stored in the basement... in actuality, they are still sitting on the deck right now. LOL
I have quite a few bulbs and perennials planted in containers of varying sizes so I tend to leave them be. The few pots that were overplanted with annuals are updated with pansies and violas. My particular favorites for pansies are Flamenco and Ultima Morpho.
Currently in my containers all over the patio and around the front bed and front door area:
Since inquiring minds want to know what we upside down folk are doing...
The daffodils are looking messy now the flowers are gone, bluebells are still looking pretty, my rhododendron is covered in flowers, camellias are just about finished, azaleas are looking promising & the peonies should be in full flower any day now.
The grass is growing faster than we can mow it...
my herbs are in need of regular trims, they are thriving on the terrace in their containers.
The tomato I nurtured & protected from frost in a pot over winter is now in the garden & has one tiny fruit already!
cheers - Dalfyre
Zone 8b. I leave the same plants in the same containers year round. I have loads of containers. Early October I take an inventory of how the plants did in certain locations, what improvements I could make. With that in mind I may/may not shift plants into different locations. Which is what I did last week, shifted about 10 plants around. Hopefully next year they will be happier and bloom even more than this year. I replace some old tired plants with new fresh young plants. 3 plants will be brought inside, plumeria & tacca 'white bat lily'. This past summer I gave away 18 5' plumeria and 1 5 gallon tacca. Last year my greenhouse was full of them and I decided that when summer came, they would be gone. I like experimenting, I like blooms. My greenhouse is really for orchids.
I leave most plants in the container and I live on the Oregon coast zone 8 or 9, I think. I leave bulbs in containers, too, and stick them under a bench in the summer time after blooms have faded. Today, I hauled them out, weeded and fertilized them. After I remove old tomato plants, I will set the pots of all sizes in that bed, hopefully tomorrow. I am going to dig up some geraniums, though, from a large barrel container, and put them in the greenhouse. Sometimes I do lose geraniums and these were grown from seed last spring.
The only ones we have to worry about are the tropical hibiscus - they got huge this year and this is the second year we've overwintered them this way. We bring the whole pot into the house into the little front sitting room we have with a sunny window and there they stay until late March of next year. We laid out plastic and then towels on top of that to protect the floor. Don't know what we'll do next year, LOL...
Dahlianut - I don't actually grow dahlias so no idea...
I do have a friend who is very keen on them - she is/was secretary of the local Dahlia Society.
I'll ask her:)
My Mum has dahlias - left over from a previous occupant... she just leaves them in place.
I do recall her lifting them at one time but these days I think the garden has to look after itself...
Just like the last three Octobers since we moved to New England from California, I kept putting off emptying & cleaning out my summer and fall containers. UNTIL yesterday, when the nice man who blows out our sprinkler system and hose bibs every year called and said he was on his way!! Then there was a mad and muddy dash to use my still-functioning watering hoses before he got here! So today they're emptied & washed--but not bleached yet--and not really stacked in good order either! I'll cover them with a tarp in my outside potting area (eventually).
What I feel pleased about is that I found a place to bury three container Knock-Out roses and two small Japanese Maples in an emptied bed near my deck. I've lost some in previous years that I left above ground in their containers for the New England winter, even though I tried to protect them with a covering.
Hey, it was 80+ degrees here today and the rest of the last week in October is expected to be 80-85 degrees, so who's worried about moving pots?! We're not going to have a winter this year. The rose bushes and climbers are looking pretty frumpy, tho, as I've stopped deadheading. Two 35+YO Fruitless Mulberry trees are dropping leaves the size of dinner and salad plates on every side of my house. Phooey!
I leave my pots outside and the plants, leaves and flowers just pop up each Spring. I already have some kind(s) of bulbs coming out in some of my pots; lilies, I think. Camellias are full of buds. Hummingbirds were looking for sweets in one of my potted miniature roses today, although the blossoms were pretty spent already. I think dormancy here is more like nap time rather than a full night's sleep.
Not sure how I'd survive like you Nor-Easters' do. CapeCodGardener? Where are you located on the pen? I have a couple of cousins who live in Centerville/Cotuit and I was visiting them during California-Spring several years. Everything was still awaiting leaves and I'd left rose bushes in full bloom at home. Another cousin n Rockport, ME, living in "the woods" had carved little garden rooms out of various corners of her lot. You could actually see the different seasons of each little room. A very different kind of gardening season than we have in California. Was the adjustment difficult for you? I think you folks work harder than we do here; not longer, but harder.
Twincol, you're so right--the CA spring is far more advanced by Feb.-March. Here in the NE we are delighted to see the first crocuses, and then the daffs, and then tulips in an otherwise rather austere landscape during those months. (But oh, how we love them when they appear)!
I think that we US gardeners work about the same amount over the year: in CA it's spread out over 9-10 months, and on Cape Cod, we cram it all in to about six busy months! For instance, today I ran round like crazy draining my garden hoses in case it freezes in the next week. One year, soon after we moved here, I neglected to do so, and my hoses froze into what I called "iron snakes." Very difficult to coil up and store in the garage over the winter!