Already thinking of winter!

Seattle, WA

Yes, it's only July, but I lost a few tender items last winter, even after laboriously hauling them to a cozy (I thought) spot between the woodpile and the fence. I'm getting to old for that, and just want to protect certain plants in situ. Almost everything I have is in pots, which makes them even more vulnerable to the deep freeze. Even a much-coveted hot-house would still mean relocating lots of pots. Has anyone tried a quite possibly hideous looking solution such as wrapping each pot in some form of insulation? Or perhaps covering the lot in heavy duty plastic? I realize they need to breathe. My brother-in-law found a sweet deal on line for some nicely bound and grommeted plastic that I thought just needed a frame to become an instant greenhouse. Maybe I could sort of do it clothesline-style? I'm just sick of having to start so many things from scratch each spring. By the time they look nice, the whole cycle starts up again. ANY ideas at all??? Thanks for your suggestions.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I have mostly given up on pots, as they need so much watering. But what I found helped the most is having a hand truck to move them easily. Some of them have a curved back so the pot doesn't roll off. My hand truck has a flat back, so I use bungee cords to hold them on. In terms of protection, I haven't really done that- I put them in or next to the garage. I like the tent-clothesline idea. Also I gave my sister a device called a Pot Lifter, you may want to check it out.

Vashon, WA(Zone 8b)

I throw thick bathmats over my plants in pots when the temperature drops below freezing, as I have no garage or greenhouse.

Seattle, WA

Mim, I sometimes think, but then always forget, that I DO need a handtruck. I can't believe some of the items I've quite stupidly tried to carry around! Pot Lifters are clever if you have a helper. I once read that what kills plants in the freezes is the total dehydration that they experience, But it's rather counter-intuitive to spray them with water....Did I mention that almost ALL my plants are in pots? This is owing to the massive number of tree roots, rocks, hard pan, and clay, which are all present in my yard. If I try to dig up a dandelion, my implement can't even penetrate the surface. My friend counted 230 pots, but she hadn't counted the new ones around the corner!

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

The bathmat idea sounds do-able. Now you have to haunt Goodwill to buy 230 bathmats!

Vashon, WA(Zone 8b)

LOL!

Seattle, WA

Lo! And behold! I found a great little handtruck (curved) for four bucks at a yard sale. Pretty neat, even if only used once! I wouldn't trade it for anything now.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Perfect. and let us know what you decide to do this fall for plant protection.

Seattle, WA

Haven't done it yet, mlm, but the brain is working overtime. My plan is to store everything right in the front yard to avoid the pain of transporting so many pots. I want to construct one of those hoop rows covered with plastic film-sheeting. I will buy the skinniest PVC pipe, which comes in 10' lengths, and bend it into a hoop. I plan to have pounded some short lengths of rebar into the ground which the pipe can just slip over. I'm hoping that the pipe can be halved and will still be long enough to clear the plants, most of which are short anyway. How tightly I button this all up and whether or not the bath mats need to come out will really depend on the temps. With all the mildew I had this year, I sure don't want to encourage that. If this works, I will have myself a nice, collapsible hot house for next year.
Anyone who has done or seen something like this is encouraged to let me know before I go the whole hog. In the past, everything seems to suddenly croak unexpectedly in one night. Don't want to get caught out. Oh, I should have started a new thread, I see. Maybe later.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

You don't have to start a new thread-this is your thread, and you are even "on-topic".
I really like how old threads from times past get resurrected when someone posts new pertinent info/updates. It is one of the best ways I learn from DG.

Grants Pass, OR(Zone 8a)

Your idea for a hoop cover will work really well. We did the same thing on a much larger scale a few years ago. We used 15 inch rebar pounded in the ground 1 foot deep and 3/4 inch pvc pipe to make a building 40x20x10ft at the peak. It stood up real well for over 5 years that we used it. It is twice the materials but one way to get more cold proof is to lay a second hoop right over the first one. This will give you a half inch or so of air space in between the 2 layers of plastic. The air space works as an insulator and your hoop house will stay much warmer, even at night.

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