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Thread: winter... yuck

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    northeast Tennessee
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    1,703

    winter...yuck

    I think it is about here. We have been having record breaking highs the last few days, but it is supposed to get cold this weekend.
    We have ben moving plants into the coldframe, mulching and bringing in tender plants.
    Would love to here how everyone overwinters their plants.
    Some of ours stay out under mulch, some in a cold frame and some indoors. Wow it is a job getting everybody where they belong.
    How about everyone else?
    tennessee sue

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    221

    Plans for overwintering

    Sue and all--

    Yes it's a busy if not panicky time, trying to get all the babies tucked away before harmful cold, or in our west coast situation, rains do damage.

    This year we're having record cold for early Nov., down to -4C this morning. Had to bring a lot of things up against the house--large phormiums, hebes, viburnum tinus. These are all zone7/8 and do better if kept warmer overwinter, and being evergreen I'm always sensitive to their foliage getting toasted by dry winds.

    Real helpful is having at least one structure that stays reliably frost free. For me it is a 24 x 6 ft. low tunnel using the U of NC website plans (2in. PVC pipe making maybe a 4ft. high tunnel covered with poly). I still have my 200 ft. of propagating heat cable in the bottom of this, so I can keep the frost out by setting it at almost it's lowest setting. If it gets real cold, I layer some row cover under the poly to give it half decent insulating ability. Fuschias, armand clematis and some other "perennial" bedding plants like heliotrope and pelargoniums go thru the winter beautifully in there, as long as I don't let it get too humid and therefore moldy. Lots of opening up during midday to get air circulating, then closing the ends again for frosty nights.

    Another one of these structures has no heat at the moment, but does have row cover over the poly, and contains deodar seedlings and my 3gal. phormiums, both of these should be able to take some freezing, but again hate to have the dry cold winds do a number on them.

    As I mentioned, overwintering here can be a matter of keeping off the rain, and my lewisias are all tucked up under the eaves, along with bletilla orchids, as these both suffer much from winter wet, tho easily handle freezing. I put a pane of glass against the house wall to ward off wind-driven rain as well.

    In the future, I'm hoping to install several capillary sand beds for summer irrigation. The indication I've gotten is that most plants will overwinter without protection on these beds, since their root systems stay perfectly drained thru winter and can handle much colder temps. Hoping this will help my hellebores at least, as I plan to grow a lot of 'em.

    So far no greenhouse here, tho it would be great to putter around in on rainy or frosty days!

    Glen in BC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
    Posts
    1,462

    yuck, yuck

    Sue Salley,
    I agree winter is about here. Yuck double yuck. As all but the few annuals I grow are hardy here. I'm not worrying about the cold and snow. Maybe next year I'll have some iffy's for my zone and a hoophouse to fill up. I also don't have the drying wind that Glen was talking about. As I'm protected from that cold north/west wind by big beautiful oaks. Stay warm!
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    northeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,703
    It is so interesting to hear the weather problems other people have in different zones. We never know here. We are right on the line between south and north. Sometimes we have southern winter other times northern. We also have a range of mountains that sometimes blocks the weather so we are in a little micro climate of our own.
    I agree with you Glen about the wind. It can sometimes cause more damage than cold and snow. We are getting ready to put up a 14x96 cold frame. Right now we use our greenhouse to overwinter (unheated). I plan to start heating early for seed starting so those plants need to go somewhere before then.
    tennessee sue

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    nashville,tn area
    Posts
    59

    yuck!!!

    Sue,
    I was hoping the big guy upstairs would cancel winter this year,Ha.I'm not a cold weather person so it really hurts.I drive for a living plus the little nursery its ruff sometimes.
    I've spent alot of this week-end trying to get ready,I'm far from ready!I don't have any green or hoophouses so I do have plants that don't make it.If I wasn't going to sell out and down size in the next year or two I'd build a hoophouse or two.
    Last year I used straw and leaves to cover plants,didn't work.I lost over 200 butterfly and hydrangeas,I came close to throwing in the towel.
    This year I have a irrigation system to hydrate before a front moves in.Also I have a roll of 6oz.winter blanket on the ready when the low twentys and teens get to good ole TENNESSEE.I'II let yall know if it works next spring.
    next year I'm pulling back on woodys a little and trying more perennials and hardy grass more.As time goes by I find myself growing less and buying more ready to sell plants.Sure is alot easier and I always double or more on profit.
    As you know the longer you are in this the more connections you make.I'm lucky as I'm only 70 miles from McMinnville,Tn.Theres alot of deals out there.The most discouraging thing to me at this point is I still haven't found my true niche in this interesting business.So many directions one can go and so little time.I wish I could unzip my head and install my niche,then I could focus better with the little time I have to devote to the nursery.
    I hope Ann don't kick me off as I was unable to log on .I was unable to retrieve my old pass word as its been so long since I posted here,so I started anew. During the growing and selling season I'm short on time.I'II have a little time this winter to get caught up.
    Well thats enough for now,got to go chase some( you guessed it)squirrels HA HA.
    William B. from TENNESSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    northeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,703
    Good to see you back William. Thought you'd taken time of to irradicate those little furry devils.
    I've been wanting to visit McMinnville sometime. I do business with a couple of nurseries there. Would love you to let me in on some of the good ones.
    Good to hear from you.
    tennessee sue

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    nashville,tn area
    Posts
    59

    yuck

    Sue Sally,
    I'II be glad to share some of my connections with you.I'II send them your way some cold day when I'm caught up,Ha.I,m looking for a good place to buy bare root roses with low min.
    Also ,I believe you do alot of perennials maybe you can advise on the top 10-15 sellers.As of now I'm only selling 4 or 5 which sell good.I should have expanded on perennials last year.It took me awhile for it to soak in,people kept asking for them.Also I'm going to add 3 or4 more hardy grasses,I only had 3 to offer this year.I sold out of all grass so I'II expand on grass.
    Thanks William B.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    northeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,703
    Wiliam,
    Tell me which perennials you are selling and I'll tell you some to ad. I keep trying to add more every year. Some of my best selling ones are herbs like lavender and rosemary. I sell a lot of herbs. Do you grow them? Most are realy easy esp. the perennial ones.
    I don't do a lot of roses but will keep my eyes and ears open for you.
    It is good to have you back I missed my fellow Tennessean.
    tennessee sue

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    northeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,703
    BTW we don't do many grasses. Which ones do you have that do well. Have you seen the new purple milet? It is beautiful. We were lucky to get a few seed last year and grow them on for more seed for next year.Have found seed for variegated corn this year. We are going to try that also.
    tennessee sue

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    nashville,tn area
    Posts
    59
    Sue Sally,
    The ones I sell now are Dianthus 'firewitch',coneflower ,sedum 'autumn joy',blanket flower(collected) and lambs ear (yuk).
    Heres the one I'm thinking about adding: Dianthus'baths pink',Astilbe,Baptisia,Rudbeckia,,Bleeding heart,Cardinal Flower,Coreopsis,Lenten Rose,Phlox,Salvia,Shasta Daisy,Verbena,Yarrow.I probability come up with a few more.
    I can get these at mary's green house in McMinnville.She has no min.as long as you get one flat of each.The plants are in 4" pots ,18 per flat.Remember I don't have a green house so I'II have to get these and pot up.
    AS for grasses I now sell Pennisetum'Moudry',Miscanthus'Zebrinus' and Pampas.I'II be adding: Dwarf Pampas,'Gracillmus',"morning Light' and Japanese Blood Grass and maybe one or two more.
    As for Roses I now have 'nearly Wild'and 'The Fairy'.I root these myself under mist.I'II only add One more' Knockout',which is patent so I'II have to buy these.I'm trying to split a order with a nursery in Murfreesboro,Tn.
    Thanks William B.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    nashville,tn area
    Posts
    59
    Sorry about the faces must have hit the on buttom somehow.
    William B.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    How FUN!

    A : (colon) followed by a capital D with no space in between is the code for a big smile face. I fixed it for you!

    That is so much FUN! I truly needed a smile. My car broke down again today, and I had to catch a ride home.

    Oh, how funny! Who'd have thought? That indeed makes me LAS! I thought those sort of things only happened to ME!

    Thanks!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    nashville,tn area
    Posts
    59
    Ann,
    Thanks for the explanation ,I couldn't figure what I'd done to put these in.I kept going back trying to remove them but couldn't.
    Thanks William B.

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