Re: A couple of questions about winter and container gardens

they know from the different length of sunlight. They will grow indefinitely if you pinch back the spent blossoms. If they're allowed to be pollinated and set seeds, their job is done. This is what they do. As much as you love the annuals, unless they're coleus (you can take cuttings from coleus and keep them over winter for spring planting) I'd just say compost them and get new ones next year. It's not worth much to keep most annuals around. The wildflowers need the cold and time to settle down.

For indirect light to work effectively, you'd have to have something on the scale of a good greenhouse, or huge windows that let in vast amounts of light to keep them reasonably satisfied. But I wouldn't harbor over the annuals.

unfamiliar with how chives would react as they're bulbs, but you could keep clipping them I suppose to use them, just not cut too much off the leaves as that's what's feeding the bulbs for next year's crop. the rosemary will love you for bringing it in. It likes strong light during the winter. Make sure your plants are checked for pests like mealey bugs and scale and such. Even roof top plants get critters.

Don't do that with the perennials. they NEED to get cold. If you're afraid of the containers receiving too much cold, you can maybe haul up some of those square hay bales (Lowe's usually has them for home owners and they're not heavy) and make a "cold frame" with them, and build a box with the string still on them. then set the pots of perennials inside the square hay bales and let nature do her thing. The straw is to buffer the bitter cold winds that will not only freeze the outer portion of your pots, dirt and such quicker, but would also dry out the plants more. Once snow starts up, they'll be fine. The straw is cheap and an easy solution. Come spring time, the pots will have survived, the plants will wake up at the right time and you'll be thrilled to see perennials peeking up. I plant bulbs in my pots to give me early spring smiles early before the perennials break dormancy. But even I lose plants because the pots are too exposed during winter here. This is the year I practice what I preach and bring home my own hay bales to place my own many various pots inside of. I'm tired of losing great perennials because they're so exposed. Think of it this way.......perennials are usually in the ground where they're naturally insulated. When they're in pots they're more exposed because of sitting up on top of the soil. Good luck with this. Let me know how things go next spring with yer babies. madgardener

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