I am planning to place some big pots (20" x20" approx) in my balcony with
some perennials. I am wonder, what is the best way to protect them during
winter time? I was thinking wrapping them with some cloth.... Any idea? I am
in Toronto, and if i am not wrong it is Zone 5/6
The best way is to remove them and take them inside or bury them in soil.
Barring that, you may need to wrap them in hot-compost doughnuts, or worse,
electric heaters...depending on what you are planting in them.
Mike LaMana, MS
Heartwood Consulting Services, LLC
One has tulips, iris, and day lilies.
The other has coriopsis, rudbeckia, and shasta daisies.
My patio is on the north side of the house too, so no south side sheltering
The pots are just huge plastic things. Two feet in diameter and about that
I too live in Toronto and had success overwintering perennials using the
1. Wait for the soil in the pot to freeze.
2. Rigid foam under the pot.
3. Pink fibreglass insulation wrapped around the outside.
4. The whole thing put in a plastic garbage bag with holes poked in the
bottom (for drainage) and the top folded around the rim of the pot.
5. Mulch in the top for insulation and to hold down the top of the bag.
Worked fine with a collection of 12 and 16 inch containers (ie. not huge).
However, they were at ground level and I was able to place the pots in
places where they would be (1) in shade, (2) protected from the wind and (3)
protected by a lot of snow cover all of which, in my view, are essential.
Can you do the same?
Sounds good tome. I had some clematies growing nicely in balcony pot. But
this last winter killed them. I have never used any protection at all, and i
am thinking i can give better chance of survival with some kind of
I guess the isulation used for heaters should be good....
Thanks for the ideas guys
"Jim Voege" < snipped-for-privacy@SPAMsympatico.ca> wrote in message
Actually, the insulation isn't to keep in the heat during the winter. It is
to keep it out during the spring. Obviously you are only going to use
winter hardy plants. So they have no problem surviving when the ground is
frozen. What kills them is the freeze-thaw cycle in the spring. When you
get early spring warmth, the soil in a pot thaws much faster than the soil
in the ground. This results in the plants breaking winter dormancy too
early. When the weather gets cold again they have no natural protection.
That's what kills them. So the idea of the insulation is to keep the soil
in the pots frozen until it is safe for the plants to break dormancy. The
other factors I mentioned -- shade, wind protection and snow burden all
serve the same purpose. That's the theory anyway.
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