Pacific Northwest

November, 2004
Regional Report

Protect Container Plants

An easy way to protect the roots of outdoor container plants through winter is to sink the pots into the ground to the top of the lip. Another method is to place the pots inside larger pots and then fill the void between the pots with dry potting soil. The air space between the pots will help maintain suitable temperatures for the roots.

Prepare for Cold Snaps

If there is a sudden drop in the temperature, provide extra protection for your more tender flowering plants. You can provide temporary emergency protection by driving in three or four stakes around the plant, and then simply covering the plant with some type of cloth, like burlap, a sheet, or an old blanket. Don't let this material come into direct contact with the leaves of the plant. Remove the cover completely as soon as the weather moderates.

Secure Vining Plants

Make sure the canes of your climbing roses and other vining plants are securely fastened to their supports. Winter winds can whip and severely damage unprotected plants. Don't tie them so tightly that the string or twist-tie cuts into the stem. I use a length of an old nylon stocking because it stretches as the plant grows and won't cut into the stem.

Check Bulbs

Keep an eye on any bulbs that you potted for winter forcing. Make sure they remain moist and in the dark until they have established their root systems. It is possible that they have already filled their containers with roots and that the new top growth has begun. If this is so, bring them into the house and set them in a cool room in indirect light. After a week or so, move them into bright light, and watch them go to town!

Weed, Weed, Weed

One last effort at weeding will keep your garden looking neat throughout the winter. Any weed that you can eliminate from the garden this fall will prevent hundreds of weed seeds from sprouting in the garden next spring! Keep the lawn and garden raked clean of leaves and debris. Fallen leaves, old plant parts, and grass clippings should be added to the compost pile.

Donate Today

The Garden in Every School Initiative

Shop Our Fall Catalog

— ADVERTISEMENTS —