Overwintering Agaves

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JonC
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Overwintering Agaves

Post by JonC » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:53 am

Hello Folks,

I had a spare few hours last weekend and so I set about thinking of how I'd protect the Agaves this year. These are new in the garden this year although the plants are a few years old now. They've grown a lot this summer and I am generally happy with them.

When I planted them my initial thoughts were to lift them for the winter and replant in spring in fast draining grit, however, this years growth has led me change my mind as they are now quite a bit bigger and I didn't fancy getting stabbed to death in the process. So, I have left them as planted, but I have made little houses for them to keep the rain out throughout winter. I don't get too many frosts here so I figured cold and dry would be okay?

Anyway, here is the result of a few hours with a table saw and router plus a bit of paint.

The frame on the foreground is about 1 metre wide.
2.jpg
This smaller frame is about 60cm square.
1.jpg
Comments welcome. Would I have been better to risk limbs and any future children by lifting? Hopefully these cold frames will be sufficient to keep them dry.

Oh, and if anyone is thinking of doing this it might be cheaper to buy them new as I had to pay £80 for the polycarbonate. I have 2 sheets and a few left over smaller pieces remaining for another day, but it wasn't a cheap project. I was a little disappointed by the overall cost as I'd rather spend money on plants. Well, actually I'd rather not spend money :lol:

Jon


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tatter
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Overwintering Agaves

Post by tatter » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:23 pm

Jon
they look fine I assume you can lift /prop lids up for ventilation when needed.
Did you seal the cut ends with tape as polycarbonate twin wall (if that's what you used) is prone to getting moisture in between the walls if not. Twin wall better insulator than single sheet
be also aware that polycarbonate does expand in sun so hope they are not to tightly fitted.
Finally you can get 4 mm polycarbonate twin wall on ebay much cheaper .Good luck for the winter keeping dry is main factor. Finally out of interest what Agaves do you have ? icon_cheers
Jim
I'm older than yesterday but younger than tomorrow


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JonC
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Overwintering Agaves

Post by JonC » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:50 pm

There are a few ongoing jobs to do. I didn't seal the ends with tape and I should have, but then I plan to run brown silicone along all the edges to stop water running inside the frames. That's a job for this weekend.

The agaves are Agave Americana I think. The green variety.

The polycarbonate came from eBay. It was £40 delivered for 10 sheets and I needed to order two lots to ensure I had enough. Due to the dimensions it meant I had to cut off a fair bit which was a waste. I have enough left over for another small frame.


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Dave Brown
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Overwintering Agaves

Post by Dave Brown » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:26 am

I cover mine with old plastic fish tanks, to keep rain off but has an air gap at the bottom. If really cold weather forecast cover the tanks with fleece.
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tatter
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Overwintering Agaves

Post by tatter » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:14 pm

Good tip Dave .You can also get plastic pop up cloches at Home Bargins for £9.99each which do a good job of keeping Agave dry.
Jim
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JonC
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Overwintering Agaves

Post by JonC » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:11 pm

That's a cracking photo Dave. Was that taken in 2010? I don't remember many other years that we've had much snow down south.

It's a bit weird thinking of over wintering at this early stage and just a few months after the heat wave. It only seems like two minutes since we were uncovering things from last winter.


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tatter
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Overwintering Agaves

Post by tatter » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:24 pm

JonC wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:11 pm
It's a bit weird thinking of over wintering at this early stage and just a few months after the heat wave. It only seems like two minutes since we were uncovering things from last winter.
Temptus fugit (time flies)
Jim
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Dave Brown
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Overwintering Agaves

Post by Dave Brown » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:26 pm

JonC wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:11 pm
That's a cracking photo Dave. Was that taken in 2010? I don't remember many other years that we've had much snow down south.
Jon, that was the last day of winter 2018. The 'Beast from the East' on 28th Feb 2018, when temps dropped to -9.9C (14F), rapidly followed by Storm Emma which slammed into the Beast, giving 54mph winds while still at -5C (23F). The severity of that 72 hour period left Washie defoliated, and all Trackies suffering wind burn damaged leaves.
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JonC
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Overwintering Agaves

Post by JonC » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:09 pm

Blimey, it's almost like another country. I am in Berkshire and we didn't get any snow and the lowest it got was -5 deg C I think. We seem to be quite lucky here with the weather regarding extremes.

Hope your plants are recovering now.

Jon


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Overwintering Agaves

Post by tracky ted » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:25 pm

agave .jpg
Built this structure to house my agave and cacti planted in the ground to let them grow unrestricted. If low temperatures are forecast I have fleece curtains I pull around. they had their last watering last week no more till the clocks change in the spring. The one side is toughened glass. we had our patio window replaced and I split the two double glazed panes to get four panes. The wife refers to it as the bus shelter. lost one agave last year to frost Agave Salmiana in the covered area. Agave Neomexicana planted out in open on raised rubble based patch going well the last two years stacks of off sets to test with.


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