Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

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This area is for Reference and discussion of plant hardiness, overwintering methods and tips, and planr protection.
Daniel
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Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by Daniel » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:16 pm

I'll start the ball rolling.

I used jumbo fleece bags to protect my most tender palms such as Phoenix Canariensis. I had 80 watt tubular heaters inside them coupled to a thermostat to give a little heat. The one I wrapped tightest came out in the Spring looking perfect. My biggest Phoenix Canariensis that was wrapped much more loosely had a bit of frost damage to it's leaves. I expected the tightly wrapped one to have the most damage, but concluded that all of the heat was concentrated into one area which kept the fronds above freezing all Winter, but the one that was wrapped loosely didn't receive enough heat to counteract the cold from penetrating the leaves. This year I am going to try double fleece bagging but with the same amount of background heat to see if that will be enough to keep it looking pristine ready for next Spring.

My top tip is to plan and to do a really good job of protecting your CIDPs if you are in an area that will be likely to receive -4c or below. If you can get them through Winter without damage they grow at twice the speed and will look good all year rather than sitting there looking a mess until July or August.


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fern Rob
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by fern Rob » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:31 pm

I have found that with tree ferns use as much fleece as possible on the trunk and in the crown. I have also found that the tighter and thicker it is to the plant the better the plant is after winter. icon_thumleft
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sanatic1234
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by sanatic1234 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:56 am

Too low a light levels for me last winter but i have that sorted now for this winter.
Best regards Aaron :)

Summer 2013 was a good one :-).

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Dave Brown
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by Dave Brown » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:10 pm

I had a B&Q green fan heater in the Lunar Module, and the thermostat has about 8C between switch on and off :roll: , so If you want 5C min it stays on until 13C which it struggled to make :roll: Eventually I turned the heater down to 2C, but in March instead of the sun warming days up we had another winter month with no sun. The result was I lost far more plants in March than the rest of the winter put together. :(

This winter I am putting the original fan heater back in, which has a switching thormostat of less that 0.5C. Also I am demanding a March that is actually start of spring, not continuation of winter.


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kata
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by kata » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:39 pm

I did'nt have any Ensetes or Ferns to protect, just trusty Trachicarpus, even the two babies came through.

This year I need rolls of fleece and more jackets for the Basjoo, Fern, Ensete I bought late.

I put new compost in the Swartskof A and its now on the kitchen windowsill for the winter.

So thats my what I did and did'nt do.

:mrgreen:
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Blairs
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by Blairs » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:09 pm

Opening the vents/doors to coldframes/GH is more important than keeping the heat in. I lost more seedlings/plants/die back from botrytis than actual frost. I am also going to heat the new greenhouse this winter.

Empty out every pot every year to add fresh feed and check for pests, especially vine weevil grubs and slug eggs.

Hot water cupboards are great at germinating most seeds.


jezza
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by jezza » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:13 pm

A greenhouse plumbed into the central heating system :D


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call
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by call » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:43 pm

not to use a double skin on the polytunnel (too much condensation)
and to keep a fan going to prevent mould
callum
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billdango
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by billdango » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:38 pm

For the St denys Phoenix canariensis_CIDP I just used a hot water bottle [wrapped in a towel] to stop ice or snow collecting at the growing point.

This was used only on 3 nights when it got down to about -4c.

I used this same idea after the damage to that palm in the winter of 2010 and its never let me down.

Also it works well for my Syagrus palm when the temperature went down to -6.9c on 2 nights in the winter of 2012.

No damage has been recorded on either palm since then and i will continue to use this method of protection this winter as well.

Of course down here in Southampton we are very lucky as to winter minima as it never seems to get as cold as some of the gardens I have seen on this forum.

Although it can be annoying having to put hot water in the bottle about 3 times on a really biting cold night the important thing to remember is it keeps that core temperature up in the palm even when the bottle is quite cold by morning.

Its better then a dead or maimed palm later on in the spring....

billdango :D


Kristen
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by Kristen » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:55 am

Two things that worked for me last Winter, relative to previous ones, were:

1. Fan moving the air. I had this on a 15-minute segment timer, 15 minutes on, 30 minutes off. No mould at all, whereas previous winters I have had a problem. Last winter was wet, previous was dry, so a Win I rekcon.

2. Labeling prior to lifting. I have used colour labels for what needs bone dry, very dry, normal and some heat / frost free, and then when lifting the plants (in a rush before first frost!!) I was more easily able to group plants that want the same conditions.

This year I'm taking that a bit further, Dave raised the idea of having a spreadsheet with a list of plants and columns for Before first 5C, Before first 0C and so on. At the least you have a list of which plants need looking out for. My plants that need winter protection are all over the garden, so in previous years I have missed one or two ...
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Tom2006
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by Tom2006 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:44 am

Im not potting up any ensetes indoors this winter. All will be dried and in the loft.

Will be pulling all my pots onto the decking and the poly house with fan heater will be running again if required. This has saved many plants over the last two winters.
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.


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fern Rob
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by fern Rob » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:25 am

Tom2006 wrote:Im not potting up any ensetes indoors this winter. All will be dried and in the loft.

Will be pulling all my pots onto the decking and the poly house with fan heater will be running again if required. This has saved many plants over the last two winters.
How big do Ensetes have to be to store them like that?
Rob
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Dave Brown
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by Dave Brown » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:41 am

fern Rob wrote: How big do Ensetes have to be to store them like that?
I have left 1ft (30cm) tall Ensete maurelii to dry off in their pots, and they were fine :wink:
Best regards
Dave
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bordersboy
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by bordersboy » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:32 pm

Grouped my stuff into a tight circle up against s.e.wall wrapped together with loft insulation to stop frost coming in from the side and 6 inch`s of fallen tree leaves scattered over the tops of pots. No freezing of soil resulted.


Tom2006
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Re: Let's talk about what worked and what didn't last Winter

Post by Tom2006 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:16 pm

They were between a foot and two foot in what you might call a trunk.
Most wanted list - Any Young Trachycarpus and/or fern.


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