With the arrival of cold weather this winter, you may be thinking that your gardening efforts should come to a halt. It’s easy to think that you have to wait until spring, but that’s not quite true. Planting in containers gives you some flexibility during the cold months, as you can essentially move the plants around to make the most of what the season has to offer.
If you wish to include container plants in your garden, you need to make sure that you take care of both the plants and the containers during the winter.
Here are a few tips to follow to get the best results:
Plant early – to get container plants off to a good start, you need to plant early. You can’t expect to plant them in the winter and see them grow. According to expert gardeners, container plants need at least a month of warmer weather. It is a good idea to start them in the fall so they can establish their roots before frost sets in.
Choose the right pots – there are many types of pots to choose from. Resist the urge to choose beautiful clay or concrete pots. These absorb a certain amount of moisture, which can freeze at low temperatures and cause the container to crack. Plastic and resin are much better in this respect, as they do not retain moisture and do not break or crack in the winter.
Don’t forget to water potted plants – winter damage is most often due to desiccation (drying out). Don’t forget to water the containers when they are dry, especially before you expect a hard frost. It is best to water in the morning, as this is when the soil warms up.
Plants need good drainage. When watering the plants, you must ensure that the water drains properly. Otherwise, it will accumulate, expand and risk breaking the container. Planters must have drainage holes and well-drained soil. Do not leave plants in a water container either, as most winter plants do not like wet conditions.
Choose your plants carefully – the soil in the containers can get colder than the soil in the ground, so it is important to choose plants that grow well in a colder area than the one you are in.
Location is essential – although sunlight is rather weak in winter, you should always place your potted plants in the sunniest possible location. Also make sure that they are away from any strong winds that might cause them to dry out or tip over onto the pots.
Protect the pots – group your pots together for better protection and place them in a sheltered spot. You can also wrap them in burlap if you think winter conditions may cause damage.
Feed them slowly – one thing you need to know about plants in winter is that they take up fewer nutrients. Don’t even try to water and overfeed them – it won’t help them at all. What you can do for them is to use enriched soil and a well-balanced organic fertilizer when you plant them. This will give them a good supply of nutrients for the winter.
By following these tips, you will be able to take care of your potted plants during the winter. They guarantee you efficient plant management and allow you to enjoy the joys of gardening during the harshest of seasons.