Monday, November 5, 2012

Winter Prep

It's time to do a little winter preparation at Crest Avenue.  We are starting to see temperatures in the mid to upper thirties during the night.  We have not had a frost yet, but today being the fifth of November, frost is not far off for the Mid-Atlantic.  Yesterday I decided it was time to cover the plants I would like to leave outside for the winter.  This will be the first year that I attempt to over-winter the begonias and asparagus ferns in these hanging baskets.  And there are the palm trees out front that will need to be covered also.


As you can see, the begonias are already starting to look a little worse for the wear in this photo.  I am hoping that covering these baskets with a protective fabric will prevent the roots from freezing and that they will regenerate in the spring.
 
Here is one of the protective fabric bags I have chosen for this experiment.  These bags are designed to be used on hanging baskets.  You open the bag and bring it up and over the plant and then secure it tightly with drawstrings that have little locking devices to keep them in place.



Here was the finished project.  Both baskets covered and hopefully protected for the season.  These bags will shield against cold, winter winds and help to hold warmth from the sun inside.
 
In the front gardens, I have two palm trees that were just planted last spring.  Along side this palm is the pepper plant and tomato plant, both of which produced quite spectacularly all through the summer.  Unfortunately, it was time to say goodbye to the peppers and tomatoes.

And here is that same area with the peppers and tomatoes gone.


And the palm tree in the opposite garden on the other side of the front porch.  (And the little grey kitty's bowl.  I think he ran off when I started working in the gardend and probably came back later.)




This palm tree on the opposite side of the porch is the smaller of the two.  So I was able to get the cover completely over the tree and secured around the pot.  This cover works just like the others for the hanging baskets and secures at the bottom with drawstrings with locking features.  (You see the banana tree in the background which I will need to dig up and put away for the winter.)


The larger of the two palms (the one that had the tomatoes and peppers planted beside it) was a bit more of a chllenge.  I was only able to cover the tree and secure the bag near the base of the trunk.  I added a substantial layer of cedar mulch to help protect the roots from freezing.


I covered the drawstrings on this larger palm with mulch and left a small section visible so I won't have to go searching for them in the spring.
 And so was my Sunday and early preparations for winter at Crest Avenue.  There are still plants to be brought inside and we will be working on that during the week.  If you are interested in purchasing bags to protect your outdoor plants, you can find them at QCI Direct (www.qcidirect.com).  The hanging basket protectors are item #118425 and the set of 2 - large plant protectors is item #128499.









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