Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Unveiling of the Frost Protection Bags

You will recall, back in the fall, I posted that I was going to place specially designed bags over some of the plants I wanted to protect during the cold winter months.  I covered the asparagus fern and begonias in hanging baskets and the large potted palm trees.  I have now removed these protective bags from the hanging baskets and what follows is my experience.

Here you see the two hanging baskets that contain the asparagus fern and begonias.  We removed the covers and what did we find?

Dead asparagus fern and begonias.  This was the first year I used these bags, so I was uncertain if they would provide enough protection.  As quoted from my post on November 5:

"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."

Above is a picture of what these baskets looked like on that date.  This was indeed my first year using these bags.  What did I learn?  I learned that asparagus fern and begonias do not over-winter in the Mid-Atlantic whether you cover them or not.  I could have gotten what you see in the second picture from the top by just leaving the plants in the basket with no cover.  So, we will clean up these baskets and replant.  This year I think I will put in good old Boston Fern.  They are beautiful.  They love the humidity, which is in abundance here during the late spring and summer and even into the first days of fall.  They get very little direct sun in this location which is a plus.

Tomorrow, we will "unbag" the potted palm trees out front and see if they faired any better.
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