Wednesday, November 29, 2006

2006 - November - Winterizing part 2

So far our fall has been warm and nice so I left off the last part of preparing my containers for winter. Even though they are calling for above normal temperatures it is now time to finish the winter preparations.

I moved all of the containers to the east side of the back yard. There are two rows of planters. The back row is for planters that I don't have anything of value in and I don'tmind if they don't come back next year. The front row are the ones I am interested in. Specifically the top layer of planters. The two I am wanting to keep is the winter savoury and the sedum (left hand side of the photos). I placed a cover of burlap over these to help keep various bits of debris off, but, allows water to flow through.

During the winter we keep shoveling snow out of the rest of the yard and cover the planters in this snow. This allows us to protect all of the plants using what nature provided us for free. I try to keep at least 75 cm (2.5 feet) of snow on the top and about 50 cm (1.5 feet) as a border around the outside perimiter. The only problem is when we don't get a lot of snow. I normally go outside the back fence and pull in a few loads of snow to keep the plants covered.

This is what we have been doing in the back yard for the past eight years and it works for us. It is simple and easy to do. The only expense was for the burlap. In the spring I wait until all of the ice has melted before uncovering the planters and set them out along the window well and wall to take advantage of the spring sun and heat.

It is hard to tell, but, on the right hand side of the photos we have a large green garbage pail. For the planters that we didn't want to over-winter we dumped the soil into this pail. The upside is that we let the soil dry out a bit and then put the garbage pail lid back on. In the spring we have a ready source of dry soil that we can then top dress the various planters that over-wintered. For the soil that we didn't keep we did not throw it out. The soil that didn't get saved went to the side of the house to top dress the grass and we put it around the Spirea that is outside the fence. All soil is used and we don't ever throw it out.