Irena Dorney a reader of my chrysanthemum post has asked ‘ Tell me do you overwinter your plants? I can no longer afford to keep buying new plants for my planters so I want to invest in plants with a perennial habit that will work hard in my raised bed.’
- I am a Yorkshire man so yes I try to over winter many of my plants. I want value for money and the thrill of getting or keeping ‘summat for nowt’.
- A major proportion of my garden is planted with evergreen shrubs and they overwinter themselves.
- Alpines are generally designed for cold wintery weather but HATE wet so I don’t worry about frost but will shield or deflect rain from auriculas and damp haters.
- Bulbs I leave in the ground or pots but take up begonias and dahlia tubers and keep them frost free for planting the following year.
- You can forget about your tender annuals but the seeds are worth collecting. You then overwinter them as seeds or biannuals.
- Selecting ‘hardy’ plants that are more likely to survive to survive is a skill worth learning. Violas will last better than pansies for example and dwarf conifers and acers do well in my pots.
- One of the biggest risks to plants in pots is death by frozen roots. A big pot holds more soil and is harder but not impossible to freeze.
- I gather pots together for wind and frost protection. A group of pots can create there own micro climate.
- Under a hedge row I store many pot plants where I am fatalistic. If they survive great if not then c’est la vie & I try to propagate more.
Overwintering in a Raised Bed
- Selecting herbaceous perennials can fill your raised beds. Herbaceous plants die back every year when the weather gets cold but the right ones regrow next year. If the winter conditions are harsh then mulch around the root area. Delphiniums, alstromeria and primroses have done well this year.
- Tender subjects like musa (banana) or ferns can be wrapped in hessian or covered in straw but that is too much bother for me.
- I grow rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas in a raised bed for the want of a larger area. Like many woody shrubs they do fine.