March 10, 2010

Overwintering Pots, Redux

Sometimes, a photo says it all.  Back at the end of January, I noted that we were overwintering a large quantity of containers with well-established perennials.  In the ground, such perennials would be expected to come back as a matter of course each year but in pots, their survival (not to mention that of the pot) was much less assured.

Beginning with the January Thaw, I've carted our containers outdoors on warm days, taking them back in at twilight.  There have been roughly ten days in February and March when the temperatures rose to at least 45 degrees and another spell of such weather (along with some rain) is due this weekend.

Does it work?  The picture at left is worth a thousand words.  Here are four of our perennial containers taken this afternoon.  There's perennial salvia and snapdragons, dianthus, and a hydrangea that's leafing out nicely.

These containers (and 25 of their brethren) will continue to come out on warm days until spring is firmly established in early May.  It will be an interesting comparison to see how these flower versus their in-ground cousins and the new perennials we buy for the 2010 season.

I'll try to continue to photograph this foursome ever few weeks.  The trick, of course, is to remember to a) keep them out of direrct sun while their foliage is tender and b) not to forget to bring them in at night.  Temperatures here are still reliably below freezing every night.