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GROWING THINGS: Tucking in for the temperature drop

Plus, gardening above tree roots

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Q We’ve got planted three stunning cedars in pots to divide our out of doors kitchen from the out of doors front room. We loved all of them summer season lengthy. With winter proper across the nook, we maintain questioning, what can we do to ensure that them to outlive the winter?

A Ahhh, sure, the age-old query … tips on how to get potted vegetation to outlive the Alberta winter. Crops which are rising within the floor have a greater likelihood of surviving than any containerized plant. Even vegetation which are hardy for our space could have a tough time making it by way of the winter in a container. The rationale for that is that in a container the roots are subjected to freeze-thaw cycles that may injury the cells within the roots. Crops within the floor have their roots protected and insulated significantly better from these temperature variations.

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If you wish to overwinter containerized vegetation you will want to guard the container with an insulator akin to house insulation and the extra the higher. Wrap the pot with the insulation and be sure you insulate the underside as nicely. The insulation will assist shield towards the freezing and thawing. An unheated storage is a good place to overwinter containerized vegetation because it retains the wind off the plant. In case you don’t have a storage and are pressured to try to overwinter the plant outside I’d suggest preserving the plant in additional of a shady location. Inserting it out within the solar will increase the probabilities of thawing and freezing.

One other downside with making an attempt to overwinter containers is the moisture issue. The soil ought to have some moisture in it to maintain the roots from drying out fully and but an excessive amount of moisture can create issues with ceramic or terra cotta pots. The enlargement because the water freezes can crack non-plastic containers and even some plastic ones.

I do know of gardeners who efficiently overwinter many vegetation akin to Japanese maples and different delicate vegetation however they put in plenty of effort and time to make sure the plant’s survival. Overwintering containerized vegetation is at finest a raffle however you’ll be able to enhance the percentages significantly if you’re ready to do the work.  

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Q We created a brand new backyard on our lot 5 years in the past. We trucked in plenty of good soil at the moment. Every successive yr I discover tree roots are taking up to the purpose I can barely dig potatoes and this yr has been the worst. There’s a blended stand of timber three metres from the slender finish of the plot which I’m positive is the supply of my downside. I’m considering of skipping the backyard for a yr and do heavy and frequent rototilling. Do you assume that might assist? I’m not eager on relocating the backyard.

A Tree roots may be a difficulty in lots of beds however this downside in a vegetable backyard stands out as the worst. I’m afraid there may be little that may be performed to resolve the issue. Heavy rototilling will lead to extreme injury to the roots and will, and sure will, trigger the demise of among the timber. One factor to contemplate is making the backyard right into a raised mattress type. You may assemble easy sq. frames from 2×6 lumber, fill the frames with soil and backyard above the roots. This can be a answer that has been used efficiently for a few years in gardens which have tree root issues. If the backyard space is a big one you’ll be able to assemble a number of smaller frames moderately than one massive one.

Alberta City Backyard has an excellent web site that talks about raised beds — Raised Mattress Gardening Learners Information.

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Study extra by emailing your inquiries to [email protected], studying previous columns at or my e-book, Simply Ask Jerry. You may also comply with me on X/Twitter @justaskjerry01.


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