Winter and your containers

Thu. Oct. 15, 2020

Click below to listen to my  2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Winter and your containers

We all know it’s coming, the s-word! While I could be talking about stew and sweatshirts, there are some who have seen snow! That means we still have some things to do to prepare for Winter. It may seem early but I want to put this one out there. One of those items is cleaning out the annuals in our pots.

Outdoor Fall container – I’ll bring this one into my garage

I do leave out my large pots to plant for the Christmas season. I also have two other glazed pots, which handle the least amount of wet conditions and freezing temperatures, that I’ve left out for years. That wear is showing…

They’ve both cracked and I’m afraid to move them much at all at this point. The other smaller glazed pots I have, I will turn over and they’ll be somewhat protected on my large covered porch.

The most important thing is that your pots are dry as we enter winter and stay as dry as possible. If there’s an opportunity for water to get under those cracks, then you’ll likely see damage in the spring. What happens is the moisture in the soil in the container will freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw which causes expanding and contracting. It’s the same thing that happens to our plants, we call that “heaving” and it can lift the plants right out of the ground. If you keep containers dry, you shouldn’t have a problem.

If you have a very expensive glazed container, you might consider this. I always buy these at the end of the season when they’re on sale so I’m more willing to risk a little damage. And the two REALLY big ones are just too much for me to move!

Terra cotta pots can also suffer from winter damage. I usually put these in the shed. The main reason is to keep them dry. The cold isn’t really the issue. Also, my terra cotta pots are smaller and stack well. The terra cotta pots I’ve used for garden hose guides are kaput, but they’ve been out in all weather for several years.

This video I did in 2013 (a LOT of the landscape has changed!) And so have I! HA…..

Those pots are already gone…. I added some in the front and they’ll be gone soon too… BUT, they did work well for years.  The pot on the ground fared worse but the one on top is cracked where it meets the other one