Re: Wintering over Hostas
Hi Narda and Paul,
This note is primarily to say thanks to Narda and Paul, but anyone
else can listen in.
Last fall, I was a little nervous about wintering over my hosta stock
in a greenhouse, having never done this before. While lots
of Hosta nursery folk grow them in the ground, and winter them over right
where they live, I couldn't find a lot of info on growers up north who
were wintering them over in containers. And there is a scarcity of
info available on the Net. There does seem to be quite a bit of info
on woody perennials, and from other contacts, I felt treating Hostas about
like these might be satisfactory.
About November 15th, I turned off the heat. And yesterday, I turned
it back on. I had purchased a thermal blanket that is designed to
help reduce the radical swings in temperature. If I remember
correctly, it was Paul that cautioned against allowing the sun to heat
up thos frozen crowns during the day. I also took Tom Michelleti's
(and others) advice about giving them no water. I would have liked
to have piled some snow on them about a month ago, to add a little moisture,
but I couldn't figure out an easy way to do this.
From what I can tell, I have reason to be encouraged. We had baited
for voles and mice, so had very little loss due to these types of critters
(if there are 10 missing, I'd be surprised), and, while it is premature
to be totally ecstatic, I have reason to believe that most plants
faired quite well. After I removed the blanket, I could see that
H. Green Eyes is perhaps the earlies emerger, and there were lots of crowns
peeking up to find some light. Now that I finally have water again,
they all got a nice drink and should start taking off. Most of the
crowns were solid and just starting to send out that first central bud,
thought they are VERY dry.
Thanks for the helpful suggestions and the encouragement last fall.
If you hear some hooping and hollering from 240 miles south of you in a
couple of weeks, it will be me. If I can keep necrosis under 5%,
I'll be squealing like a stuck pig. I'm keeping my fingers crossed
that what LOOKS like life really is....
I know many people switch to growing them only in the ground but I must
like living on the edge... and getting a jump start on growing.
Long live those tough OLD Hostas!
#1 Plantsman at http://hostahaven.com
1250 41st St
Des Moines, IA 50311-2516