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Over wintering hosta in pots


I have moved, hosta and all from a temperate zone 5b to a serious winter zone
3a location My entire collection has been established in pots for at least one
year in preparation for this move. I have never had a problem over wintering
the few hosta I did have in pots in the past (ie in zone 5b) using a light
straw mulch and a water proof tarp covering the pots which I had on ground
level. I will use the same mulch/tarp covering in my new zone 3a
location.Except!

And here is my concern and my question. My potted collection are now on
benches and above ground level where they will probably not receive the
benefit of snow covering.Do I have a potential survival problem?? I  would
feel more confident if they were on ground level but I am dealing with 1200
cataloged pots and limited space and would prefer to leave them on benches
during the winter. Plants will go in the ground Spring 2006.

To summarize.In Zone 3a  I want to over winter 1200 potted Hosta, established
in pots for 1-3 years, on benches and above ground level ie. probably no snow
insulating benefit unless 6' of snow, will mulch with straw and cover securely
with a water proof tarp.Am I stretching the limit of hosta hardiness?

Thanks all

Phil Little

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