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Re: Overwintering pots of hosta...

  • Subject: Re: Overwintering pots of hosta...
  • From: Mrgrthumb@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2001 21:06:58 EDT

In a message dated 10/07/2001 9:25:51 AM Eastern Daylight Time, CCREDUX@aol.com writes:
How do you protect the plants in the winter? I have overwintered containered hostas                      with only mixed success. Method used was to lie pots at about a 45 degree angle with the ground (patio) and cover with hay or straw. What is the best method? Do you or does anyone else put the pots in an unheated shed (garage)?
Many thanks,
Clyde Crockett z5 Indy (brrrrrrrrr) IN

I know much has been said on this subject over the last couple of weeks, but I haven't seen much said about how we do it...our method is relatively simple...first, we grow our Hosta in rather inexpensive 6" rigid plastic azalea style greenhouse pots...they are cheap and hold just enough soil (We use standard Pro-mix BX) to support great root growth.  We either grow on TC cells for a year before selling them or propagate our own divisions as mostly single/double pips.  That gives us a nice sized plant we usually retail for 25% less than Steve Greene's Hosta Finder average prices.  We run a part time business, open only by appointment (evenings and weekends), with no mail order possible.  Our customers love to come and see the mature plants growing in our tiny 1/4 acre garden and pick out the varieties they like best.  Each year we have just over 100 varieties for sale.  Its a small business, started about 6 years ago by our son but has helped pay for his education at Cornell University where he currently is in Grad School...becoming certified as a Biology teacher.

Sooo...at this time of year, we are cleaning up the pots to tuck them away until Spring finally arrives here in Upstate NY in mid April.  We begin by cutting back all the frosted foliage and giving the pots a good soaking, before we store them away.  We then simply spread out the pots, one layer at a time in our simple coldframes.  We put them in upright, pot to pot and then spread about 2" of very course dry Red Oak leaves on them.  Next we spread out another layer of pots right on top of the first, and spread out another layer of oak leaves over them...our 2 cold frames are just high enough to hold about 5 layers of pots, with the oak leaves as insulation.  They aren't air tight by any means, and use old wood frame storm windows for the tops.

This has worked great for us for the last 6 years...all we do is make sure the pots don't get too dried out...by shoveling in a little snow once in a while during the winter...and then bring out the frozen pots in early April to awaken for the new growing season.

Hope you have found some of this useful...and sorry if we rambled on too long...

Best wishes,
David L. Jennings

20 Pine Street
Scotia NY 12302-2810
Cofounder and First President of the Upstate NY Hosta Society
Owner of Glenville Gardens, Popular and Exotic Hostas
Open by appointment only by calling us at (518) 393-0905

You may also make an appointment via E-mail

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