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overwintering plants in a compost pile

  • Subject: overwintering plants in a compost pile
  • From: "Cindy Johnson" <cidjohnson323@mediaone.net>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 18:05:38 -0500

Barbara wrote:
Can you please explain how you do this?  Do you sink the pots or what? 
Hi Barbara,
I just lay them on their sides, right in the pots, unless they were in a clay pot and then I take them out first and store the pot indoors.  My compost pile is huge, with a lot of dry oak and maple leaves so it doesn't heat up.  I made sure there was a good 6- 8" of leaves on top of the plants.  Nothing could be simpler!  But remember, I've only done this for one winter so far.  I hope the rodents don't catch on!  I've never used any poison, even when I used to buriy them in dirt under our deck. 
When I buried my plants, I got the idea from how we treat hybrid tea roses here...the Minnesota tip.  Wrap twine around the rose to hold it's branches up, loosen one side of the roots of the rose, dig a trench next to it, and lay the rose on its side and cover with dirt. leaving the end of the twine visible so you can find it come spring.  I don't have hybrid tea roses, btw, too much work.  But I figure if burying them in dirt works, then why not do it with other zone 5 or 6 plants?  (I'm in zone 4, within a few miles of zone 3).   Burying plants in a big leaf pile is a whole lot cleaner and easier than in dirt.
Cindy Johnson
White Bear Lake, MN
zone 4a

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