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Re: Styrofoam cones for winter protection

>I'm not sure if I read about winter protection in this listserver or the
>Zingiber listserver.  Somewhere, I heard of some Styrofoam-like material
>that was cone shaped and was placed over a tender plant to add winter
>protection.  Reportedly it added a zone or 2 of winter tolerance.


Those things are quite common up here in the Great White North come fall.
They are commonly called Rose cones, as they are commonly placed over roses
for winter protection.  A problem that most folks have is that in the
warmer days of late winter (i.e. March) they can heat up inside and cause
mold problems.  This can be ameliorated somewhat by poking holes in the top
for heat to escape.  They are also quite light weight and must be weighted
down by a brick or stone.  I prefer to use a tall bushel basket type of
thing commonly called a bean hamper (hard to find and I'm dating myself by
even remembering when beans were sold in these things).

I can't see that they would be any better than a good layering of mulch
unless one has some above ground growth you wish to protect.  As far as
giving a zone or 2 of protection, I'd be dubious, since these don't
actually provide any warmth (except as noted above), only provide
protection against drying winds and frost heaving.


Don Martinson
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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