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Re: storing perennials

  • Subject: [cg] Re: storing perennials
  • From: Jeneva Storme jenevastorme@yahoo.ca
  • Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 16:40:09 -0400 (EDT)

Lisa wrote: 

The key to heeling-in  and overwintering is keeping
the temps. constant (mid to upper 20F, which is what
frozen soil stays at usually) until it is warm enough
to be uncovered. It is the freeze/thaw/freeze that
most effects plants. I understand that you are in a
severe region, and few plants can take extremes. The
basement is okay, but really doesn't offer the cold
needed for a true dormancy. Northern plants need a
specific number of cold-hours during the dormant
season inorder to complete dormancy. I think that most
of the material you are concerned about should do
fine. Keep the roots slightly damp, not wet, and cut
back the foliage. I think that you will be fine,
though. And I'm sure that if you lose something, any
number of us can help you get replacements. By the
way, I'm excited that you are getting a garden
overhaul, when so often the bulldozers are destroying
gardens these days. 

If anyone is interested in how nurseries overwinter
things, there are some good web pages at
www.extension.umn.edu -follow links to TRE Nursery.

I wasn't able to find a link to TRE Nursery, do you
have a more direct one?  I did bookmark the extension
page, it's got a lot of good information.

When you say what I've got "should do fine", do you
mean in the basement or stored outside?  I think most
of my stuff is pretty universal herbs and perennials,
none that are specific to this occasionally-arctic
climate, so that's what it seems to me that you meant,
but I wanted to clarify that so I don't do the wrong
thing.  ;-)  Actually, I heard from the city today
that the approval process isn't going to be complete
until spring, so we probably won't have to dig up all
this stuff until then -- perhaps by then I will have
found good homes for them, whether temporary or

We are very fortunate to have received permission to
use this space -- it is four lots (three adjacent, one
across the back lane) that used to have houses on
them.  A few years ago, local residents planted a
"guerilla garden" on one of the lots that had been
cleared by then.  Last year there were bids by various
people and organizations to put buildings on the space
-- a mansion moved from another street, or four
student houses for the University up the street.  We
managed to convince the city to let us keep the lot
vacant, and develop it as green space -- there really
is no need for new houses to be built in this
neighbourhood, when there are so many empty ones that
can be renovated and sold or "rented to own" (we have
a community land trust that is doing that).

We've had lots of support and encouragement from city
officials and community members, though there are
always those who don't see the value in gardening --
perhaps when it is a pretty little park and garden
rather than a row of decrepit beds, they will
appreciate it more.  The three lots together will be a
combination garden and picnic space, with wildlife
buffer zones containing native plants along the front
and back, and the single lot across the back lane will
be a "tot lot" for small children, with a play
structure and butterfly garden.  We have great hopes
for the capacity of this space to provide good food,
beauty, exercise, habitat for native wildlife, a
community gathering place, a safe place for small
children to play, and opportunities for environmental

Thanks for all your input.  It's helpful to have
people to ask for advice.

Shade and Sweet Water,

Greening West Broadway Coordinator
"Neighbourhood Solutions for Community Change"

West Broadway Development Corporation
640 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB  R3C 0X3
phone: 774-3534  fax: 779-2203
website: http://www.westbroadway.mb.ca

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