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Prepare your container garden plants for winter

As your first frost date approaches, it is time to prepare plants you are growing outdoors in containers for winter.

Plant roots are generally not as hardy as the top of the plant, so they need to be protected from freezing during severe winter weather. Sink containers in the ground, or surround containers with sawdust or other insulating material. Another option is to move hardy dormant plants to a cool (35°- 45° F) location during severe weather episodes, otherwise, leave them outside if temperatures are staying above 26° F overnight and above freezing during the day.

When moving frost-tender plants indoors for the winter, be sure to harden them off (Plant Owners manual, pg 11) and inspect for insect infestations. Ideally they should be moved indoors as night temperatures start going below 50° F consistently.

Wait until plants are fully dormant to repot or pot up to a larger container.

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About Theresa Knutsen

Theresa Knutsen is a horticulturist and writes the Raintree Nursery newsletter "Growing Tips." Email: theresa@raintreenursery.com.

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