Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: garden is put to bed

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Name: Kate
NEKingdom of Vermont (Zone 3a)
[url=www.LabourofLoveLandscaping.co
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LabourofLove
Oct 21, 2012 1:53 PM CST
So, up here in the not-yet-frozen North, gardening (as we know it) has come to screeching halt; 2 hard frosts and a LOT more in the wings. There are still things to be done - mostly involving leaves and shredding then mulching with them.

The semp beds are covered for the winter with shadecloth - already keeping bushels of leaves out of them. This will make opening up for next season a lot easier.

When do the rest of we semp-freaks put the gardens to bed? Any tricks/tips to share?
Kate Kennedy Butler
Glover, Vermont

life without music would be a mistake Nietzsche
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Oct 21, 2012 2:02 PM CST

Moderator

Hi Kate, so good to see you. Did you get a chance to go see Kevin while he was back in your area?

I love the way you put your semps to bed for the winter, that would be an excellent way to cut down on the spring 'Wake-up' work for those that have lots of falling leaves to take care of.
That would make a great article for next April's 'Sempervivum Week' here at ATP. Would you be interested in doing that?
You could take photos of the covered semps, beds in the winter with snow, and the grand unveiling in the spring. What month do you uncover your beds?

Because of where I live I don't have to put mine to bed like you do. I don't have the leaves to contend with, or the snow. I do cover my beds with bird netting in the winter to keep the voles, bunnies, squirrels and blue jays out. They can make quite a mess in the winter. I keep the netting up/off of the semps with a frame that is about 2 feet above the plants.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Oct 21, 2012 2:47 PM CST
When I lived in a higher altitude in NM, I had my husband build hinged frame tops that I could flip up to expose or down to cover. The tops made of PVC pipes were covered with shade cloth sewn onto the pipes. The tops were covering a wooden platform with N-sulate cloth covered semps. The platform was balanced between 4 rain barrels so that being off the ground the semps were safe from rodents and other animals. The winters consisted of the flipping up or down of the frame tops depending on how much sun was shining that day. Suffice to say that the lids were hard to flip when it snowed the nite before.

Now I am in zone 9b and all the semps have been replanted in a raised bed. I think I will still blanket the semps with either shade cloth of N-sulate cloth but I am concerned about if when these blankets get wet from unpredicted rain and the nite happens to be near frost temps, the semps might be suceptible to damage. Anybody have that worry?
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Oct 21, 2012 3:13 PM CST

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Bev, I would think in your area you wouldn't have to cover them at all, as long as the soil is fast draining. Or if you have problems with pest digging, etc. The frost would be good for them. They are an alpine plant and are genetically suited to cold temperatures.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Oct 21, 2012 3:19 PM CST
Guess I've been so used to baby-ing them...need to let go and see what they do on their own.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Oct 21, 2012 4:25 PM CST

Moderator

Keep us informed on how things go Bev.

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twitcher
Oct 21, 2012 10:01 PM CST
Here in zone 5 I don't really have to do anything to put them to bed. We've had several hard frosts over the last 3 weeks, but in a heat wave of sorts at the moment. [OT] I've been working my Rhipsalis collection into the house, moving them just ahead of the frosts. This takes a lot of work, as they are in hanging pots and I only have a bit of window space for them. So lots of careful thought of what to hang where and on what. My collection has been growing well the past couple of years, so space has become critical. I will have to come up with something better for them for next year.[end OT]

I do try to give the semps a final weeding after the cold knocks down the weeds. That way they are ready for the spring. I also shift the ones I know are water sensitive to a more sheltered location.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Oct 21, 2012 10:37 PM CST

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Did you see this tip twit? Really great idea. http://garden.org/ideas/view/threegardeners/979/Hanging-plan...
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
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goldfinch4
Oct 22, 2012 2:28 AM CST

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I don't do much to put mine to bed either. Like Twit, I bring the moisture-sensitives ones in pots in the garage for the winter. I like the leaves to cover the semps in the garden for a little extra winter protection. But if we have a wet fall I tried to keep them clear to prevent rot. I move the hypertufa pots and wreaths up against the house. I did all that this weekend and all my perennial beds are cleaned up for the year too. Feels good to have that done!
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twitcher
Oct 22, 2012 4:56 AM CST
That's a great tip and similar to what I do. I use broom handles across the window space, but also hang pots from each other in a cascade. The room shown in the pics has much more light than mine which only has one window. Incidentally, the two pics also show a nice rhipsalis on the right hand side of both pics. Really hard and risky to try to name the species, but it does look like it might be one of the R. teres. The problem with Rhipsalis is that they keep getting bigger each year...
Name: Kate
NEKingdom of Vermont (Zone 3a)
[url=www.LabourofLoveLandscaping.co
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant and/or Seed Trader Sempervivums Tropicals Garden Ideas: Level 1
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LabourofLove
Oct 22, 2012 4:50 PM CST
valleylynn said:Hi Kate, so good to see you. Did you get a chance to go see Kevin while he was back in your area?

I love the way you put your semps to bed for the winter, that would be an excellent way to cut down on the spring 'Wake-up' work for those that have lots of falling leaves to take care of.
That would make a great article for next April's 'Sempervivum Week' here at ATP. Would you be interested in doing that?
You could take photos of the covered semps, beds in the winter with snow, and the grand unveiling in the spring. What month do you uncover your beds?

Because of where I live I don't have to put mine to bed like you do. I don't have the leaves to contend with, or the snow. I do cover my beds with bird netting in the winter to keep the voles, bunnies, squirrels and blue jays out. They can make quite a mess in the winter. I keep the netting up/off of the semps with a frame that is about 2 feet above the plants.


Didn't get to see Kevin - never got the info about place and date and time.

I could probably put together something - though I've posted photos already of them covered up. Just pix or text, too?
Kate Kennedy Butler
Glover, Vermont

life without music would be a mistake Nietzsche
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Oct 22, 2012 5:35 PM CST

Moderator

Kevin ended up with an family emergency, that is probably why he didn't contact you.

Sending you Tree-mail.

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