Northern Gardening forum: Perrannials in the north

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lindavid
Sep 20, 2014 7:10 PM CST
I am wondering what thoughts people have about wintering perrannials thru hard winter freezing conditions. Is some protection needed for some plants or are the plants rated for this zone likely to be ok.
David
[Last edited by lindavid - Sep 20, 2014 7:11 PM (+)]
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Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
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JuneOntario
Sep 20, 2014 7:48 PM CST
If the plants are hardy for your zone, and have had time to establish their roots in the soil before winter, they should be OK. Repeated freezing and thawing can damage new plants, heaving them right out of the ground, so you have to watch for any that start to pop up and push them back into the ground. Some people like to cover their flowerbeds with evergreen branches for winter in case there is no snow cover, but I have not done this because I worry about moisture collecting under the branches and causing rot. In the past I have tried mounding sand or gravel over doubtfully hardy plants, with some success. Now, though, if a plant doesn't make it through winter without protection, I replace it with something else.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Sep 21, 2014 8:12 AM CST
Welcome to ATP, David ! What zone are you gardening in?

I usually give mine some protection the first winter, especially if they're rather small -- either evergreen branches or straw, something loose like that. It's important to remove it once things start warming up, though. But once established they seem to be remarkably hardy -- and if not, as June said, I replace them with something else. Smiling
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Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
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mcash70
Oct 2, 2014 1:07 PM CST
I just let nature take it's course, choose plants hardy for your zone. The leaves naturally cover a couple of the beds in my garden, then I hope for a good early snow cover for the rest of them.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Oct 3, 2014 6:12 AM CST
I agree leaves and snow are nature's insulation.
I sometimes use peat moss,
especially over bulb plantings as the squirrels don't like to dig through it.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Oct 3, 2014 7:18 AM CST
Some years nature gets a little carried away with that insulation thing! Hilarious!
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Leftwood
Oct 3, 2014 7:52 AM CST
I've always wondered, Caroline, how do you keep the peat moss from blowing away?
You're talking about the cubic foot bailed sphagnum peat, right?
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Oct 3, 2014 8:43 PM CST
I usually wet the peat down, and then it does not blow.
If it looks like it will blow, then I sprinkle Jello powder over it.
Yes, I get the big bales of peat moss.
Alberta has a very environmentally friendly harvesting of peat.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Oct 3, 2014 10:12 PM CST
Caroline -- Jello powder?? Confused

I bought some sphagnum peat to try to amend the soil for my blueberry plants this year that came from Canada -- thank you, neighbors to the north!! Smiling
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Oct 4, 2014 4:42 AM CST
Jello powder is sticky when wet, and holds dry peat.
It is useful when sowing seeds on a slope too.

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Oct 4, 2014 9:19 AM CST
Great idea -- never heard that before! Thumbs up
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