Ask a Question forum: Young seedlings

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Name: Cheryl Wilson
Central Alabama zone (Zone 8a)
Sep 2, 2016 11:42 AM CST
I bought some Pomegranate trees in 4" pots and two 4" York Elderberry plants. I don't want to lose them over the winter here in Central Alabama zone 8a.
My question is should I plant them in the ground or in my raised bed and put a cold frame over them for the winter?

Elderberry plants

Thumb of 2016-09-02/cmwilson/9720ce

Pomegranate trees

Thumb of 2016-09-02/cmwilson/8d467a

Married to the worlds greatest husband
living on a small farm with cows, chickens, rabbits and a couple dogs to protect our livestock.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Sep 2, 2016 1:10 PM CST
Id keep em protected from frost.being the so small. After next yr. The pom. Should be big enough to be safe from frost. We live in same zone. Ellderberry? I dont know nuttin bouts 😕. Someone else will probably come by to give u some advice.
Welcome! I tip my hat to you.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Sep 2, 2016 3:36 PM CST
Hi Cheryl! Welcome to NGA.

I looked up the common name in our plant database, and the few that I spot-checked all listed "5a" as their minimum cold hardiness. So they should be happy as clams, once established.

But, like Philip, I would guess that the babies are more tender.

>> My question is should I plant them in the ground or in my raised bed

Sorry, I don't really know.

But lately I've been reading that "they" think it's often better NOT to plant large trees in an improved planting hole, because the roots NEED to spread out many yards in all directions, but may never leave the hole if the soil there is TOO inviting and the rest of the yard is clay.

If the raised bed is large enough that it will hold the entire tree's roots years from now, cool!

>> and put a cold frame over them for the winter?

My GUESS is that some temperature protection might be a good thing, especially during cold spells. But be sure to leave some ventilation or open it up every morning, so you don't get one clear, warm sunny day that makes it think that Spring has Sprung.

Once the soil gets cold, you might make the mulch over its roots extra-thick so the young root-ball doesn't feel a lot of cold/warm cycling and frost heaves and dehydration.

Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Sep 2, 2016 6:17 PM CST
Hi Cheryl, Welcome! to NGA

I would plant them in their permanent places now. It is a lot harder to winter over plants in pots than in the ground. It doesn't make sense to plant them, dig them up and re-plant them. They have a couple months before cold weather to acclimate and start growing roots. You can always put water walls around them but I would only do that in December/January, if at all. You don't want them coming out of dormancy because of a warm spell. I would be more concerned about them being eaten by a hungry bunny.

What Rick says is true - you aren't doing new trees a favor by adding a lot of compost to their planting holes. Loosen the dirt but don't add too much of anything. The plants have to acclimate to your native soil as quickly as possible.

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