Ask a Question forum: Container gardening in winter

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Oct 9, 2016 2:18 PM CST
I have a small outdoor space, essentially just a light-well outside our basement kitchen (approx. 2m square). It gets good sunlight in the mornings - enough that I was able to grow tomatoes and chilli peppers this summer. As it is below ground level, and we live on the coast (salt sea air), it doesn't seem to get frost. My mint and catnip survived well through last winter. I'd like some tips on hardy plants that will survive the winter in pots to keep our outdoor space looking attractive (we might try and sell our flat soon). My initial instincts are herbs, lavender perhaps, and to get decent sized plants that are likely to withstand the winter better. Any and all suggestions will be welcomed with open arms!
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Oct 9, 2016 3:17 PM CST

Were you growing you tomatoes and peppers in pots? Tall pots would probably make that light-well suddenly seem a lot smaller and darker than it is. Have you thought about planting something low that stays green all winter in shallow pots? Something like a mass planting of cyclamen. I don't know where you live but if the mint and catnip survived, cyclamen would grow like a champ.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Oct 10, 2016 2:56 PM CST
Hi and Welcome, Welcome! You might do well with winter Pansies, which will bloom with even feeble winter sun as long as they don't freeze. They also keep on blooming, as long as you pick off the spent blooms which is a plus if you want ongoing color there.

The lavender and such are Mediterranean herbs so they like it warmer, and quite dry. You may have nice looking foliage on them through the winter but they won't bloom until spring. Rosemary is dependably evergreen and looks pretty even when not in bloom so would make a pretty green background plant for either pansies or cyclamen. Lavender may lose its leaves depending upon how cold it gets.

If you could post a picture of your light well area, and fill in your profile with your location, more ideas might be forthcoming.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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