Daylilies forum→Planting Late, using a cold frame to help plants get established

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Name: April Blevins
North Eastern Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Region: Kentucky Daylilies
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Arainais
Nov 2, 2021 1:11 PM CST
I got suckered into an end of season sale at Brecks and bought quite a few bare root daylilies. Unfortunately, they say they won't ship until after Nov 15th, which is kind of late to be planting here in Eastern KY zone 6B. I was thinking I might plant them in my recently cleared out 4 x 8 vegetable raised bed to over winter, as I am not quite ready to put them straight into the ground. I was thinking of getting something like this to put over the bed to keep temps a little warmer in hopes of giving them a better chance at getting established.

Thumb of 2021-11-02/Arainais/f0e825

I wondered if anyone had done this or thought it might be a good idea.
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Bee Lover Foliage Fan Butterflies Dragonflies
Daylilies
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plasko20
Nov 2, 2021 1:24 PM CST
Hi,
I am also 6b. I got Wild Horses bare-root daylily (no leaves at all) which shipped out to me on 14th Nov 2020 from a similar vendor. It probably arrived a few days later.
As it is an evergreen I figured it would be toast for sure as it would be spending all winter underground with no leaves to feed the roots.
Surprisingly, it popped up healthy in spring 2021, albeit too small to give me any scapes (2 of them, actually, both survived).
Your cold frame will be good wind protection. However, as it is a raised bed there may not be much surface temperature insulation as there would be if planted in the ground. If you do go for it, try and plant in the middle of your raised bed away from the edges which will get bitterly cold. Or you can just stick them in the ground and pile a lot of mulch over the top to insulate them.
Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
[Last edited by plasko20 - Nov 2, 2021 1:28 PM (+)]
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SE Iowa
hawkeye_daddy
Nov 2, 2021 2:26 PM CST
When I moved my plants to town, the daylilies went in the ground over Thanksgiving weekend. Most of them made it, but some did not. They were all potted; nothing bare root. Zone 5b.

The cold frame will keep the air temperature a little warmer, but Orion is right about the soil temps. How many are you talking about? I'd be tempted to put them in grow bags in a cool basement or insulated garage. Whatever you do, TAKE PICTURES and document the planting. Brecks purports to guarantee their plants, but in my experience, they make you RETURN them before they will honor said guarantee. It's pretty hard to return a rotted tuber, especially if the pill bugs have access to it.

Sure wish you every success. And that what they send actually turns out to be what you ordered! But that could be a whole 'nuther thread.
Name: April Blevins
North Eastern Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Region: Kentucky Daylilies
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Arainais
Nov 2, 2021 4:38 PM CST
hawkeye_daddy said:When I moved my plants to town, the daylilies went in the ground over Thanksgiving weekend. Most of them made it, but some did not. They were all potted; nothing bare root. Zone 5b.

The cold frame will keep the air temperature a little warmer, but Orion is right about the soil temps. How many are you talking about? I'd be tempted to put them in grow bags in a cool basement or insulated garage. Whatever you do, TAKE PICTURES and document the planting. Brecks purports to guarantee their plants, but in my experience, they make you RETURN them before they will honor said guarantee. It's pretty hard to return a rotted tuber, especially if the pill bugs have access to it.

Sure wish you every success. And that what they send actually turns out to be what you ordered! But that could be a whole 'nuther thread.


I've had the complete opposite experience with Brecks. I've had a few dayliles not make it in the past and they have always been quick to offer a replacement certificate with no questions asked. The ones that survived have all been what they were supposed to be and have done well. Hopefully, that continues to be the case.

I've got about 15 coming. What if I potted them up and then sunk the pots in the ground, and then just anchored the cold frame over them in ground? Would that give them a better chance of getting established?

Unfortunately I don't have a garage or a basement to pot them up in. I do have a grow light stand that I use for seed starting that I could pot them and put them on, but temps would be around 70 all the time if I kept them indoors and I know that's not ideal.
Name: Orion
Boston, MA (Zone 6b)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Bee Lover Foliage Fan Butterflies Dragonflies
Daylilies
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plasko20
Nov 2, 2021 4:52 PM CST
"What if I potted them up and then sunk the pots in the ground, and then just anchored the cold frame over them in ground? Would that give them a better chance of getting established? "

You do not even need the pots, really. It is called 'heeling in':
https://www.gardeningknowhow.c...

Gardening: So exciting I wet my plants!
SE Iowa
hawkeye_daddy
Nov 2, 2021 5:24 PM CST
[quote="Arainais"]
What if I potted them up and then sunk the pots in the ground, and then just anchored the cold frame over them in ground? Would that give them a better chance of getting established?

@Arainais, I don't think I'd do that here. Reason being pots could trap moisture and lead to rot if we had a wet season. I know some folks in warmer areas do have luck sinking pots in the ground, though. Frost movement is the concern if it doesn't have time to establish anchor roots. Soggy cold soil over the crown was what killed some of mine that first winter. They settled too much, allowing the snow melt to pond on top of them.

The reason I suggested grow bags is because they wick excess moisture away. The ones I used for seedlings and small plants were made of the same fabric that my row covers are made of. Last March, I started one dahlia in a grow bag, and one in a pot. They were the same variety, and the one in the grow bag performed much better when planted out, even though the tuber was smaller to begin with. I figured on using grow bags for storing them over the winter now, thinking it might help keep them moist, but not too wet.

I'm happy you've had good luck with Brecks, and hope it continues for you!
Name: Kenny Shively
Rineyville, KY. region 10. (Zone 6b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Region: Kentucky
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kennysh
Nov 3, 2021 10:08 AM CST
April, I also am zone 6b. I like using a cold frame, I start my daylily seeds in mine in Sept. The little seedlings do well all winter, until they are planted in seedling bed around 1st of May.
I agree with others that the earth helps with heat exchange. My cold frame is made of wood, much like the one in your photo ,and sit on a bed of gravel. There is a couple of things I do to further help protect the little daylilies. I cover the bottom wood part with an 18 in. Black plastic, stapled to the wood. I also use bubble wrap(large bubbles) stapled to the inside frame,both lid and walls. Also if you can set your cold frame in a protected area. Mine is located on the south side of my metal barn. I will try to post some pictures. Smiling Thumbs up
Name: Debra
Nashville, TN (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Cat Lover Butterflies Region: Tennessee Seed Starter
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shive1
Nov 3, 2021 10:28 AM CST
hawkeye_daddy said:[quote="Arainais"]
What if I potted them up and then sunk the pots in the ground, and then just anchored the cold frame over them in ground? Would that give them a better chance of getting established?

@Arainais, I don't think I'd do that here. Reason being pots could trap moisture and lead to rot if we had a wet season. I know some folks in warmer areas do have luck sinking pots in the ground, though. Frost movement is the concern if it doesn't have time to establish anchor roots. Soggy cold soil over the crown was what killed some of mine that first winter. They settled too much, allowing the snow melt to pond on top of them.

The reason I suggested grow bags is because they wick excess moisture away. The ones I used for seedlings and small plants were made of the same fabric that my row covers are made of. Last March, I started one dahlia in a grow bag, and one in a pot. They were the same variety, and the one in the grow bag performed much better when planted out, even though the tuber was smaller to begin with. I figured on using grow bags for storing them over the winter now, thinking it might help keep them moist, but not too wet.

I'm happy you've had good luck with Brecks, and hope it continues for you!


I agree that planting pots in a wet winter could lead to rot. And this is supposed to be a wet winter, according to forecasts I've seen recently.
SE Iowa
hawkeye_daddy
Nov 7, 2021 6:08 PM CST
@Arainais, you got me. I couldn't resist looking, and now I have five of them on the way too. I sure hope they are as advertised, but for the money, I'm not out much. I've kind of been in love with Siloam Peony Display for awhile now, and nobody I usually buy from ever has it. We have a chance of snow this weekend, so I'm not sure what I'll be doing with them when they get here. If the ground doesn't freeze before they arrive, I might try them outside too. Fingers crossed for both of us!
Name: April Blevins
North Eastern Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Region: Kentucky Daylilies
Image
Arainais
Nov 7, 2021 6:26 PM CST
hawkeye_daddy said:@Arainais, you got me. I couldn't resist looking, and now I have five of them on the way too.


I spent my day outside getting as much in the ground as possible. My soil is pretty high on clay content so that's why I always like to get my bare root plants established in a pot before getting them in the ground. Had too many bad experiences with them rotting if I put them straight in there. So I spent some time amending the bed with leafgro and am hoping they will do well and that the ground isn't frozen when they come in.

Siloam Peony Display was one of the ones I grabbed up too. Like you said, if they don't work we're not out too much money, and from my experience replacement certificates are easy to get from them.
Name: April Blevins
North Eastern Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Region: Kentucky Daylilies
Image
Arainais
Nov 16, 2021 6:21 PM CST
Well all of my bare root plants came in yesterday and the weather was nice today and I got them all planted. All of the roots looked great, many big divisions. I'm hopeful that they will all come through the winter just fine.

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