Lilies forum: Do you think lily bulbs would survive a 2 foot deep cedar barrel.....for winter?

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patweppler
Apr 15, 2016 9:19 AM CST
I have 2 huge cedar barrels. Was considering putting some KM in there but not sure if they would survive the winter. the cedar barrels are lined in cedar as well at the bottom and sit on rocky, garden soil ...........
the raised beds seemed to do fine but they are sitting on ground with a cloth bottom that will rot out over time..

Any thoughts??

we can see -25C some cold winter nights here ........
and are a zone 5a
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Australis
Apr 15, 2016 5:35 PM CST
Hi,

I recalled seeing a thread on this previously:

The thread "Wander if you can over winter a lily bulb in a Cedar Barrel" in Lilies forum

Perhaps this will answer some of your questions, or were you looking for more information?

Regards,
Joshua
Skåne, Sweden (Zone 7b)
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William
Apr 16, 2016 12:36 AM CST
Not sure what you mean by 'KM'? Is that 'Kushi Maya'? If so I personally think you would be better of with something hardier.

What kills hardy bulbs in pots are usually that the freezing/thawing goes too quickly compared to in ground or that there is too much moisture. This is the reason that the pot (or barrel in this case) normally needs to be insulated. You have an advantage in that the barrels are big as this will slow the freezing/thawing some. The use of a free draining mix with for instance horticultural grit and some leaf mould would be far superior in comparison to a peat based one. Peat will get too wet and stay frozen too long in the spring. You don't want standing water at any level in a pot/barrel as when it freezes it will prevent all drainage. Also you ideally need the soil in the barrel to come in contact with the ground as this will help with drainage. As per usual in a pot, you don't want any drainage layer as this will actually stop the free movement of water and lead to a perched water table. Protecting the barrels from excessive rain as Lorn suggested in the other thread is wise, but is no substitute for a good free draining potting mix.

My suggestion is to use plain buckets and sink them in the ground for overwintering instead. This works very well for me, even when using a little less than ideal potting mix. (I use sand and leaf compost, simply because that is something I have plenty of here. It's better than peat, but not as good as horticultural grit). Safest is under an overhang or to cover them with a piece of glass or similar. A greenhouse/ cold frame is ideal. A compost heap would also be excellent provided you don't have rodents. When spring comes simply sink the buckets in your barrels. At this time you could apply some dry mulch between the buckets/pots to get a nicer appearance if so desired.

Celebrating Gardening: 2015
patweppler
Apr 16, 2016 9:53 AM CST
Sorry did not see the reply on the other thread I started........my mistake

and yes William I am thinking Kushi Maya......... Both lily breeders think they would be fine but I am not sure about that....
My other Kushi Maya are planted under a bit of a overhang to keep them from getting too wet and better drainage there too
I do like the idea of just sinking the pots and moving them as well.......

think I might come up with a different plant to put in the barrels.........

there are some flowers that are winter hardy in well below zone 5.
if need to I can put some stella doro in there and had great luck with them in the past and being a day lily they seem to get through everything no matter what

I have excellent drainage in the soil that is in the pots though for sure
they were drier then the garden first thing this spring
and for some reason some of my OT's are up that I planted last fall that should not be up for another month at the earliest and they had great drainage and also had a thick layer of peat on them so no idea why they decided to show up now already......

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