Ask a Question forum: overwintering potted plants in Master Gardener Demo garden

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Gig Harbor, Wa
annmgmcomcastnet
Sep 27, 2017 9:20 PM CST
We have quite a few potted plants to overwinter prior to our Master Gardener sale in April. My question is: do they need any sort of supplimental feeding from now, late september, until early spring? We have not fertilized any of the plants for several weeks now and although I know we don't want a bunch of new growth starting, I'm thinking they may need some nourishment. We are
located in Western Washington where the containers will gets lots and lots of rain. That washes away any nutrients left in the soil. Do we just let it go or give them some sort of fertilizer?
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Sep 27, 2017 9:42 PM CST
annmgmcomcastnet said:We have quite a few potted plants to overwinter prior to our Master Gardener sale in April. My question is: do they need any sort of supplimental feeding from now, late september, until early spring? We have not fertilized any of the plants for several weeks now and although I know we don't want a bunch of new growth starting, I'm thinking they may need some nourishment. We are
located in Western Washington where the containers will gets lots and lots of rain. That washes away any nutrients left in the soil. Do we just let it go or give them some sort of fertilizer?

If they are plants that naturally go dormant in Winter, they shouldn't need any fertilization until they start growing again in Spring.

I feel like I'm missing something here...
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Sep 28, 2017 10:24 AM CST
Ann - I don't think you want anymore active growth at this time. Hold off on the fertilizer but maybe top-dress the pots with either good yard waste compost or even worm compost to keep the soil healthy.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Sep 28, 2017 10:49 AM CST
Just a thought that a description of the place you are keeping the plants in might help. Are they in pots sitting on the ground? Burried? In-ground? A few dozen? 1,000? In full sun?
Gig Harbor, Wa
annmgmcomcastnet
Sep 28, 2017 3:49 PM CST
We have about 30 plants, largest is in a gallon pot, other containers are smaller. They are sitting on the ground next to the greenhouse and will get a little afternoon sunshine if there is such a thing in the winter in western Washington! We also have a cold frame we can put them in if they start to drown or if a freeze is predicted. The plants are mostly perennials and shrubs, not natives.

Thanks for the suggestion to top dress them with compost.

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