second guessing winter storage for potted trees

cousinfloydDecember 24, 2012

I just started putting some potted trees in an unheated building and then started second guessing my plan. I have pomegranates in pots that I want to let grow a little more before they have to brave the winter, and I have pawpaws in pots in order to keep them in the shade more easily until they're mature enough to plant out in full sun, and I have hardy kiwis in pots that I just haven't gotten in the ground yet. I was thinking this building which is just slightly below grade would be a good moderately cool place to overwinter them without freeze-thaw concerns. But now I'm wondering if it will be too warm? Do they need to be exposed to more chill hours than they'll get in a building (that will probably spend most of the winter in the 40s)? And it won't matter that it's completely dark, will it? Any thoughts?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

If they have leaves and you want more growth, they will need light. But they aren't going to grow at 40s anyhow. That is a good temperature for chilling. Effective chilling temperatures are from 34-54F. The best storage temperatures are 30s. In the 40s after chilling is done some things will begin to grow. But growth is pretty slow until it gets into the 50s and 60s. Although 50s day and night will push surprising growth on early bloomers in spring. Stuff is primed to go at that time.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 6:29PM
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The lack of light will not matter at all while the plants are dormant.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 5:28PM
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