Winterizing- 6 anyone ever try...................???

jimrac(6)November 22, 2009


Its becoming difficultto winterize. We live inland CT., and I have done the burlap treatment with some success.

Now, we have some hydrangea that getting huge,, heighth and wide..wise..

Has anyone tried, and/or had luck with just using one of those large green, blue tarps you see in the box stores,, and just laying over the top of them??,, or maybe two tarps??

Any thoughts??

I have a cluster of 3 together, and jusy curious if it might work??



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I'm no expert, so I hope someone else will chime in; but FWIW.... I'm in zone 5b/6 in Eastern Washington and I have 5 paniculata hydrangeas that have been in the ground anywhere from 2-3 years. Other than mulching I don't do any type of winterizing. Sometimes their covered in snow and sometimes their not. The only damage they incur is an ocassional broken branch from a snow load.

By just laying the tarp on them you run the risk of too much temperature variation. Cold at night, possibly much higher temperatures under the tarp (like an oven) during the day. Burlap still allows for air movement in and around the plant, tarps won't. During the day, even if it's relatively cold, the sun will heat up the tarp and also heat up (significantly) the air under the tarp possibly "cooking" your plants.

I know there is someone out there who can explain this much better. Hayseedman?


    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 4:04PM
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Thanks Alexis,

Yes, I thought of that. I am curious if anyone has actually tried it and what were the results.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:25AM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

If you want to use tarp, I would wrap it around the plant, but not on top, for reasons mentioned above.

I would place some wooden stakes around the plant, then attach the tarp to the stakes - this will block the wind.

I don't think I would "stuff" the set-up (e.g. straw, leaves), because as mentioned, the tarp might make it just too warm. If you want to loosely stuff screening in there, go with burlap - air can still get through there, much better choice. Or just surround with chicken wire and stuff the chicken wire.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 3:37PM
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Hi jimrac - here's how I overwinter my 12 garden Divas. I have 4 lesser Divas that I only protect lightly w/ just cage dumped w/ collected leaves. These are the steps I take as shown in pics. I am just now wrapping their cages as our temps have just dropped below freezing & wind-chill is even lower!

I agree with mxk3 if you choose to use tarp.

FWIW - hope it heps ... good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Overwintering Hydrangeas

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 9:57PM
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Thanks ditas.

I bet you spend just as much time wrapping your as i do mine.

I have over 25 hydr. shrubs in my yard.

I havent used the landscaping fabric as of yet on any of mine, I may soon try it. I have had reasonable luck with wrapping in just burlap, until last year when the winter was pretty bitter for inland CT.

I am goin gto experiment with the tarp on just 3 of them, and see how it turns out.

Time will tell, I and look forward to nwxt spring..

Thanks for eberyones input.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 12:42PM
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Hi again Jim - I have communicated with a gardener, who posted in this forum 2 years ago, his style of over-wintering using PVC tubing as frame & mill-felt. I couldn't help but think of how neat & wonderful looking it was, the foundation beds all around his home.

With all the Hydrangeas you have to protect & your plans to use tarp on the group of 3, you might like to create your cage w/ PVC tubing, corner joints & wire pins to hold them down ... very easy to create, he said & easy to store as well (plant will be protected but not suffocated) ... a few gardeners would find his system truly great ... neither he nor I knew how to post pix at that time ... just Emailed me 10 step-by-step pix directly!!! Â;) If my collection of marginal bloomers, were not so scattered around, I wouldn't hesitate to copy his system.

I think using tarp would be no different than using shower curtain as wind-breaker ... a gardener from Michigan used successfully!

Be sure to check back with your results in Spring, OK?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 9:59PM
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Thanks for the follow-up Ditas.

Very intersting to say the least. I will se how it goes this year with the tarp.

I will most certaintly will post back come May 2010, hopefully with positive results.

Hope everyone has a healthy, peaceful holiday season and a flourishing, big blooming 2010 for all of your hydrangeas!


    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 8:22AM
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I had some doubts in Summer but now I am certain in knowing I don't need to come here to read or post.
Happy & Safe Holidays Folks

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 5:38PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)


    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 10:29AM
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Hi wesley butterflies - I'm wondering why, as well ... if it's overwintering, you find discouraging, there are many beauties you wont need to protect & find quite rewarding!!! Â;)

Happy Holidays to you as well!!!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 12:08PM
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