Best non-organic winter insulation?

crocosmia_mn(z4)September 25, 2006

I want to try leaving all my Crocosmia plants in the ground this winter. Several cultivars were labelled Zone 5 or 6, so I am wondering what winter mulch might be the most likely to help them survive. I've been told to use a large bag of oak leaves on each plant, but since I'm willing to get pretty extreme with this experiment I keep thinking about what might be even better. Styrofoam panels in a protective case? Styrofoam peanuts in a bag? Attic insulation in a bag? Some kind of quilt with thick batting? Old sleeping bags? A pile of Polartec blankets (we happen to have a lot of old ones)? Wouldn't using something like these be better than oak leaves? Has anyone used any of these ideas or found something even better?

Thanks,

Nancy

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leftwood(z4a MN)

Really can't think of anything that would be better than oak(or whatever leaves). If they are not kept dry in a bag, you will need to shred them, or chop them through the mower. But really, insulation is your need, and whatever does the job will be good. Dry blankets, great! Wet blankets, not so great. I don't see how you could keep a blanket dry, short of sealing it in plastic. A simple cover won't do, as ground moisture will creep up. Bagged blankets might be a good idea. Remember you need stagnant, non moving air to insulate. A simple styro box over the area (for instance) won't do. But if that box were filled with something, that would be good.

Even though plants may be rated zone 5 or 6, I would still wait until the ground freezes, usually the end of November. If it snows in the meantime, so what.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 8:14PM
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jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)

When would be a good time to dig up my crocosima if I want to keep them over winter? I planted these for the first time this year, and realized 1/2 way through the season that they need more sun than I gave them. So only one of the dozen or so bulbs bloomed. I am going to try to keep them over the winter and plant again in a sunnier spot next year. But have never done this before.

Jenny P

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 8:29PM
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