To plant or not to plant (the day before snow)

singcharlene(Zone 5)October 25, 2011

I still have some perennials (mostly from Skybird!) that I haven't gotten in the ground! It's supposed to get in the teens tomorrow night and 70% chance of snow on Weds. The plants have been sitting outside in their pots for some time with cold temps, but not below freezing. Do I get them all in the ground tomorrow and mulch really good OR put them in my wheelbarrow and store in the garage to wait for a warmer string of days? What would you do?

Thank you!


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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

You can go either way, Charlene. If it stays nice enough, long enough tomorrow, you can go ahead and stick them in, then water them in well, and then I'd recommend throwing a pile (a few inches) of fallen leaves over them to give them a little insulation till the snow melts and it warms up a little again over the weekend. I don't think there's any question at all that we're ALL gonna get some snow in this one, and once the leaves have a snow cover, they'll be all snuggly right at 32 degrees!

If you can't get them in tomorrow, I'd recommend you still leave them outside--stick them against the side of the house somewhere, and still throw a little pile of leaves over them for the same effect as above!

Either way, when the snow melts and it's getting back up into the upper 20's or above, take the leaves back off so they can get more sun while they're still "growing." I don't know exactly what you got, but for everything I can think of that I brought, once they've been in the ground for a week or so and the overnite temps are gradually getting colder and colder, I wouldn't recommend any more mulching over winter. They should be ok being exposed to the normal winter weather, and the sun will be good for them. Just recommending the leaves right now because of the very sudden drop in temps from SO warm to below 20!

If you have any questions about a specific something, let me know. I'm assuming they all have at least some roots visible down to the bottom of the pots by now!


P.S. I still have one of the daylilies I haven't gotten into the ground, and it's sitting outside right where I didn't get it planted today. That's where it's staying, and it'll be fine.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 12:48AM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

I'm so glad you asked this question, Charlene and that you answered it, Skybird! I have a couple of straggler pots myself and was debating moving them to the unheated garage or barn till the storm blows over. I have 2 big pots of iris and a couple of daylilies left to plant.

I dumped my ceramic pots last night and turned them upside down.

I got the last of the trees in weekend before last and was out of town last weekend, so I didn't get to prepare much for this storm.

If it's not too muddy this weekend, I'll finish up. Thanks for the all clear!


    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:17AM
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Add a big "thank you" from me, too. I still don't have skybird's plants in the ground because she told us to not plant them until the end of October. They are looking good, though! I also have some daylilies and irises left to plant. They are all up against the side of the house and have survived one snow already. We've been getting freezes almost every night since the last snow.

Up on the Divide, we're supposed to get a foot or so of snow in this storm. Yikes! It's still less than it would have been at my old place.

I'll plant what I can today, and protect what I can't get to yet.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 10:48AM
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