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Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

Posted by mcube zone 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 9, 10 at 0:09

OK .. It's time ! I just heard on the news that metrowest area is going to get its first frost on saturday night. What will you be doing before the frost and right after? What are you planning on overwintering?

I will try to overwinter
2 brugmansias - dormant in dark basement
few calla lilies - dormant in the basement.
2 colocasia esculenta - green one and black magic - will try to grow as houseplant
3 tropical hibuscus - houseplant
3 bananas - houseplant
Pennisetum Rubrum - houseplant. I have never tried overwintering this before.

I plan on taking some cuttings from sweet potato vines. I will also dig up the tubers after frost and try to save them. I am planning on taking some colues cuttings as well.

After frost, I have dahlias and cannas to dig up and store.

Question:

I have a few tuberous begonias and caladiums. Do I wait for the frost to kill them before digging the tubers?

saturday is going to be a busy day. What will you be saving?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

I've had mine in the house for a couple of weeks. I didn't have a lot this year and I did them a little at a time. I still have two Begonias that have to be repotted and brought in. I may take a couple more cuttings of a coleus that did well this year. I have a tuberous Begonia and a caladium that I am not even going to try to overwinter. That's it. I brought in all my houseplants and a standard Hibiscus that I will grow as a houseplant. A few rooted cuttings of succulents from trimmings. A bay leaf tree. It was the easiest Fall in a long time.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

No frost for us on the cape, but it's just a matter of time.

When we do get our frost warning, I'm not planning to save any plants, although my Datura, which is just starting its fall flowering spree, may be moved into the back hall for awhile. The bay tree may come in, because it's small enough to winter over under an east window.

All the other potted plants will go into the cold, windy garage, just to save the clay pots from cracking.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 9, 10 at 11:16

No frost here in Plymouth either, but another batch of houseplants (sansevierias and a spider plant) will come in tonight. They've been under a frost blanket for most nights anyway. With the forecast NW winds the frost blanket probably wouldn't stay on.

The cane begonias, ferns, clivia, Christmas cacti etc. on the deck will get a frost blanket canopy tonight. They're hardier and the winds will be less there.

Claire


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

THANK YOU for posting this. I hadn't even thought about frost - especially when the low temp is forecast for the upper 30's. If you hadn't posted this, I would not have even thought of bringing stuff inside. I probably would not have watched the weather channel again until Monday!

So I just went outside (in the dark) and carried in my:

hot pepper plants
rosemary
amaryllis

I'm hoping to overwinter all of these inside. I always overwinter the amaryllis. But this will be my first year attempting to do the peppers and rosemary.

I also brought in my decorative pumpkins from the front steps - since I'm hoping to cure them and can them later this winter. I brought in my mum plants as well.

I have my gladiolas in pots on the patio. I left them outside. I also left my annual planters outside. Getting those annual pots cleaned up will be a project for this week. As well as cutting back the gladiolas and getting those pots inside.

Fortuneately I cleared up the vegetable garden this week. I have a few green tomatoes left. If I end up loosing them, oh well.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

Coleus cuttings are in water to root now (I previously tried in potting soil/vermiculite blend but they didn't make it. Thats what I did last year and had about 95% success. This year 0%.)

Brug is in the garage for the night. It is loaded with buds and I would love to go another cycle. Then I will cut down and make cuttings. Brug #2 is outside in the elements. bye-bye.

Spider plants, moses in a basket, colocasia Illustris divisions are in basement under flourescent lights.

Soon to join them in the garage waiting for repotting: abutilon, corydyline.

One coleus I cut down and am trying as a house plant.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

I brought in a coleus, begonia, fuchsia, and lemon-scented, varigated geranium, as well as a few succulents. They will spend the winter as house plants.

I left out my black & blue salvias, but will store the tubers in the cold cellar to see if I can over-winter them along with the dahlia I like.

I also spent most of yesterday making a final harvest of tomatoes, green peppers, baby eggplants, and basil, so last night was fresh garden veggies for supper and today I'll make stew for the freezer and maybe one last batch of pesto.

I've been gardening here in NH for 30 years, and this is the latest frost I can remember.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

We didn’t get a frost here either. It was 42 degrees this morning on the back porch. I did put a row cover over the basil last night though. Last year the first frost was very late too.

Wendy, I usually have trouble getting my coleus cuttings to March without losing them. I would take cuttings, root them in water and then pot them up and try to keep them going like houseplants. This year, so far, I’ve just taken the cuttings and they’re in water. When you say you had 95% success, do you mean you kept them in water all winter?

I usually take in any tropicals before the night time temperature starts dipping below 50 degrees. Although this year, I am late getting the cane begonias back in the house. I’m thinking of taking cuttings rather than potting up one large begonia to bring in. It really got huge over the summer.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

Last evening I picked a bunch of mostly green tomatoes, then a bouquet of Zinnias, Tithonia and Yvonne's salvia, and got a a sheet ready to cover the rest of the tomatoes and basil if necessary.

Turns out we didn't get a frost here in metro-west Boston, but it did get down to about 35 F. I'll be quite happy if the frost holds off until the end of October!


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

  • Posted by mcube zone 5 (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 10, 10 at 19:18

I picked a lot of tiny bell peppers, cucumbers and green tomatoes based on the forecast. Most of the other plants and cuttings were also done as per the plan.

I woke up this morning expected tuberous begonias, cannas and Dahlias to be totally black, droopy, mushy and done .. well, they are still intact :) Dahlias are still blooming their heads off.

I wish I'd waited for some of those veggies to develop a bit more !


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

We got down to about 31 or 32 both of the last 2 nights, but since it was such a light frost only the really tender plants were nipped. So, I'm cleaning out the veggie garden of limp tomato, basil, and squash plants, but the dahlias and Salvias are still blooming well and the hostas are still in good shape.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

I was away knowing there could be a frost while I was gone but I was out of time. Fortunately, although there was some light frost damage here in NH, just north of Concord, lots of things survived. Everything around the kitchen porch wasn't even touched thanks to the heat from the house. I put Agribon 19 over the 3 pepper plants yesterday just in case. Tonight looks like it will be colder and there won't be any wind. Last year frost got my garden on Sept 18. It's odd, out in the main garden every bunch of nasturtiums except one collapsed. The survivor is only 2 feet away. How come it survived? The garden is low, a patch of parsnips to the south might have protected it but was fully exposed on the north.

Really sad to see that my pepper plants in the main garden are huge with very thick base stems and they've only recently decided to produce peppers. Yesterday I picked a lot of tiny peppers. With all the heat I expected lots of nice sweet red peppers this year but hardly a one. Any tips?

Lemon verbena, prostrate rosemary, and scented geraniums are still happy by the porch. Last year I overwintered these (except rosemary) in the semi heated garage in front of a north window and barely watered them all winter. The verbena goes dormant anyway but the scented geraniums (not all varieties survived) weren't very happy.

nhbabs, do you cut yours back? The apple scented geranium foliage is cascading over the pot and very pretty but it's also a terra cotta pot and too small. Do you think I should re-pot into larger plastic pot for an indoor winter in a better location? (water more frequently)

I haven't even collected seeds yet. Calendulas are all over the place but each year I like to plant some where I want them to be.

BTW I'm very happy that I planted a purple leafed perennial (Home Depot special) that blooms late. It is finally blooming and the insects are very happy. It was fascinating to look at all the different bees and a couple of butterflies searching. They also liked a red chrysanthemum with yellow center. Lemon gem marigolds are finally blooming happily. They didn't get enough water this summer so didn't bloom much.

Wonder if my tub of basil survived last night? I know it will be tough but still better than nothing. Haven't yet made salted herbs and herb butters for the winter. Will probably put most of yesterday's cherry tomato harvest into curried cherry tomato ketchup. Easy recipe and tasty.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

defrost, I have had that problem with peppers lots of years, but not this year. I only have 6hrs of sun on my vegetable beds so, I think that slows down growth anyway. This year, with all the heat and sun, I had early peppers that ripened all the way to red. I planted purchased plants about the third week of May, so a little late even. ‘Giant Marconi’ was a variety I tried for the first time and it produced larger, earlier then other peppers I’ve tried. I want to try more pepper plants next year. We eat a lot of them. I could also use ‘wall of waters’ or other protection and put them out sooner and keep the protection on to make them warmer. I have full sun in the front of my house and I may try a potted pepper plant out there next year.

Scented geraniums do okay for me as a houseplant all winter and go out again in the spring and do fine. I do prune it all winter because it gets leggy. I have a West window but I would think a Southern window would work even better.

I have a row cover over my basil at night now. We’re trying to find the time to make pesto and freeze it. I still have peas growing but haven’t bloomed yet. I probably planted too late.

Sounds like you have a really nice garden. :-)


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

We had a discussion earlier this year on peppers that work well around here. My two types of plants that produced well were New Ace and Lady Bell. I've grown Ace for years and it's a good producer, regardless of heat, cool temps, wet or dry. So far New Ace seems to be equally resilient and pretty similar, though the peppers seem to have thicker walls. This is my first year for Lady Bell, and I think I'll give it a try again next year. I had a few red ripe peppers and oodles of green ones.

Some types of scented geraniums seem to do better than others as houseplants in my experience since I've killed some but not others. This one I have overwintered once already, so I'm hoping that it will go another winter. I will cut it back and repot it. I have had best luck with a south or west facing window in a cool, unused bedroom where we keep the heat turned down. I don't water more that once a week, if that.

Thanks PM2 for the report on the peas. I plan to try that every year (a fall crop) but haven't actually remembered to plant any year except for one. I left it late that year as well, and think for me that mid to late July probably will be best. I did plant sweet peas late, but don't know if they will bloom before a hard freeze. They have survived the frost without problems so far.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

PM2 re coleus... Last year I rooted them directly in pots and kept them all winter. In the past, I had tried to keep them under flourescent lights in the baseement, but they didn't make it, I assumed because it was too cool. So last year I kept them in a lit etagere I have set up for plants indoors in a warm room. They loved it. This year, they just didn't root. weird.

expecting more light frost tonite. Seems I don't get my fall cleanup going in full gear until a hard frost hits, so let's just get it over with so I can clean up.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

Babs, I’m going to try that ‘New Ace’ pepper next year and do the ‘Giant Marconi’ again, too. I’m going to try to put the row cover over the peas when it gets colder to try to get some blooms before it’s too cold.

Wendy, well, that makes a lot of sense to me. I thought coleus do enjoy warmth. So lights and warmth seem to be the ticket. I’m going to have to try that. My West window doesn’t really give them enough sun.

I’m enjoying mums just opening right now and the full sun garden is still looking pretty good. I'm with Terrene, I hope we go to at least the end of October.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

thanks prairiemoon and nhbabs for the pepper and scented geranium advice. I'm able to buy one each of quite a choice of varieties of heirloom peppers (also tomatoes). One of the garden writers for the Concord Monitor offers them for sale but they must be pre-ordered and then picked up on a particular weekend. Unfortunately, the labels faded so I'm not sure what I grew this year except for my order list. I've identified Stavros pepperocini and a poblano pepper. There's a banana shape that is very prolific and even a bell type bred for Siberia. Great southern exposure and lots of sun but last year they were planted in front of the house and benefited from the heat (white house/concrete foundation). I'll need to make better notes and figure out which ones did ok (just a couple of red peppers whereas last year we got lots).

Maybe I can find my garden journal by this weekend!


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

Hello All, I'm new to NE so I have a question: I have glads in a pot. Can I just bring the pot into the garage or basement and keep it there during the winter without removing the bulbs from the dirt? Without watering them during the winter? In the PNW I just left them in the ground year round, but here I guess it's too cold for that!


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

I winter my glads in pots. Right now my pots are still sitting on my patio. I technically stopped watering in the middle of September, but it has rained a lot here.

Tomorrow I will bring the pots inside to my 3 season porch - which tends to stay 5-10 degrees warmer than outside. As the leaves brown, I cut them off. In early December - when we start getting nights in the 20's, and days in the 30's - I will then move the pots to the basement. The part of the basement I use stays in the upper 50's. You don't want the bulbs to freeze.

Mid-late April I start bringing the pots outside to the patio again (I bring them in to the 3 season porch if we expect frost). I bring a pot outside every 2 weeks. The last pot goes out at the end of June. This way I have blooms all summer.

I also throw a few morning glory seeds in each pot when I bring it outside. So I end up with morning glories and gladiolas in bloom.

I do the same thing with my amaryllis bulbs. I have 4 bulbs in 1 planter. I leave them on the porch a bit longer, but wrap a blanket over them. I bring the amaryllis to the basement around the new year.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

I'm going to try and overwinter my rosemary by digging it up and putting it in a pot and leaving it in a basement window until spring. Either two things will happen. One of the kitties will devour it, (or pee on it) or it will croak! Any advice!? Thnx.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

I didn't think any part of Boston was zone 5. Have you tried the hardier rosemary plants? Arp or Barbeque? They are usually OK in zone 6. But if you have the more tender type, I have found that the "last minute" transplant into a pot is what causes the failure as a house plant in winter, along with a warm house. If you had the plant in a pot all year, it might have a chance of surviving in a cool, sunny spot in winter. But at least if it dies, rosemary is generally easy to find next spring, and not an expensive item. Good luck.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

Rosemary is hardy to about zero. Many years, it can stay out for about 11 months, and actually spend very little time inside.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

I always grow my rosemary in pots but I have yet to get it to survive a full winter indoors. I think that I'll take MG's advice and leave it outside much later. I also think that I will try keeping it in my cool upstairs bedroom when it does come inside. My kitchen has the thermostat set around 62, but it is sunny and seems to get too warm during the day.

Bill - Thanks for the variety suggestions. I haven't been able to find Arp around here, but I did see Barbeque this spring. Unfortunately the tag didn't tell me hardiness info so I didn't know that it was hardier. I will look for it next spring and maybe try a plant in a sheltered spot in the ground since we often have deep snow cover.

We have not yet had a frost this year, so we seem to be in a period of warm falls. I'm sure the tropical rain and the overcast skies at night have helped keep things warmer this fall.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

For a couple of winters I was able to keep rosemary inside in a pot on the back of the toilet in a north window. I think the shower steam helped keep it happy. A friend kept a humidifier next to her rosemary which lasted quite a few years before she decided it was too big.

I would think re-potting it and bringing it inside at the same time would be too stressful. I didn't re-pot my rosemary until it was ready to go out again in the spring.


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RE: Frost warning sat night - what will you be doing?

I've tried Arp, Salem, and a whole slew of "hardy" varieties of Rosemary, but the nearest I've had to luck overwintering them has been being able to watch some die in spring, in the ground outside, instead of inside in pots during the winter.

This year they're all in big clay pots outside. I might try cuttings in sand for a change, but I'm not very optimistic. I travel for work for extended periods, so anything indoors needs to be able to go dormant or it will be finished. My DH will water everything once, the day before I get home, and then we'll pretend to wonder why everything except the cactus collection is dead.

There are a couple of articles on Garden Foreplay, Avant Gardens' blog, about overwintering tender perennials. I'll link to one; the other is about storing roots of tender plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Avant gardens overwintering guide


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