Summer Vacation is over

Posted September 14th, 2011 by dumluk. Comment (0).

I bring many tender plants outdoors in the spring, so that they can enjoy the season. We have 5 large Boston Ferns in baskets that spend the summer on the deck. The pots that hold them are 16 inches across. I’m always amazed at the growth these ferns put on, I can’t even put my arms around these pots and plants. It always a little sad knowing that they will spend the winter in the greenhouse. My greenhouse has very little space that isn’t facing South and even in the dead of winter its hard to find a shaded spot for these giant ferns.

The greenhouse is stuffed with all the plants that come to spend the winter. Besides all the pots, I often take cuttings of coleus, impatiens and scented geraniums. My collection of Rex begonia’s or fancy leaf begonia really loved the deck this year, even with all the rain and humidity. I have to save a grow table for the succulents, about a dozen pots. These plants love the winter in the greenhouse as long as they can enjoy some sunny days. There are wall pots of the old fashion houseplant “wandering Jew”, these spread up and along the walls at the front door sand on either side of the greenhouse.

By now we all have heard the forecast and are facing the dilemma… can we safely cover these plants or do we give in and bring them in? I am moving all the pots against the house and covering them with tarps and sheets. If you are planning to do the same, remember to uncover as soon as the sun reaches the plants. If you see frost on plants in the garden DON’T TOUCH the plants until they have been sun warmed. Sometimes spraying plants with water after they have been touched with frost will help them recover, remember to keep them wet until the sun is up and the day is warming.

When I do finally bring them in they all get a bath, a good spray from the hose to dislodge any insect hitchhikers. I also check under the leaves and then the stem and soil area. Even with all this I seem to bring in a tree frog every year. Suddenly when the the days begin to get longer and I’m working in the greenhouse I will be reminded of his or her presence when they give a loud tree frog chirp. I try not to scream and embarrass myself even though I’m alone.

If the weather was turning permanently cold for the season I wouldn’t even bother to cover but they are forecasting highs in the low 70′s by the weekend and am hoping to eek out a few more days of summer.

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