I have about 20 Brackens brown magnolia starter plants in 3 gallon pots that are about 2 feet tall.
I bought them from the nursery in late Fall and my planting site is flooded and needs more soil and possible some drainage pipes and need to work on the sprinkler lines so I wasn't able to plant in Fall with mulch over top.
some suggestions were to either plant them now (because there IS some ground heat that comes up) or to put them under the porch or to keep them in the garage or possibly the warmer attic.
The garage gets no sunlight and it does freeze in there, a pipe burst a few winters ago, but I can put them on a cart and roll them out to the driveway to give them sunlight during the warmer hours maybe 2 or 3 times a month or whatever's suggested, and then slowly introduce them to outside for Spring planting.
I had them in full sun in the middle of the lawn thinking that'd be the best chance over winter because even though they'd freeze and get snow and ice they'd get the most sun to melt that but people have mentioned that's a bad idea a) for wind and b) sun on frozen leaves can ruin them.
Yesterday I dug a pit next to the house in the corner near fences where it doesn't get too much wind and was planning to maybe also put a scrap plywood wall around them for wind.
But now it's like they'll be in a pool of ice when it rains. I wasn't able to pack dirt around each pot that I packed them all tightly together in this pit, instead I stuffed straw and leaf mulch between them and plenty on top (so much on top that some of the trunks are buried which I hope isn't an issue), Also what mulch/insulation does is it stops heat from passing through it - you need a heat source which is the ground heat, an un-insulated shed for example is pointless, So with the straw and leaves packed around the sides of these pots it will block the ground heat from getting towards the tops of the plants but I wanted to put something there so it's less likely to pool up from rain.
but now I'm thinking garage might be better, or to make scrap plywood sort of roof over them in the pit so they don't get flooded and open the roof on warmer days but I think the garage would be safer - I'm just concerned if the garage will not have enough sun light but I know plenty people put banana and curry plants etc in garage over winter and they survive, it just seems odd to deprive a plant of sunlight for so long because there are some rare warmer Winter days but I will cart them to the driveway some days. I will water them about a cup of water once every 10 days or so if I put them in garage.
What do you suggest?
I got a steal on these for $20 each, when they're 6 footers some places want like $300 each, but I'm just worried if a lot die the place I bought them from won't have them again in Spring. This is new jersey zone 6.5 basically. thanks