Not planting until Spring - bought plants - best course of action?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by AmyL, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. AmyL

    AmyL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Good Day,

    First of all - sorry if this is placed in the wrong forums...

    Okay so I want to start landscaping and just starting all over. I bought some plants 'cause they were on sale (since it's getting cold). Can't plant them now and need to wait for spring

    So... 2 nurseries told me 2 different things

    #1- You gotta place them indoor or in a insulated garage... can't let root freeze or they will die. Water infrequently, they need some sun

    #2- They are outdoor plants and you shouldn't have them indoors. What kills a plant is "shock" not the freezing of roots or whatnot - quick changes in temperature. If you wanted them indoor make sure you keep them in the garage and NOT indoors where it is warm. Recommended to water them well then huddle the plants together and cover their pots with mulch. That should insulate and keep them alive during the winter months - since temperature changes etc, happen gradually. Keep them in less windy areas if possible

    I live on the border of Detroit, Michigan (in Windsor, Ontario, Canada)

    - 2 Blue Point Spirals
    - 2 Blue Point Poodles
    - 1 Juniper Blue Alps (weird thing for this plant is... can't keep to find it in google... wrong name?)

    - Plan to get a few more plants

    #1 - Plants
    #2+3 - Definitively getting
    4+ - will get



    Want to Get.jpg

    Want B.jpg


  2. Giestimator

    Giestimator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    You can keep them outside just mulch them in. By that keep them stacked close how you have them and just pile mulch around them. You can also keep them in a garage but they will be ok outdoors.
  3. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,648

    Nice looking stuff, it may be worth paying one of us lawn fellers to get that stuff in the ground, alot of fellers will work "cheap" this time of year.

    The reason you got a "deal" ont them is because it will be a challange to keep them potted over the winter. If the pots freeze for a long period of time they wont survive, and evergreens aand or conifers wont survive in a gargue. Not to mention the effort to keep them over winter may exceed the effort to plant them now.
  4. Giestimator

    Giestimator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    So Larry if the ground freezes plants die? What do the nurseries do? Up here in oh where he frost line is 32" down we mulch in plants to store them over the winter. Works just fine. And they will also do ok in garage or pole barn that is not heated. They go dormant in both situations, inside they are protected from snow load
  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,648

    I was not tryoing to start a debat, I was just trying to make a point that planting the stuff would be the best route of success.

    Enjoy your cold axx weather lol.
  6. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    the reason mulching them in works is that the mulch will provide enough insulation to prevent quick changes in temperatures to the roots. It is perfectly fine for the roots to freeze, you just do not want quick freeze/thaw cycles.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    You can plant up until the ground freezes and be sure to SOAK them in good... winterkill is simply dessication... Same with leaving them in pots...
    I actually dig pots into the ground and then finish mulching over the top...

    it is RISKY to let those pots freeze above ground surrounded only by mulch... placing them inside is probably the riskiest of all... afriend of mine tried the garage experiment with perennials and even they died b4 Spring made it...
  8. AmyL

    AmyL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Well problem is... the ground is waaaaaay too hard to dig into and the bigger problem is, we are going to redo the entire front lot (which currently is occupied with giant weeds - back yard = grass)

    So I guess, if I placed much not only around them but under the plants - does that make it any better?
  9. Shawn S

    Shawn S LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I am not a plant expert, but what I am gathering from above is that you could dig a hole in the ground, drop the entire thign in pot and all, cover with a layer of mulch like you would normally do when planting, and then pull it up pot and all in the spring.
    I am in South Dakota, the ground freezes hard here too, but it certainly isn't impossible to dig into. We had broken out the jackhammer in February to dig an egress window well hole, but I can't believe your ground is frozen so hard now that you can't dig a pot sized hole.
    It looks like you have a fair amount of money into those plants. Hire a temp worker to dig some holes for you if needed.
  10. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,257

    First since you're going to re-landscape, find you a sheltered side of your home away from wind. Most of your bad wind will be from the NNW. It would be nice if it got some sun also or a southern exposure. Like mentioned hire someone to dig a trench close to the house and as deep as possible--you're going to have to get that root ball covered and mulch way up on the trunk of those plants. Don't mulch the bottom as this will let cold air around the roots.
    I know how cold and bitter the Ohio weather as I had an aunt in Cleveland. The wind will burn these tender "Hot House" specimen plants. After "Hilling In", wrap them with some frost cloth to protect them further from the wind.
    But DO NOT Garage them and give them a little water on a warm day (If you ever have them) I still wrap my Japanese Maples to protect them from wind in TN. You'll be fine.

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