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Smart Thoughts

3 Basic Ways to Overwinter Your Container Garden

Bring it In/Heel it In/Tuck it In

The frost may not quite be on the pumpkins where you garden, but the days are getting shorter. Overnight temperatures are trending downward, and your first average frost date is probably just weeks, if not days, away. To extend your container gardening season, look at three basic ways to protect your plants and their root zones from frost and freezes.

Bring ‘em in… If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse, grow tent, or lights set-up, even the most tender tropicals and houseplants will readily transition indoors. Just be sure to check for insects or disease and give them a good clean-up before bringing them inside where they may spread. Otherwise, check out one of the light meter smart phone apps to find your best indoor growing location. A sunny windowsill or countertop with a handful of one-to-three-gallon Smart Pot herbs can bring the flavors and fragrances of summer home all winter long! Bring herbs indoorsWater sparingly, add additional light sources if needed (full spectrum LED bulbs in an ordinary floor lamp is a simple supplement), and enjoy your herbs by lightly harvesting often.

Tuck ‘em in… Harness Mother Nature’s power to overwinter your big and beautiful herbs outdoors. Larger containers provide more winter protection for your plant’s root zone through a greater volume of soil, one of nature’s insulations. You can quickly and easily add to that natural protection from harsh temperatures and winter winds by putting your larger herbs along a south facing wall where they’ll catch the sunshine as well as the radiant heat from the building.  In colder climates, tuck those Smart Pots in with shredded leaves or hay wrapped in chicken wire or an old tomato cage and then cover with lightweight plastic from your home improvement store. Open up your home-made mini-greenhouse on mild days, be sure to maintain some soil moisture to prevent dry-freeze root damage and enjoy your perennial herbs through out the winter and in the coming seasons. SMART POT BONUS—no freeze-thaw winter breakage with your fabric container growing Smart Pot Gardening!!

Heel ‘em in…The most labor-intensive method to overwinter your container gardens is tried-and-true but definitely requires lots of space a strong and a strong back! Heeling in is the practice of digging a trench deep enough to lay a container down at about 45 degrees, and covering the containers with soil. Primarily a commercial practice, heeling-in is commonly used in the tree industry to prevent containers blowing over and protect the root zone from winter freeze, thus holding a container tree or shrub over for transplanting in the spring season. A modified version could consist of a mulch berm, providing winter temperatures are not too severe.

Regardless of which method you choose, Smart Pot containers lighten the load with durable fabric gardening to carry you through the winter season with superior gardening results!

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