Even though I think I've covered this subject to the point everyone is bored with it, I still get questions — a lot of questions. So, I'm doing a four part series calling out the steps I take to "winterize" the garden. Today is Part One: moving the non-hardy plants into the basement, this happened last Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct 3 and 4. Some people fixate on the "non-hardy" part and figure I'm taking them in because a freeze is eminent, that's not the case. Temperature wise they'd be fine outside for another month or more, but eventually they have to come inside and it's much easier to do it when they're not soaking wet (the longer I wait, the more it rains), plus it's better for their long term health to come in on the drier side.
Here's the set-up in the basement, pre-plant invasion. The assortment of things on the table are to add height to the back row of plants, all the better to see them and for them to get the most light possible. The stack of metal circles in the lower right are platforms on wheels, for the especially large and heavy things.
Here's how things are looking after about 4 hours of work. It's not just picking up the plants and hauling them indoors, I stop on the way and give them a once-over, looking for slugs and bugs and just generally cleaning them up.
Unfortunately I still found mealybugs, despite my having treated for them. But, there are not as many as last year, and they're only on the Agaves. I'm afraid they're not ever really going away. Management. It's all about management.
Hello gorgeous! (Agave applanata 'Cream Spike')
Yes that's the washer and dryer visible in the background.
Keeping it real!
And now here are things at the end of day two, after two more hours of work for a total of six. I'm rather amazed at the size this Agave desmettiana 'Variegata', and to think it used to set on my desk at work!
Also impressive are the size of these Pachypodium lamerei, purchased as small 4" pots.
Ditto for my Aloe marlothii, although it was bought in a gallon size pot.
Just for fun here it was the day I potted it up, back in 2009...
Eighty-six containers moved!
And lest you think that means the patio is bare...
Nope! I've still been enjoying patio livin...
Most of these containers are waiting for the next step of winterization: building the shade pavilion greenhouse.
The plastic walls go up and the plants go in. That won't happen for another couple of weeks or so, last year it happened on Oct 22.
Then the next step (which may happen sooner, it's temperature driven) is to bring inside the Bromeliads and Tillandsia.
But since this is currently what the basement looks like...
Soil and rocks, in my basement (!) — we're getting a half bath put in — those are the basement stairs barely visible at the bottom of the photo....hopefully Mother Nature will be good to me and keep our temperatures reasonable for a few weeks.
Weather Diary, Oct 9: Hi 67, Low 39/ Precip 0
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