Winter is fast approaching and I don’t know about y’all but I certainly need to think about getting my plants put away for the winter. The problem is I need to be able to keep them warm without having to bring them all inside. Unless you have a greenhouse, which I don’t, then you have to come up with an alternative method. That means putting them in the garden shed if at all possible.
Temperatures and conditions in the winter are hard on plants however, you can take steps to protect your plants from the harshness of the winter. If you have a greenhouse of course move them there, as I said. It is the best location for them. However, the garden shed can certainly serve as more than just storage for your tools.
Know Your Planting Zone
Determining which plants are more likely to do well in the winter will be much easier if you know your planting zone. I admit this is something that I struggled with. All plants that you buy will certainly tell you which zone it does best in. However, you can always just look it up too. For example a fuchsia isn’t going to do well in a cold winter but will survive a mild one like the south has. Gardeners talk about the hardiness of a plants often. This is usually what they mean:
- Hardy Plant: Can survive 5 degrees Fahrenheit
- Frost Hardy Plant: Can survive 23 degrees Fahrenheit
- Half Hardy Plant: Can survive 32 degrees Fahrenheit
- Tender Plant: Will not survive below 41 degrees Fahrenheit
Plants in the Garden Shed
A good basic rule of thumb is that your plant needs to be hardy to two zones colder than your zone. You may find some plants though that will survive in your zone that normally wouldn’t. It is all a trial and error in the end. A lot of error on my part but I keep on trying. The best part about hardy plants is that most of them can simply be stored in the garden shed for the winter.
- Hardy Plants: May be able to stay outside for the entire winter. If temperatures are lower than 5 degrees Fahrenheit, bring them into a shed.
- Frost Hardy Plants: Can be stored in the corner of an un-insulated shed.
- Half Hardy Plant: Need to be stored in an insulated shed.
- Tender Plant: Must be stored in your home.
Preparing Your Plants for Your Garden Shed
Getting your plants ready for the winter in your shed is as simple as doing the following:
- Dig up plant before the first frost is expected.
- Place the plant in a pot. You want one large enough to accommodate not only the root ball but have some extra space for the compost to surround it.
- Be sure to remove any dying or dead plant leaves or blooms.
- Remove insects such as aphids or caterpillars. You
- Trim the plant back to about 4 – 8 inches in height.
- Place plants in the corner of the garden shed.
- When spring arrives, start watering plants regularly to bring them out of their dormant state.