Preparing Potted Perennials for Winter

Even though much of Southeastern Michigan hasn’t had any frost yet, the National Weather Service has declared the > end of the 2011 growing season.

There’s still a hundred and one things to do out in the garden. My first order of business is to drain and roll up all of my garden hoses before it gets too cold.

The big project though, is going through all of my leftover plants and deciding which to keep and which to toss. Some leftover perennials will be going into a bed where they will have to fend for themselves over the winter; the rest I’ll keep in pots until spring.

The spot in the garden where I like to over-winter leftover plants is well drained and somewhat protected from the wind. I get the best plant survival rate by digging a shallow trench and putting the pots into the trench up to the rim. Then I bank any extra soil around them. Later, in November, I’ll cover them with 6 or 8 inches of straw.

So far, my list of plants to over winter includes sage, hardy geranium, Lamnium, Echinacea, chocolate mint, astilbe, sweet woodruff and several others. Tucked into their cozy spot, I’m sure they’ll have no problem surviving our upcoming cold, wet, La Ni

Bob Dluzen
As a result of being a gardener for more than 40 years, 30 of those as a professional, Bob's gardening has become an integral part of his life. "It's the ever-changing seasons and the wide variety of plants and gardens that keeps me intrigued," he says. Bob lives and gardens in rural Monroe County.