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A Method of Providing Dormancy (Connecticutt) by Wild Bill


Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, Engl
Aug 25, 2001
Richmond, Virginia/Zone 7
The following is the technique used by Wild Bill to protect his plants during the winters of Connecticutt.  Perhaps some of you can benefit from his tips:

I'm in Connecticut where we get lots of snow and freezing temps in the winter.  Here's what I did last October and it worked very well; only lost 2 of 100 or so plants.

1.  I built an 8-foot by 4-foot raised garden bed.
2.  Started collecting lots of pine needles. A garbage bag or two full.
3.  Then I filled the raised bed with FREE compost from our local recycling center.
3.  A day or two before dormancy I sprayed down all the plants with a fungicide (powder you mix with water) using a 2 gallon pump-style garden sprayer.
4.  I scooped out little holes and placed all the plants (pots and all) in the raised bed, packing the soil around the pots.  I tried to put the tenderest plants in the center.
5.  Sprayed all plants with fungicide, again.
6.  Strew pine needles over all the plants, about an inch thick layer.
7.  Placed a large sheet of burlap (over the whole bed) on top of the pine needle layer.
8.  Shoveled on a 1 foot deep layer of wood chips on top of the burlap the first week (again = FREE from our recycling center ).
9.  The following week added another foot of wood chips.
When spring rolled around, I would remove a few inches of the wood chips as the weather warmed up.  One suggestion John Phillip (NECPS Prez) suggested was to use pine boughs instead of wood chips because you just don't know what's in the stuff from your  recycling center - stuff that could cause disease or otherwise damage your plants.
I hope this helps everone.

Many thanks to Wild Bill for sharing his technique.