Special thanks to UM PLAN students who spent the afternoon helping us move thousands of plants from their winter storage in the hoop-house to their summer home in the nursery. A huge heartfelt thank you to all 5 of them!!
Overwintering plants in pots is a challenge! Roots of plants in pots are far more vulnerable to weather extremes than roots of plants in the ground. Especially damaging are the freeze-thaw cycles of our Montana springtime.
Our goal for winter storage is to ensure that plants go dormant before they freeze, then to keep them frozen until it is sufficiently warm in the daytime that they can begin growing with minimal freezing at night – i.e. we have to read Mother Nature’s mind to find out when she’s finished with winter temps. Right!
While many nurseries avoid this situation by either selling off stock in the fall or using greenhouses to alleviate temperature fluctuations, we believe our plants are hardier when not grown in greenhouses and we have virtually no carbon footprint by not heating a greenhouse or running fans and lights.
That said, the challenges of overwintering are numerous between freezing, dessication, rodents and breakage from stacking plants in storage. It’s a delight to be up and growing again! Thanks again to our friends from the UM FLAT program!