Container gardening becomes a challenging task in the winter and during cold weather because soil in a pot could potentially freeze. This is why you have to follow several important rules when trying to create a container garden in a cold climate.
Choose the Right Containers
There are so many possibilities for plant containers, how do you choose the ones that will withstand the effects of the cold weather?
Every container that you pick should have drainage holes that allow the moisture to leave the soil. Adding some rocks, sand or gravel at the bottom of the container before adding the soil will improve the drainage even further.
Choose a material that will remain intact despite low temperatures. Ceramic pots, for example, will possibly crack. Thin plastic is a bad idea, as well. The best materials for cold climate plant containers include metal, stone, concrete, fiberglass and thick plastic.
Choose the Right Plants
Some plants are very sensitive and incapable of surviving in cold climates. Whether you want to plant flowers or vegetables, the selection of the right plant species will be determining for the outcome of your efforts.
Regional plants are the best ones because they are accustomed to the climate. Refrain from trying exotic species because they will need a lot of heat and sunlight.
Hardy plants that will thrive in cold climates include ivy, coral bells, sedum, smokebush, winter pansies, heather, aster, chrysanthemum, dwarf hemlock, flowering kale, sedge, licorice plant, hens-and-chicks, fountaingrass and strawflowers.
These plants are tough and capable of surviving during the autumn and the winter. Make sure you follow the plant care instructions for optimal results.
Taking Care of Your Plants in Cold Climates
The manner in which you fertilize, water and protect your plants from the cold will determine their growth.
Start fertilizing a few weeks before the first frost date is expected in your region. All of the new growth should take place while the weather is still relatively mild. The cold and the frost will otherwise kill the delicate new leaves and stems.
There are several things you can do to winter proof your containers and to prevent them from freezing. Wrapping the pots in an old blanket is one of the easiest ways to keep the plant roots inside warm. Refrain from placing your pots on a concrete surface. When the weather is cold, concrete will drain away the warmth from the pots.
A plant lamp will provide your garden with the light needed for plant growth during the cold, cloudy months. The plant lamp or grow light stimulates essential processes by emitting a spectrum of light that is suitable for plant photosynthesis.
Finally, consider moving the pots indoor during excessively cold days. When the temperatures are too low, your attempts to keep the pots warm may be inefficient.
Gardening in a cold climate requires more preparatory steps and care than growing plants in containers during warm months. Still, you will achieve success by following a few basic steps. Good drainage and making sure that the containers are warm enough will ensure the wellbeing of your plants. The selection of hardy species will enhance your gardening efforts even further.