As the years go by you find yourself collecting more and more garden planters. Many of them are very expensive or just ones that you love very much. So of course you want to protect them from Winters cold and damage. Here are a few tips that may help ease your discomfort.
Before anything you need to clean them out and clean them up. Of course this is only for garden pottery that is empty and being stored. Start by dumping the soil into a compost pile or recycle can. You will not be using it again so it has to go. You do not want to pass on any bugs, mold or fungus that may be growing in the soil so get rid of it and start fresh next season.
Use a wire or stiff bristle brush to scrub off any chunks of soil that are sticking to the insideof the flowerpot. Then mix a bucket of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Now scrub the inside with the bleach mix to disinfect the pot and make sure any thing that may be still attached to the insides are killed or removed. Let the pots dry completely before storing them in the garage or shed.
Ideally all garden pottery and planters should be stored indoors over the winter months. May planters are frost resistant but not frost proof. This means they can handle light frost but not freezing weather. If there is standing water from rain or drip system in the soil and the soil freezes, the water will expand and crack the planter.
If you are leaving the empty planters outdoors, try flipping them over and use bricks, pot feet or wood to keep them off the ground. You can cover the empty containers with a large garbage bag to keep the water off or cover with burlap wrap. If you can't flip them then just fill them with hay or mulch to protect them from the water and cold.
If you can't move the garden planters and need to keep them planted then you need to top the pots with mulch to keep the water out and the roots from freezing. We like wrapping the planter with burlap and string to help. Plastic bubble wrap works etc. We know it's not the most beautiful look but if it saves your planters from cracking it's well worth it.
The only exception for all the above information is a terra cotta flower pot. Terra cotta is porous and absorbs water like a sponge. This is healthy for the plants but obviously bad for freezing water conditions. If you can't bring them in, get the pots off the ground, wrap in a waterproof bag or tarp and move them under a roof eave so water doesn't directly hit them. If you can't do any of that then at least lay down a thick layer of mulch or hay to protect the top soil.
Hope this helps and you find some of these tips for protecting your garden planters from freezing during Winter work.
Here is a clever idea we saw on how to fill your winter garden planters and make them look decorative! It's really only 5 easy steps.
Here they are:
STEP 1: Leave 3/4 of the dirt in the outdoor garden pot and fill the top 1/4" with wet floral foam. Decide what to use to create a "thrill" in the planter. In this case birch poles were used.
Step 2: Now fill around the outside of the garden planter. In this pot Western BC cedar was inserted in the floral foam. The plan is to have the greens looking like they are spilling over the side of the planter.
Step 3: Add another evergreen with a slightly different color and texture for contrast. Here it's Blue Tip Juniper. Red Dogwood branches have also been added for a shot of color in this planter. Keep changing it up. Fraser Fir is added as fill and height, making this pottery display look full & 3 dimensional.
Step 4: Now a few Magnolia leaves and Euonymus add more depth. As an eye catcher add a large pine cone to the potted display.
Step 5: Depending on how you feel about sparkle this would be the time to add it to this winter planter. Large silver sparkly wicker balls give a festive feel. Putting different combinations together is easy to do. You can always add berries, holly, curly willow branches, birch logs and all kinds of holiday ornaments. Have fun and be creative.
This time of year you will see exterior creations overflowing with evergreen scent and colorful bursts of the unexpected. Much of the greenery found in these containers are pieces located in your yard or garden. Spruce and cedar branches are tucked nicely into wet floral foam along with pine cones and berry branches. As the season progresses all you need to do is remove branches past their prime and you will still have a full arrangement left.
In these containers you will see many textures abound from spruce, silver fir, Port Orford cedar, juniper and 'Stoneham gold' cedar branches accented by orange-hue eucalyptus, caspia and Southern magnolia leaves.
You tend to think because it is so cold and out of blooming season why bother but as you can see, some attention to minor details can really make a huge difference.
Take a potted Fraser fir, merry with dried artichokes and pear gourds, dyed eucalyptus, caspia, astilbe seed pods, dried hydrangea blooms and pine cone garland and place in a decorative planter and you have a stunning - yet simple and easy to do idea. Many of these products can be purchased in the floral department in major craft stores. Be creative and try different dried fruit and veggies along with your greens for the most interesting effects.
If you are expecting holiday house guests then why not place a fun container overflowing with evergreens and winter plant accents for your garden, on the front porch and provide instant hospitality and a genuine welcome. Use a vintage wheelbarrow, antique wash tub or kids sleigh.
Great Tip - Though howling winds, ice and snow are formidable enemies, many arrangements can last all winter. To prevent containers from cracking as temperatures fluctuate, insert arrangements in place line pots at least 1" smaller than your container. That way if the temps hit freezing you won't crack or damage your decorative container.