Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ornamental Grasses in Containers Need Moved in Winter

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ornamental Grasses in Containers Need Moved in Winter

Article excerpt

Q * We have a neighborhood project where we plant ornamental grasses and other flowers in whiskey barrels. Is there anything we can do to protect the grasses this winter?

A * Survival of plants growing in above-ground containers is always an iffy proposition, as there are no guarantees, depending on the severity of winter weather. Try transplanting them into the ground in a holding area in your garden. Choose a sheltered spot away from strong winds. Good drainage is essential. Leave the clumps uncut the old leaves and stems will help provide protection during winter. Water the clumps thoroughly and apply a 2- or 3-inch layer of mulch (compost, shredded bark, or partly-decayed leaves) over the roots once the ground freezes.

It would be impractical to bury a container as large as a half whiskey barrel, but ornamental grasses (or other hardy perennials) growing in smaller containers could also be treated in this fashion: Dig a hole as deep as the pot is tall and bury the pot up to its rim. …

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