Wintering...

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Kee Wan, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Kee Wan

    Kee Wan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Hi, I'm new to this forum, and I have a couple of questions.

    I have some garlic chives in a planter (about 8' round and 6' deep). I purchased them this spring at one ofhte garden centers and have been eating on them all summer....they're really good. What do I have to do to winter them? I have some chilves that I got from my brother;'s neighbor adn I planted them in the ground and they all doed almost completly off. so I'm concerned about planting the chives in the ground.

    I planted some everbearing strawberries this spring - got some - but now have LOTS more plants than I had to start....is there anything special that I have to do for them so that they come back next year?

    I have a little jalapenio pepper plant that just started (finally) giving me peppers and flowering like crazy.....can I bring that in and keep getting peppers?

    I live in southwest Wisconsin - near La Crosse - almost right on the Mississippi. I think that it's zone 4 - but I'm not too sure.

    Thanks for your help!! :)
     
  2. Kee Wan

    Kee Wan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    No one knows how to winter things?? Or did I do something so no one could read it?? :eek:
     

  3. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

    Messages:
    4,588
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Quiet Corner of CT
    well, i'd put the chives on my kitchen winow sill...might as well use it all winter :) You can bring the pepper plant in....may or may not get peppers, but you'll be ahead of the game next season. Can't help with the strawberries....mine are in grow-bags and I hang them in the garage.....what the birds have left me :grit:
     
  4. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Regular chives should be going dormant about now. They are hard to kill once they become established so I would not be in a hurry to think that they are dead. My own look terribly sorry right now. Many people do keep them in a window for use all winter but they would need to be well-established in their pots before bringing them in.

    Garlic chives should winter over OK in Wisconsin. I used to have them so thick that they became like weeds with no special protection. I'm not certain if they would do well indoors as they seem to require more sunlight than regular chives. Since they are in a pot now, I would dig a hole slightly deeper than the pot and winter them over that way. Be certain that there is plenty of drainage. Then the roots would not be damaged by expanding ice.

    For strawberries, about all you can do is spread a layer of 3 or 4 inches of straw over them for added winter protection. If used, the straw must be removed at the first sign of growth in the spring or there could be a lot of rotted crowns. I've used maple and green ash leaves but they often create a thick mat which is worse than having nothing at all. So that's what I've done with my Ozark Beauty and Galore everbearings the past several winters, nothing!

    Martin
     
  5. Kee Wan

    Kee Wan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Thanks for the advice. My chives were transplanted in late spring from my brother's neighbor - they all went soft and limp for about a week, then came back to normla and have been thining and dying off all summer - until there isn't much left. When I grabbed them, I took as much of the surrounding dirt as the shovel could take and disturbed them as little as possible.....dug a hole 1/2 again as deep - lined the bottom with peat and put them in. they drain fine.

    I have had someone else tell me that my strawberries should be fine too....maybe I'll do the hay thing...if I find hay - otherwise, I'll just do what you said....nothing.

    If I transplant my garlic chives - can I harvest the tops and dry them - or only some of them - I'm really not sure about how that all works. I don't ahve room inside for them this winter - so I'll put them in the ground.....will it hurt if I cut the tops off so I can have dried chilves this winter?? :confused:

    Thanks for your responses so far - I appreciate it!!
     
  6. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Kee, I think that your chives simply spent the summer trying to go dormant. They are alliums and all alliums have a dormant period. When you uprooted them, they thought that the season was over. They no doubt were also not happy with the extra 5 or 6 degrees higher temperatures this summer. About this time last year, I enjoyed watching two different strains of honeybees working chive flowers just before cold weather arrived. This year, not a single blossom! Chives simply do not like warm dry weather.

    I'm not certain what will happen with the garlic chives if you trim them back severely right now. It really should not hurt them as you may have frost within 10 days. I looked at the few of mine this aft and there's nothing tender enough to be used. Again, this is due to the summer heat and drought since I did not bother watering them. For certain, set the pot in the ground for winter protection.

    One other point, peat is not always the best thing to use in planting holes. It is good for holding water but only if it is a type which easily becomes soaked. There are some which have a type of natural wax and almost repel water. The water may have been draining quite well but doing it while leaving large dry pockets. I only use peat if it is well-mixed with soil.

    Martin
     
  7. Kee Wan

    Kee Wan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    THANKS!!!!! :hand:

    I appreciate the help.....sooner or later I'll get the hang of this.....
     
  8. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Kee, you're doing everything right here. There's not too many allium experts here and there's even a few things that I'm learning about them!

    Also, there's some of us who just don't want to admit that winter is coming. It's bad enough that summer is already behind us! We don't wish to be reminded what may be coming here on "the frozen tundra"!

    You are definitely Zone 4 and I claim 4B in the Madison area. Odd enough, you are often hotter in the summer around LaCrosse but usually wetter.

    Martin
     
  9. Kee Wan

    Kee Wan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Wow! Right in my backyard! Nice to know you!! I know winter is comming....and I can hardly wait. I had such fun with my garden this year and planting and eating - I can hardly wait for the spring to make my improvements and do it all again!!!!! :rock:

    This was the first tiem ever that I grew something that was not only edible - but great!! It was hard work - and if I can avoid repeating the work - I will.

    My chilves are all still pretty good - they're in a place that the sun is on the m all day long and the notes haven't been too cold here yet. I suppose that I'll ge them all in the dehydrator and the plants moved for the winter soon. I hope that you're right about the other ones being dormant and comming back next year.

    I"m in the proces of raising the bed of the garden (as soon as the rest fo the beets come in) got any god advice about that? I got some timbers from a friend and i got about enough to go 2 high (maybe three if I make the garden a little smaller.....) I also got some barrels for potatos next year.....i'm all hyped.........

    :clap: :sing:
     
  10. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Building a raised bed over an existing garden is an excellent idea. When people pull a plant such as a tomato, only 6 inches of roots may come up. Those are mostly the large "anchor" roots. The fine feeder roots may go down 10 times deeper or more. Most of my garden is nearly a foot higher than it was 40 years ago. Much of the older parts even had trench composting 3 feet deep. So, there is 4 feet of super soil there.

    What you should do now is set the timbers in their permanent places. Then you will need to begin thinking of the soil that will fill the bed to the desired level. You are going to have to find something to fill the new beds in. It does not have to happen all at once. Start by making a huge compost pile using tree leaves as soon as possible. Do that right in the middle of your raised bed. You will be able to get lots of shredded oak, maple, and ash leaves from your area. Even if the pile becomes as tall as you, add more! That will start to break down and continue to do so all winter. It can be sped up by turning but usually just aerating and snow/rain will be enough to keep it warm. That will eventually become a very rich base for the beds when leveled in the spring. It will contain a long-lasting source of nutrients for roots which go looking for food.

    Building the actual new soil will begin in the spring after the partially composted leaves will be laid down as a base. Then it will need whatever good soil that you can find, Mississippi River sand, etc. and take a few years so do it. Using the many available leaves for compost plus possible city compost. Never be in a hurry and accept any old fill dirt. Build it of the right material and do it slow. You will be well rewarded in the future.

    Martin
     
  11. 1/4acre

    1/4acre Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    431
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    Hi Kee, We are also in the prosses of building another raised bed. Got some wonderful 3 year old composted horse manure from a local stable. FREE. :dance: You might try asking around in your area for some and don't stop at the stables ask at the farms too( chicken horse cow it's all good) Ask first if they use spray to keep the flies down. Some people don't want that, me included. :nono: Thats what we did to get started. ;) If no truck to haul it in just use garbage bags. If the manure is fresh add it to your compost pile and by next spring it should be ready to add to your garden. Go to your local library and get a book about composting. Lot's of info there. :cowboy: Good luck with your garden, Janice
     
  12. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

    Messages:
    827
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    NW Iowa
    Kee Wan, Both regular and garlic chives will keep going right up until hard frost, and sometimes withstand that fairly well. I just split mine up and transplanted them into a new raised bed a week ago, and they were already many inches tall and I cut many for use today, but I have mine in partial shade. It ws extremely hot here for the last week.

    I would suggest anytime they are frailing to trim them back. Just grab the whole clump with one hand, and cut off to about 2# above the soil. If you let them go to seed, even though the flowers are beautiful, they think no one wants them, and they get tough and more bitter flavored. Keep trimming them regularily, and compost them even if you don't have a use for them. Drying looses some of the flavor intensity, just the opposite of most herbs. If you have enough freezer space, I know people who chop them up and freeze them in ice cube trays with a bit of water, then bag up the cubes. Just put a few cubes right into your soup or whatever when you are cooking it.
     
  13. Kee Wan

    Kee Wan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Thanks for the wonderful advice. I have some leaves from the local city compost pile that I will bring in, and my brother just bought 12 acres on a trout streem in MN, and when he built his road acrosse the streem, he wouuld up with LOTS of topsoil that has to find a new home..... :dance:

    Most of it is virgon topsoil. All organic - never been tilled that he can tell - adn if it was - it wasn't anytime recetnly. it's just layer upon layer of old maple and elm leaves and grasses and a bunch of time and worms..... So, that's going to fill my garden bed. Aren't I lucky!! He sold a bunch of it and paid for his road that way.

    I'll probably have to plant the chilves for the winter sooner than i get the bed of the garden done - I need help taking the old timbers apart and layign them down in the right place etc...

    once again, THANKS!! for all your help.....I am so gald i found this place!

    Karen
     
  14. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    I brought all of my herbs in tonight and put them infront of a western window.
    I am hoping they will thrive. I have basil, thyme, lavender, chives and sage.
     
  15. Kee Wan

    Kee Wan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Ok, so I have another question.....I have a jalepenio pepper plant that just decided to spring about a billion itty-bitty peppers. No way that they are gogin to be finished before frost sets in. And I have another yellow/orange/red pepper plant that just decided to give me a bunch of new buds and bittie peppers too.

    What are the chances that I can bring these plants in and get soem fruit off of them this winter? Dad's workshop in the basement has several full-spectrum lights that we can use to provide 'sunlight'. I'ts not that warm in the basement - but it's not that cold either. My guess is that it'a about a constant 68 degrees down there. Maybe a hare cooler at night - but not too much. I could also bring them inside and keep them upstairs, but there isn't really any great light besides what comes in the window - and that's not too good in the winter.

    Or, I can just hang up t1his particular dog until spring time.....

    Any thoughts? :p
     
  16. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

    Messages:
    827
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    NW Iowa
    They might not transplant real well if it's already fruiting, but if it's going to go to waste anyway...if you dig it up, just go deep so you get as many roots as possible. I wouldn't put them in direct sun for a bit. Give them a bit to adjust to the shock. You can try anything once.
     
  17. Kee Wan

    Kee Wan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Silly me.....I didn't mention that the pepper plants that I want to bring into the house are planted in patio planters - the big ones that weigh a ton, but don't tip[ over either. ..... :bash:

    So does it make a difference if I just breing int he potters - the roots won't be disturbed at all. but there may be a temperature difference. Should I do that sooner or later.....

    On a side note - it is absolutly amazing what you can grow in the handful of dirt that you can get in one fo those planters....I got a bazillion cherry and grape tomatoes (one plant each) - and about 40 peppers off of three plants.....Never in my wildest imagination would I get that much fruit from those planters.....make sme wonder what they would have looked like had I grown them in a garden and the roots had all the space they needed.....
     
  18. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

    Messages:
    827
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    NW Iowa
    You should be fine.