48 Sherman Drive Beaufort, SC 29907 danielpayne@naturescapesofbeaufort.com (843) 525 9454

Naturescapes of Beaufort, SC

Winterizing the nursery

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The ice that froze on the trees and shrubs around the nursery is melting now. The last time I checked Weather Underground’s forecast yesterday, it was not supposed to drop below 32 so, I didn’t bother going through the freeze prevention ritual. We are expecting another freeze tonight. Ice is not very kind to pvc pipe and sprinkler heads. I learned that the hard way, many years ago. We are getting ready for tonight’s freeze now. We have closed the gate valve which feeds the irrigation system and most of the outdoor spigots. We have drained the water from 3 of the irrigation stations and 4 of the 5 vulnerable outdoor spigots. We are letting the 5th vulnerable spigot dripping so that it won’t freeze. Tonight, we will leave the faucets in the house dripping as well.

Some of you are wondering what I will do to protect the plants. The answer is “not much”. All of the plants that we grow in the nursery (except for a few pet plants) are winter hardy in the ground here. (Many of them grow laterally in the winter and vertically in the summer). Most of them are native to the local area. No one protects the plants in the woodlands from the cold. Most of the rest are heirloom plants which can persist in gardens for years without care. Since potted plants have their roots above ground, they are more vulnerable to freezing, so some of them benefit from a little protection.

We built our greenhouse in 2014. Before then,most of the plants received no protection at all. Sometimes, I would push the more sensitive ones together and cover them with the leaves and pine straw that fell around the nursery. Plants that like good drainage, didn’t likeNow that we have a greenhouse, I Thosethat suffered were a few with thick roots which would Now that we have a greenhouse, I bring 3 types of plants inside, they are 1) cuttings and seedlings which haven’t developed a good root system yet. 2) Plants from dry places which need very good drainage. Between the winter rains, and the plastic pots, they don’t dry out quick enough in the winter. I bring them inside to keep them dry 3) Subtropical plants with big fleshy roots. There roots won’t freeze in the ground, but they will freeze in the pots. 4) My pet plants, pineapples, peppers, etc.

Now, if I only had a special lady to snuggle up with. Everything would be ready.

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