Photo by Jessica Walliser
I’m overwintering some of my container plants in the garage, though I’m digging up the elephant’s ear bulbs to store in a box of peat moss and am sinking my terra-cotta pots of mint into the compost bin.
We got our first hard frost late last week so I’ve been busy pulling out the spent tomato and pepper plants and tossing them onto the compost pile. I’ve also lugged my tender container plantings into the garage or house. My potted agave, snake plant and a large concrete planter overflowing with baby’s tears are now residing in the corner of our family room. My red banana tree, pot of lemongrass and fig tree are snug in the garage where they’ll soon go dormant and rest for the winter.
Over the weekend, I plan to overwinter my elephant’s ears by cutting them back and pulling the bulbs from the pots. I usually store the bulbs in a box of peat moss in the basement and plan to do so again this year. I also have a terra-cotta pot full of mint that I’m going to try to overwinter by sinking it into the compost pile. Because I don’t want it to spread, I plan to wrap the pot in a plastic garbage bag to keep the roots from growing out the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. Come spring, I’ll pull it out, remove the bag, and move the pot back onto the patio.
Soon enough I’ll be raking and composting leaves. Last year, rather than putting them on the compost pile, I piled them over the beds in the veggie garden. When spring came, I spread them over the beds as mulch, and it worked like a charm to prevent the weeds. I believe I’ll do the same again this year.