Sunday, November 16, 2008

Winterizing the Tropicals

I have been working on winterizing my tropical water lilies for the past three weekends (there are quite a few) and it's been a huge task. This is the third year that I have been working diligently with tropicals rather than the hardies and the learning curve is still present.

I am sure that others have experienced this in other zones, but my question to you would be how do you handle it? Set dates for the draining of the ponds? Hiring temp workers/ conscripting family members? Diligently watching the weather channel and doing a blitzkrieg the night before frost? Its been a mix of the four, for the last three years, with my lilies. We generally have to have everything removed by Halloween, but the last few years I have had to put it off until the weekend before the frost hits. In my greenhouse, I generally have about two days after the first frost before the temperature drops to the point where I am seeing ice crystals inside the greenhouse.

The tropicals are receiving the brunt of my attention now, some are being treated to a the sand and distilled water method outlined by Rich Sacher on the Water Gardening International site here. Well worth a look, if you haven't checked this out already. In addition, I am also trying to winter some over inside my house using grow lights and an aquarium heater. I will post later on the results if this one, but it is a mixed effort, with a fully grown lily and about six plantlets grown from seed. I will post as I see my results.

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