Preparing Vines for Winter

 

Vines are becoming an increasingly popular perennial addition to gardens and landscape designs across the country. Part of the reason for this is that these plants are typically very hardy, and take very little care to maintain. However, when winter begins to approach there is some care that needs to be taken. Preparing vines for winter is a fairly easy task that even the most inexperienced of gardeners can do. Here are three different methods that will ensure that your vines are prepared for the coming winter.

  • Bring vines inside. For small vine plants, the easiest solution is to simply transplant the plant inside. This will allow you to protect the young plant during the harsh cold that comes with the winter months. Simply gather a large pot, and fill it half way with a mixture of potting soil and regular soil. Next expose the roots of the vine plant, and begin making a little hole for the root ball in the new pot. Place the root ball into the hole, and then cover with the remaining soil mixture.
  • Mulch and cover. One of the best ways to ensure that your vines will survive the winter is through the liberal use of mulch and covering the plant. Dig down around the base of the plant till you have reached a rough depth of one foot to one and a half feet. Be careful that you do not damage the roots of the plant as you do this though. Create a mixture of biodegradable mulch and a compost or fertilizer, and potting soil. Once you have created the mixture (using roughly equal measurements of each ingredient) refill the hole that you have made. Not only do you want to fill the hole, but you will want a bed raised to about a foot above ground level. Cover this mound with plastic gardening material to help retain the heat from the decomposing mixture.
  • Do nothing and replant. The riskiest method for preparing your vines for winter is to actually do nothing. This is the riskiest because you are simply "trusting to luck" that your plant will make it through the winter. Many times vines will make it through the winter, damaged but still healthy and viable. However, this method is risky in that not all vines will make it through the winter. If this is the method you plan on using, then you should be prepared to replant your vines if necessary.

As you can easily tell, most of these methods will require some work on your part. Be aware that this work needs to be done prior to, or right around, the time that your average daily temperature reaches no lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Any average temperature that is lower than that will make it more difficult to do any of the work, and you run an increased risk of damaging the plant irreparably.

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