I really hate mornings like today! I get it, I live in Canada, we get winter! Yet every year, I hope it never comes… then one morning you wake up and its freezing cold, and you hear the forecast of snow for the weekend and reality sets in… its WINTER!
Well, that was my morning today… the big reality check. On my drive into work today, I looked at the thermometer, -13C, for my American friends, that translates in 9F… where F means “FRIGGIN COLD”!
My first thought when I realized how cold it was, was “I hope the plants are OK”. I know… I’ve been growing these things outside for years now… every spring they’re fine… but I can’t help it! This kind of cold panics me. Especially when there is no snow to keep them warm.
Last week, or may two weeks ago, we had some warm weather (unseasonably so for December). The day times were in the high teens (C), high 50′s and low to mid 60sF, That gave me a great opportunity to cover the old bogs for winter.
As I mentioned in a previous post (I think), I’ve decided to go “au naturel” and leave all the pitchers on this winter… Makes it tough to put the pine needs over top, but we’ll see how it goes.
Remember the pine needs aren’t there to really keep in any heat, they are there to stop the drying effects of the wind. Nothing says dead Sarracenia faster than exposed plants and a windchill of -30C. The layer of pine needles keeps the moisture in… at least until we get snow to cover them up and keep them nice and toasty till spring.
I remember many, many years ago, telling Don Schnell that I was having success growing a few Sarracenia outdoors in a kiddie pool. I remember saying how odd I though that was that these “southern” plants were doing well year to year here. He told me that I’d have an easier time growing them up there than he would where he was in the piedmont of the Carolinas. He told me that his weather fluctuates like crazy over the winter, warm, cool, warm cool, cold, warm… you get the idea. I good warm spell in early spring can get the plants moving… then the cold comes back! Not good. He explained that he wasn’t surprised with my situation, once the plants are dormant and buried in snow, they stay that way till spring… thus no worries about the freeze thaw cycles! On that note, I also found out that the botanist Fred Case, who lived in Saginaw Michigan grew all his plants outdoors year round. If he had blog, he could have called it Zone 5a!
Anyway, as the year draws to an end… I want to thank all the people who have continued to read these posts… and a special thanks for all the comments and emails I’ve got this year. Welcome to all the new people that have signed on this year… I hope you are finding the information here useful. If you are new, I encourage you to read the old posts.
I’ve got an idea for the upcoming year… but that will have to wait for another post. Oh.. and yes Mr. Murray, I should be marking right now LOL!