It’s the week before Christmas, and all through the bogs, not a creature is stirring not even a Sarracenia. Ok… I’m a bad poet!!
Yep, the bogs are officially closed for the season. So what did the final close up look like? It looks like a pile of pine needles. When I get a chance, I’ll run outside and take a photo and post it.
So after I cut back the pitchers as I explained in my last post, I gave the bogs a final “suck”. I got the leaf blower and put on the sucking attachment and sucked up any left over leaves. Then I just piled up the pine needles. I purchase my pine needs from a company called Georgia Pine Straw. They are like bales of hay, instead they are bales of long pine needles. I used 5 bales on my bogs. It gave me a layer of needles about 10 cms thick.
I actually did this a few weeks ago. I figured I’d get them on a bit earlier this year cause we had some nice really mild weather that day and its far nicer doing yard work at 15C then when its more seasonal around 5C.
Speaking of Weather! we’ve had a very mild/sunny fall and early winter in Zone 6b. We have no snow, although we’ve had snow, it just doesn’t stay. Most days have been between 2 and 5C although as mentioned we’ve had some incredibly mild weather, up around 15-17C in early December! No complaints here! Our two week forecast continues to look mild, so it’ll likely be a green Christmas and New Years this year.
I have to be honest, as much as I hate snow, it’s really good for plants in a climate like ours. Once the bogs are covered in a good layer of snow, they are completely insulated from the bone chilling temperatures that we can get in January and February. Without a snow cover, the plants can be damaged from extreme and prolonged cold.
So that might lead the question of the purpose of the pine needles. The pine needles don’t really do much to protect the plants from the cold. Their main purpose is to protect the plants from the drying effects of the wind. If left exposed, the plants would literally freeze dry. Its just like leaving a pot of Sarracenia outside in the blazing summer heat and not watering. If the plant is left dried out long enough the plant will die. The same principle applies in the winter! So the pine needles are there to help conserve moisture and protect from the wind.
This will likely be my last post for the year. I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday season, whatever you celebrate as well a happy and healthy new year.
I also want to thank you all for reading. I hope that by documenting my experiences this past season, many other “northern” growers are motivated to move their collections outdoors.