Growing Tender Bulbs in Cold Climates--Tow

Rodger Whitlock
Thu, 10 Apr 2003 09:28:42 PDT
On  7 Apr 03 at 18:26, wrote:

> I'm in sunny Riverside, certainly NOT a cold climate.

> ...[If & when I move to the Big Chill] my growing collection of
> South African and other Mediterranean bulbs might have a big move
> to make. ...All advice appreciated! 

Successful management of plants under cover during winter involves 
more than just keeping the frost at bay. Two particular factors come 
to mind regarding those that actively grow during the winter: light 
levels and air movement.

Move your sun-loving tender plants to, say, Rochester NY, where the
winters are long, cold, and dreary, with sunless periods up to a
month long, and your plants -- at least those of them with aerial
portions -- will suffer from low light levels. The further north you
are, the worse this is; ditto for the cloudier locales. (Rochester
gets a lot less winter sun than, say, Calgary, Alberta.) Plan on
providing supplementary illumination for best results, while keeping
the temperature as low as practical. There's something of a catch-22
in this because lamps bright enough to do the job will tend to warm
the house up unduly, thus requiring even higher light levels.

Air movement is another neglected technique. The orchid fanatics all
seem to have little fans stirring the air in their greenhouses, but
I've never seen such an apparatus in an alpine house -- not that I
claim wide experience of such edifices. Air movement will help
prevent diseases and pests that thrive in a stagnant atmosphere. It
will also reduce condensation on foliage and flowers, and may
prevent out of the way corners from freezing.


Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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