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    • Everypennysaprisoner
    • By Everypennysaprisoner 14th Sep 18, 3:29 PM
    • 19Posts
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    Everypennysaprisoner
    Using old water bottles for overwintering plants?
    • #1
    • 14th Sep 18, 3:29 PM
    Using old water bottles for overwintering plants? 14th Sep 18 at 3:29 PM
    My courtyard garden has lots of pots and troughs. I don't have any room for a greenhouse and as I'm in NE Scotland, my geraniums, fuschias and begonias don't survive the winter. Could I use old water, fizzy juice bottles cut in half to create a mini greenhouse type thing over the plants to make them last more than a year? Would this be any good for plants I already have and to protect any cuttings I take? I'd be grateful for any advice from you as I'm a novice but frugal gardener and don't want to bin plants that I would then have to buy again next year. TIA.
Page 1
    • Farway
    • By Farway 14th Sep 18, 4:24 PM
    • 6,638 Posts
    • 11,224 Thanks
    Farway
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 18, 4:24 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 18, 4:24 PM
    Never tried, but I think it is not just the cold but the mainly damp that does for them, and inside a pop bottle would be fairly stagnant still, damp air

    Worth a try but expect failures
    • Niv
    • By Niv 14th Sep 18, 4:31 PM
    • 1,690 Posts
    • 1,506 Thanks
    Niv
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 18, 4:31 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 18, 4:31 PM
    I have used cut down pop bottles as cloches before with some success but not for overwintering. Worth a try but as Farway says - expect failures.


    At the end of the day it only costs a bit of your time, from the sound of it your only alternative is to watch them die so what have you got to lose?
    YNWA

    Target: Mortgage free by 58.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 14th Sep 18, 8:47 PM
    • 5,425 Posts
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    sheramber
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:47 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:47 PM
    Have you got a windowsill you could put cuttings on?

    Would you have room for a cold frame? Lined with bubble wrap might be enough for them to survive but you would need to pay attention to condensation causing mildew etc. The overnight temperature would have to be 2-4 degree C.

    Tuber Begonias should be stored dry over the winter, then replanted in the spring. I have kept them in their trough and let it dry it out. I kept them in cool room over the winter. They started into growth around March /April and I moved them outside when all danger of frost was passed.
    You can take them out their pot and dry them off , then store wrapped in newspaper in a frost free place.

    Sempervivums are really annuals.

    Similarly geraniums would need to be kept growing and would be better brought indoors.

    i am in the north of Scotland and my Fuschias survive overwintered under a raised trug with strawberries in.
    I have also overwintered them under a picnic table.
    They die down over the winter so only need protected from the weather.

    I think the lack of daylight in the north is a problem as well as the cold and damp. Any growth will be weak and spindly because of the lack of daylight.

    Roots need protected from the cold as well as the top growth. Hence moving my fuschias under some protection.
    • savemoney
    • By savemoney 15th Sep 18, 1:19 AM
    • 12,937 Posts
    • 11,549 Thanks
    savemoney
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 18, 1:19 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 18, 1:19 AM
    Germanium's dont often do well in Winter if they get too wet they go mouldy, I gave up over wintering them in greenhouse for that reason. If its begonia corms I take them out and dry out and store in a shoe box with ventilation holes in a cool not freezing building. Fuschias can be over wintered personnel dont think I keep them as you suggested although I have had them in a cold frame with a fleece over top and they survived Winter outside but I dont live in Scotland. I do keep them in a cold greenhouse now that does freeze inside, I cover with a fleece and only lightly water
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 15th Sep 18, 2:33 AM
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    Davesnave
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 18, 2:33 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 18, 2:33 AM
    Being blunt, a pop bottle won't provide adequate protection for many tender plants, especially in NE Scotland, and the comments regarding issues with damp, stagnant air are spot-on.

    I used to get away with overwintering all sorts of things kept dry in a sheltered, well ventilated cold frame in a city down south, but there were always insurance plants elsewhere.

    Before that, I would bury fuchsias and pelargoniums in dryish compost in a brick deep bed, made in the corner of a garage, then pull them out in April. Many survived, but of course some didn't.

    Pelagonium (geranium) cuttings in dryish pots on a windowsill are usually easy/successful. Fuchsias, less so...and they get bugs.
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • Alfrescodave
    • By Alfrescodave 15th Sep 18, 9:13 AM
    • 623 Posts
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    Alfrescodave
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 18, 9:13 AM
    Non flowering fuschias
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 18, 9:13 AM
    I have several fuschias in my garden, both in large tubs and in borders. I give them all high potash and seaweed feed and most of them have flowered well.

    However, some have not developed a single flower although they are looking very healthy.

    Any advice that will help ensure all plants do in fact flower well next year?
    • Alfrescodave
    • By Alfrescodave 15th Sep 18, 9:14 AM
    • 623 Posts
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    Alfrescodave
    • #8
    • 15th Sep 18, 9:14 AM
    • #8
    • 15th Sep 18, 9:14 AM
    Apologies in my haste I've posted in wrong place - please ignore and I'll repost
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 17th Sep 18, 8:02 PM
    • 8,398 Posts
    • 29,520 Thanks
    Primrose
    • #9
    • 17th Sep 18, 8:02 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Sep 18, 8:02 PM
    I have several of those transparent large water cooler bottles with the bases cut off which I use for protecting geraniums and other plants like fushias but I,m in the south east and leave them in a partially covered potting shed area. I,m not sure this would work for you with the lower temperatures you suffer . The other problem is damp. Many times I,ve overwatered them and they,ve. died. Could yiu take cuttings, several to a lot and keep on your window sills? Just won't be tempted to overwater them. They need very little moisture in their semi dormant state.

    The other problem I,ve found with trying to overwinter cuttings i doors is an eventual infestation of whitefly which are difficult to shift.









    but I,m in the south east
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 18th Sep 18, 7:23 AM
    • 26,611 Posts
    • 95,951 Thanks
    Davesnave
    I think water cooler bottles, well fixed-down, are a great idea to protect less hardy plants that can be overwintered in the garden.
    e.g. dahlias, the more tender fuchsias etc.
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 18th Sep 18, 8:55 AM
    • 8,398 Posts
    • 29,520 Thanks
    Primrose
    I anchormy water cooler "cloches" with a long bamboo cane theiugh the top of the. Outlet. This anchor it I. Times of heavy winds and the opening at the top ensures a little ventilation too which is essential to prevent rotting from to much dampness. However be careful and place a small upturned container like a Benecol bottle over the exposed end of the cane to prevent you accidentally jabbing your eye when bending over nearby.
    Last edited by Primrose; 18-09-2018 at 8:58 AM.
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