At first glance to this question, my obvious answer is a resounding 'yes, of course'. The idea of not storing them is out of the question. I mean, why would you let them die?
And the cost of purchasing more early next Summer!
So this has been my mindset over the years, whereby at the end of the flowering season, plants are stored over Winter, and brought on again the following Spring. This involves taking them out of their pots or containers in the Autumn time, removing a lot of the soil from their roots and squeezing them into smaller 3 or 4 inch pots with gritty compost, removing any dead or dying foliage or flower stems and placing them into the greenhouse or coldframe.
As they overwinter, keeping an eye on them for signs of unhealthiness, and of course providing heat when necessary. And then in the springtime, increasing the watering, increasing the heat (hopefully nature looks after this) and ensuring the fresh young foliage is not affected by chilly nights.
Phew, it's a lot of work!
And there is a certain cost to the heating too. I use one of the kerosene oil heaters, it's about 20 years old, and works a treat, but still, there is a cost to running it, both in oil and labour.
So, last year, with all the house and garden moving, I took the decision not to store my bedding geranium (and other) plants and purchase fresh ones in the Spring.
It worked out great!
Gone was all the bedding down for the Winter, pest and disease watch in the early Spring, and lighting heaters.
Yes, in the Spring I purchased young seedlings, potted them on and by late May these guys were ready to plant out as bedding.
Which leads me to now. I am again faced with the choice of storing plants over Winter. I honestly don't think I will. I asked the question of my Twitter friends and was really interested to hear their opinions. As for me? Sure, there are a couple of bigger plants I will look after, but for the bedding geraniums, I don't think I will. I think I will continue to look after them, give them a little tidy over now we have a bit of heat, and let them sail off into the late Autumn, providing as much colour for as long as possible.
When we come to mid-Winter, I will compost any remains and clean the pots in preparation for next year.
What will you do?
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