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Snowed In – Your Container Gardens in Seattle


It won’t be long before we’ll all be there with snow,


I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow.

 Actually, probably not.  Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen and Rosemary Clooney sang this song in the movie White Christmas, but if you’ve just been without power for 18 hours, this is the last thing on your mind.  However, when the weather calms down, or as the snow begins to melt, here are some tips for preserving your outdoor garden containers.

Winter Container Planting Ideas

  • If the large plants in your outdoor garden containers are weighted down with snow, it is not a bad idea to take a broom or rake and gently brush them off to keep the large plants from breaking.
  • Sunscald is rarely a problem in winter in the Pacific Northwest (sometimes not even in summer!), winter container garden but if the sun does reappear suddenly and directly hits your container garden, it is helpful to drop an old sheet or light blanket over the plants to protect them from sunscald.
  •  Don’t try to water container garden planters until the soil thaws, but keep an eye on the weather this winter and try to water before snow or freezing temperatures hit again.  A very dry, outdoor pot that then freezes is very damaging to the plants.
  • If it has been very cold, some of your outdoor pots may have plants in them with frost-burnt leaves.  Leave these alone for a while.  Picking too many leaves off the plants inhibits their ability to photosynthesize, even in winter.
  • Never leave an empty outdoor pot  with water standing in it over the winter.  It can freeze and crack the sturdiest container.  Even if it has holes drilled in it, turn it upside down until the weather warms so it won’t collect standing water.  Just having potting soil in it will also keep it safe.