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DIY move and store container plants inside over winter

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DIY Gardening is a full time job, even over the winter. Consider bringing in those smaller container potted plants, ones that are not too hard to carry in, and put them in a special spot for protection over the winter months.

Have you ever had a few potted plants die from too much winter exposure when the containers were left outside? Maybe you forgot to provide protection for them from that first Blue Norther in the DFW area? Or you covered the potted plants and containers with plastic and they froze anyway? It puts a real damper on your gardening efforts.

How about some DIY help? Here’s an inexpensive way to collectively group your container potted plants from outdoors to indoors so you can easily water and fertilize them without fear of staining or damaging the floors in your home. Learn a cheap, easy and fast way to save money and minimize watering efforts at the same time. You can use the dollars you save on water to buy more plants or just allocate it where it is needed most.

This article will tell you how to get the things you’ll need and how put them in use for a successful project. You’ll be pleased the first time you do this project and find out how simple it is to care for your outdoor plants when brought indoors over the winter. You’ll even be able to get your kids to help care for the plants because it's so easy.

Things You'll Need:

  • A group of outdoor hanging baskets or potted plants small enough to carry easily or roll inside
  • Painter’s plastic drop sheets
  • Long spout watering can
  • Stick or tablet fertilizer
  • Water when you need it
  • Graph paper and pencil

Watch the video Moving Houseplants Back Inside for the Winter and see the slideshow DIY move and store container plants inside over winter for more information.

Steps

Step 1 Determine the indoor area you need by sizing the collective grouping of hanging baskets and potted plants. Find a spot on your porch, patio or driveway and place all the baskets and pots reasonably close together with some room for growth. Measure the overall floor area and check for heights. Jot those measurements down on graph paper, to scale.

Step 2 Locate a spot inside your house. Check to make sure there are good light source windows close by. See if you can find a spot on a hard surface floor, not carpet or wood, maybe a screened patio, utility room, entry, garden shed with windows, or garage next to a window. Clear and clean the area to prepare for moving plants indoors.

Step 3 Find the things you'll need. Reuse some clear plastic storage boxes, you can use their lids to set the boxes on. Buy a cheap heavy mil painter’s drop sheet large enough for your area and then some. If you don’t have one, purchase a plastic, long spout watering can. Use one of your old vinyl exercise mats or a rubber camping mat. Purchase some fertilizer sticks or tablets per your plant fertilizing needs. Don’t try to use liquid fertilizer inside as splash excess may be absorbed by children or pets and could stain your flooring if it escapes.

Step 4 Place exercise mat on floor close to windows, place painter's plastic drop sheet on top of mat, rolling each edge slightly to create catch edge for spilled water from watering of plants. Allow enough room to easily clean behind plastic and mat behind plants and boxes next to wall, about a broom’s width.

Step 5 Place your clear plastic boxes close together and on top of plastic. Depending on the quantity and size of plants determines how many boxes and their spacing. Plants should end up close together but not crowded.

Step 6 Bring baskets and plants inside from your temporary holding area. Place plants inside boxes. Plants not requiring a great deal of direct sunlight should be remote from windows. Those requiring direct sunlight should be in boxes closest to windows to receive maximum light. You will want to try and move them around also so you can easily grasp planters and move them later during plant maintenance. Take this time to trim and clean plants as you normally would as part of your normal plant maintenance. Check for pests and spray treat as necessary.

Step 7 Fertilize plants after placing in clear boxes. Use stick and/or tablet fertilizer as mentioned previously.

Step 8 Water plants using watering can with long spout. Water root areas on each plant making sure water gets around fertilizer sticks or tablets. Clean up any splashes on plastic over mat with paper towels and discard paper towels to your compost pile.

Step 9 Step back and admire your new indoor area for outdoor plants. You can now be assured that your plants will not freeze outside. Perform your normal plant maintenance over the winter. In the spring after the last freeze just reverse this process and move plants outdoors again for growing season! Congratulations!

Tips:

  • You will want to check for cleanliness of area every week or so. Wipe up all splashed water and debris.
  • Follow stick or tablet fertilizer manufacturer recommendations on quantity to use over winter.
  • Move all plants briefly to an area with proper floor protection while cleaning process takes place, then replace to different spots to aid in light capturing of plants.

Warnings:

  • At each DIY maintenance check, be sure and wash down areas where plant groups were sitting so all excess fertilizer liquid is gone. This will prevent children and pets from inadvertently taking in anything that is harmful from this process.

Play the video Moving Houseplants Back Inside for the Winter and view the slideshow DIY move and store container plants inside over winter for more information.

Feel free to subscribe to my Fort Worth Gardening Examiner site today; it’s free! From building a compost bin to choosing the right gardening soil, you can find it here along with several gardening and lawn projects and tips with the author's hand sketches as guides; just click the subscribe button at the bottom of the article below the author's bio.

Also, for tips on cats, see http://www.examiner.com/cats-in-fort-worth/joel-howald

And, for tips on DIY projects, see http://www.examiner.com/diy-in-fort-worth/joel-howald

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