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Gardening in America
Over Wintering Patio Plants

by Nancy Fletcher

    Some of these plants belong to my daughter and are off her summer patio. In the spirit of frugal living I try to encourage my children to save in every facet of their lives. Today my daughter was looking at how well the plants had wintered over. She said, "You know, I was looking at plants in the greenhouse and none of them were as nice as these.

    What will happen here is before they go back out I will divide these and get many more pots. At the very bottom of the picture is a bright, hot pink, colored bloom. It is off the Impatients I brought in last fall. If I had known they would do this well I would have brought in a lot more of them.  With the money I've saved on plants I can buy some more large pots. We use a dolly to move these pots. Do not try to pick them up. I injured my sciatic one year and was it ever painful. It was just at the time I was trying to get my book edited for publishing, I'll never forget that. If you use a lot of peat moss in the soil mix they aren't quite as heavy.

    The Geraniums bloomed along all winter, a bright red. The Begonias bloomed all winter long. There is an Amarylis that will bloom from those long, lovely shooting leaves and they are gorgeous. The Impatients are just now blooming.  This back porch is not heated. Just the heat off the kitchen windows is enough to keep these plants alive. Rod put a grow light over them and I believe that has helped them to be healthy. I always water the plants with warm water, they seem to like it. Saving rain water is great for watering because it has nitrogen, a natural fertilizer. Dad used to save rain water, strain it, put it in a spray bottle and mist his plants. They were always just gorgeous.

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