With cooler temperatures approaching Central Oregon, you may be worried about how to keep your plants alive during the winter. Local gardeners told NewsChannel 21 there may not be much you can do but let them sleep.
Monica Freudenberg, who works at Moonfire and Sun Garden Center in southeast Bend, shared a few tips with us Wednesday.
“They need to go dormant,” Freudenberg said. “Perennials need to die back. If you take them inside and keep them going through the winter, you shorten their lifespan.”
Freudenberg said plants don’t need sunlight if they have already lost their leaves. She said once the leaves start growing back, it is a good sign that it’s time to bring the plants back outside.
Bennett Comerford is a graduate student who recently started working at Moonfire and Sun Garden Center because of his appreciation for gardening and landscaping. He said the fall months when temperatures start cooling down are the best time to plant bulbs such as tulips and perennials. They are expected to bloom in early to mid-spring.
“They’ll be essentially hibernating over the winter underground while the ground is frozen,” Comerford said. “(During this time), they’ll be consolidating their sugars.”
He said to keep them away from windowsills, because they can freeze and catch the cold draft through the window.
Freudenberg said crops like tomatoes can be picked off the vine before they fully ripen, as long as they show signs of color. Tomatoes can complete the ripening process off the vine.
According to Freudenberg, adding more fertilizer does not help prevent the plants from entering dormancy, and “that would be a waste of fertilizer.”