Tip New to Illinois, new to gardening/farming!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by vikinglord13, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. vikinglord13

    vikinglord13 Member

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    Climate:
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    Hello all,

    I just moved from Southern California out to Naperville, IL, to join my wife. We I just started our garden and want to eventually get into growing our own vegetables and fruits, and possibly have hens for chickens; however, we're just starting with some flowers to hopefully attract some butterflies and hummingbirds, and help feed the bees!

    We have two roses, a lilac bush, a weigela, two daylillies, lavender, black-eyed susan, dahlia, some succulents, a couple mums, petunias, and impatiens. We also have a plant that looks like celosia, the tag just said "fall selection".

    Anyways, we're looking forward to our garden!

    Our question so far is, what is the best technique we should use to get them through winter? We are keeping them in their pots, naturally we plan to bring the succulents inside. I'm considering getting some foam to wrap around the pots and to set the pots on. I believe we should probably pile mulch all around them too, but maybe that won't do anything, or possibly be too much?

    Thanks, in advance!

    *I actually think it might be russian sage and not lavender*
     
  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Location:
    Pomona, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Hi there viking and wife, welcome.

    I just used this website to check your annual weather.
    https://weatherspark.com/y/13359/Average-Weather-in-Naperville-Illinois-United-States-Year-Round

    Heaps of great informative material there with easy to read graphs to help you in your decisions. So have a good read of that and maybe print out or at least copy the graphs for addition to your gardening log.

    Next thing to do is walk around your street and look at other people's gardens.
    When you see a really nice garden of the type you like, ask the owners if they can give you tips. Most gardeners are only to happy to pass on their knowledge and help newbies.

    If you don't see any gardens, thats a bad sign! It generally means winter is severe and everyone has their whole garden in a hot house out the back. You will have to do the same!

    As for the plants you already have, can you bring them in for the winter? Do you have a balcony, verandah, porch, undercover deck, not sure what you guys call it over there. Putting your plants under cover anyway is the best thing if they are still in pots.

    Also remember that when you buy plants in pots, those pots are not suitable to keep the plants growing in, because the volume is too small. The pot is the smallest the wholesalers can get away with for transport and sale of a plant without it dying!

    I've never seen snow and only been in subzero conditions a few times so my knowledge of gardening in that climate is limited, but like me, I think most flowering plants don't like those conditions either! However the roses, daylillies and other ryzome plants will go dormant so they are ok, but the impatiens, petunias, etc, being tropical, will all die in anycase.

    Some plants are annuals which means they grow, flower and die all in the one season. While other plants are perennial which means they last several seasons but some need more care than others and can tolerate different conditions.

    What is your growing zone or it might be known as your climate zone? Once you know that, look up plants suitable for that zone and stick to them until you are good at keeping plants alive through the cold winter. Most plants sellers have at least one free booklet put out by a plant wholesaler, fertilizer or potting mix company each season. There will be a good amount of information that will help you immensely.

    One thing to bear in mind is you guys are getting colder than usual winters and there won't be any change to that for a few years yet.
    So if you plan to get really serious about gardening, maybe think to invest in a hothouse right away.
    If you are handy, want to save money and are into recycling, there are plenty of good hothouses on youtube to build.

    We love photos so don't be shy!
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  3. vikinglord13

    vikinglord13 Member

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    Climate:
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    Thank you ClissAT!

    I've been using the Old Farmers Almanac for general advice and Chicago Botanic Garden's website for local advice.

    We'll definitely have to bring some of the plants in for the winter... I'll need to convince wife the bugs won't be a problem, we live in an apartment so we're limited on what we can do.

    I think we're zone 5b so our winters arem't usually too extreme, but we'll definitely have to be proactive with the plants that are annuals in our region.

    Thanks!
     

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