Our first cold front is due this coming week-end, predicted to fall into the 30s by Saturday, October 5th or Sunday night, the 6th. Up here the smart thing to do is move plants in at least by mid-October to avoid the fun of moving them in during blizzard conditions, like we did one year several winters ago, or during a major dust storm, like we did in 2011 (see “ How ‘Bout that Haboob!” at my other blog, The Bright Lights of Muleshoe, www.brightlightsmuleshoe.blogspot.com).
The cold-hardy cactus in my collection are outside in the ground, which makes it easy; pots come in for the winter. I probably have a few plants in pots that can take a light freeze, but I’m not willing to take the chance, since we have too many extended periods of hard freezes, so to be on the safe side, in they come. And I have a boat-load of them
So for the last few days I have been cleaning and organizing rather than gambling against the weather. The last few days the temperature has been in the high 90s, but this is Texas. The weather can change in a heartbeat. And perhaps that is also the case where you live. So I wanted to be prepared.
One thing that has made moving the large pots easier are the ramps my husband built so I could roll big pots in and out on dollies, another piece of equipment that I find indispensible. You see the ramps here, one on either side of the threshold of the door into my side of the barn, and note the planed edges that allow the dollies to roll on and off the ramps easily. I leave the heavy pots on the dollies after they are inside, making it easier to move them around when necessary. Note, too, that Bill added a piece of wood to the top of the dolly for stability of the pot sitting on it.
Here is the barn before and after all the moving:
And the greenhouse, which is 8 x 12,where I put most of the smaller pots:
This ariocarpus retusus bloomed after I moved it in, which was a nice surprise.
Minnie supervised most of the day, but took a power nap before everything was moved in.
I started all this on Thursday, the 3rd, finished by Friday evening, and last night, Saturday the 5th, the temperature dropped to 41, not freezing, but a sign that cold weather is coming. Not bad timing, I must say.
Let it snow. We’re ready.