Dormancy is much more than a long winter’s nap. It’s Mother Nature’s way of preparing for spring. Dormancy is also a chance for the nursery to wind down the year and prepare for a new growing season.
Plants take up moisture and nutrients through roots in the soil as they progress through seasonal cycles. They stop growing in winter but make no mistake. While their above-ground appearance may resemble a bad hair day there is life in those roots.
As days grow shorter, temperatures cool and soils freeze, plants enter a limbo-like state called dormancy. While we are out shoveling snow and contending with ice, plants are conserving energy in their roots and crowns, waiting for spring temperatures to trigger new growth.
Preparing one gallon liners of Fire Chief™ Arborvitae for winter.
Finely Honed Craft
At Loma Vista Nursery, our job is to grow healthy plants that will be successful for our clients and their end users. Wholesale nurseries like ours produce mass quantities of plants. Most are young and need time at the nursery to mature into their marketable form. How we manage our crops through the tricky fourth season – especially in the Midwest – is a finely honed craft.
Loma Vista Nursery grows container and field grown plant material on 310 acres in Ottawa, Kan. We also have a 650-acre in-ground tree farm in Lawrence, Kan. Our healthy plants are grown for independent garden centers, landscape contractors and wholesale distributors. Branded plants include selections in The Drift® Series, Easy Elegance®, First Editions®, The Knock Out® Family of Roses, Proven Winners® and Star® Roses and Plants.
Our process for caring for crops during winter is a finely honed craft.
Attention to Details
Plants that are healthy heading into dormancy will have more successful outcomes when they break their dormancy in spring. As a SANC Certified Nursery, we are relentless about ensuring the health of our plants. Paying close attention to details like environmental growing conditions, plant nutrition, health management and pest control is something we do every day all year long.
It gets dangerously cold outdoors for the roots of containerized, above-ground plants. To keep our plants healthy and safe through the cold-weather months, we provide an extra blanket of protection by overwintering plant material in protected settings called poly houses. This ensures healthy plants remain hardy all winter but are not actively growing.
With a close eye on the weather forecast, we begin preparing more than 150 cold frame and poly houses in late October. Sizes vary but are typically 100- to 150-feet long and 10-feet wide.
When covered, u-shaped tunnels protect shrubs like these boxwood liners from winter extremes.
Winter Weather Protection
The u-shaped tunnels keep our liner and container plants out of winter’s frigid cold and weather extremes. Steel hoops are covered with polyethylene sheeting and affixed to the hoops’ frames to provide strength and support. Passive solar heat gently warms the plants and soil.
We take great care to monitor and maintain safe temperatures inside the poly houses so we can keep plants dormant. If we do get warmer temperature days, they have features like side walls that can be pulled up for air flow. This helps moderate plant root temperatures so they don’t start waking up too early.
Polyethylene sheeting is affixed to steel hoop frames to provide strength and support.
Acclimated to Temperatures
Dormant plants that are acclimated to temperatures within their USDA Hardiness Zone are going to perform well because they know how to react to the environment. How we care for our plants during dormancy is an advantage to Loma Vista Nursery’s Midwest clients – including in early spring and late fall when weather forecasts predict freeze/frost temperatures.
We are currently taking orders for spring 2023 retail sales and landscape projects. Take a look at our online catalog and become a customer. Your Loma Vista Nursery sales representative will be glad to help you.
Learn More About Landscape Plants from Loma Vista Nursery
Loma Vista Nursery’s staff members are experts in the field. We love helping people learn and understand more about healthy plants that perform well in Midwest landscapes. For more information about trees, shrubs and plants that are ideal for fall landscapes, visit our plant catalog. Feel free to email us at email@example.com or call us at (785) 229-7200 to get answers to your plant-related questions.
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