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Wintersowing 2009-2010

Kannapolis, NC

We came from here:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/969592/

Come join us for chatting and efforts at wintersowing this season!

This message was edited Nov 6, 2009 12:47 PM

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

super... thanks....

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

I'm new to DG, do I start watching this one now and un-watch the other?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

either or, hansey.... sometimes when we 'move on' to another thread, the other one does not get any more replies,... but sometimes it does.

I rarely unwatch a thread... just in case a question is asked in that thread which i can answer.

Ive been getting my seeds ready, and soon, hopefully I will be making my list of what i really want to sow this winter.

My neighbor, after me doing this for 3 yrs, said she is finally going to WS this year. She asked me about a month ago if I keep the containers in my house..... [she does not venture out much in the winter, so i guess she never saw my containers til early spring]

anyhoo... i was like... are you nuts? I said, nope, just stick them out in the snow. So, now she is determined to save her DH some cash for next year and sow all the plants instead of buy them.

I will tell her to invite me over so i can show her how... though i have given her enough containers of plants over the years, she should be able to figure it all out.

Kannapolis, NC

Hansey, what Karen said. There's a lot of information on the other thread which will be helpful to you as you do your winter sowing, so please refer to it often. You'll have questions and it's probably one that's been asked before. Remember: there are no stupid questions.

Having had the success of my first winter sowing last year, I am thrilled with this method. I bought very few new plants this year (if you don't count bulbs!) and that was a good thing. It also kept me from haunting my garden centers as in the past where temptation lay around every corner. So I can assure you this method works. You will have doubt as the winter progresses and things are covered with snow and ice, but hang in there!

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I buy very few things these days, too. Where would I put them?

Karen

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Karen-- what's the tall purple flower?

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Larkspur, all volunteers. I have thousands out there now growing for next year.

Karen

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Very pretty as usual. Are those your Yvonne's in the background, against the fence?

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Yes, Terese, those were my Yvonne's in June. I started the seeds inside last year, but they didn't get much bigger than the ones I wintersowed in previous years, about 50 inches. Maybe it was because the summer was so cool and cloudy last year. But I suspect that it would take some hi-test ferts to get them really big, and I don't use those strong chemicals. I try to stick pretty much to organic stuff.

Karen

Thumbnail by kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Other side, August. They were a little bigger before the frost killed them off, but I don't have a pic.

K.

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Very nice and full... mine were scraggly. I posted a photo in the Salvia forum, and someone mentioned what nutrients i'm probably missing. The soil around my house is basically crap.

Kannapolis, NC

Oh, you have some of that, too, tcs? I thought I had the crappiest soil on earth. True story: several years ago, at least 7, we bought a dump-truck load of compost. Oh, it looked so good, black gold, nice and fine. I don't know what that stuff was, but it surely wasn't compost. It is still sitting as a layer in the soil where we placed it, not even breaking down and being absorbed into the soil. Methinks it must have been ground up asphalt. By now, it should have degraded and melded into the rest of the dirt. What a rip. You can't always tell unless you do it yourself.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

we are a relatively new subdivision... developed starting in 2001... where they scrape away all the good black dirt and all that is left behind is clay.

then when they put down the sod... they said there were be 3" of top soil... we were lucky to get an inch. It was amazing the crap that was buried under the sod, rocks [BIG rock] sticks, branches... they did a terrible job.. it's amazing our grass even grew.

most of the flower beds that i tend to is way behind my home, that was old corn fields... the State owns it.. but i beautify it.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I'm convinced that the answer to improving soil is additions of compost and other organic matter every year. In recent years I have mulched all my planting beds with shredded leaves, but haven't found time for that yet this year. I'm not certain that I'll get to it at all, the weather is getting too cold for my liking. I even have enough leaves gathered, just haven't done it yet. I just finished yanking annuals and cutting back perennials this week.

Karen

Kannapolis, NC

I agree wholeheartedly with you, Karen. That was my goal in having that load of compost brought in. I've been using pinebark mulch lately and love that stuff. Man, is it good!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

My neighbor keeps saying she wants to bring in some horse manure... but is afraid it will tick off all the other neighbors. I know she'll never do it. for whatever reason, he DH gets pisses that she spends so much time working in the yard.

What i keep saying that i need to do... is get rid of those huge bark chips... they've been breaking down... but i need to fill in the beds with soil the do some sort of a compost.

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

tcs, have you ever looked into lasagna gardening? I bet that would be ideal for your conditions. I just learned about it, and did a huge new bed that way--you just put down cardboard or thick layer of newspaper on top of the grass or weeds or whatever is currently in the area, then layer on organic materials on top of it--leaves, grass clippings, peat, kitchen scraps, top soil, whatever you have lots of! If you do it in the fall, you'll have a wonderful bed ready for planting in the spring. I did it mid-summer, and was able to plant in it 2 weeks later. It's the nicest, most weed-free bed I have! Trying something similar in my veggie garden this fall--covered it with a thick layer of mulched leaves, then laid down big pieces of cardboard that I rescued from behind the dumpster at school. Maybe in the spring it will be enriched, and much more weed-free than usual!

Angie

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Angie... yes, i read about it a few yrs ago on here.. and have done small areas out back. I take my broken down card board boxes that i use for winter sowing and in teh fall, lay them down with grass clipping on top... the area i did last year worked out well... it it now a small flower bed.


But i should probably do small areas around my house to improve those beds.

thanks for the input though... sometimes the easiest solutions slip your mind.

Terese

Kannapolis, NC

Terese: I use the small pine bark mulch, not those big nuggets. Those things won't be broken down in my lifetime!

I just gotta try that lasagna gardening technique. Have lots of cardboard, too.

Other Angie

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Agreed, lasagna gardens are great. I actually prefer interbay mulch beds, which is basically the same but covering the top of the hump with burlap. Now, I use old bedsheets instead of the burlap, works just as well.

Karen

Buckley, WA(Zone 7b)

Bedsheets? Tell me more.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Lynn: I've done basic lasagna gardens as well as interbay mulch beds and I find that interbay mulch does break down much faster. The first time I actually bought burlap to use and it worked very well. Then, that genius that is my husband threw it in the garbage.... When I wanted to repeat the performance I wasn't going to buy burlap again.

I had to improvise. I keep several old bedsheets, matress covers, and blankets strictly for garden use, so I have used them for interbay mulch beds and they seem to work well for me. Since sheets are old, worn, and thin, they probably don't hold as much moisture as a heavy burlap would but I do give those areas a shower with the hose or sprinkler every few days when the weather is dry. And they do keep the hump materials dark too, and are breathable to allow for oxygen.

Karen

Kannapolis, NC

Interesting use of bed linens, Karen, and one I can adapt with some really thin sheets I bought at a "deal," which turned out to be no deal at all except for the vendor.

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

I missed reading this thread for a few days, wow, did I miss a lot! LOL, it's a great thread.

We have crappy soil here - clay - in fact, I could make fine pottery out of it it's so awful. Went to Iowa a couple weeks ago where I keep my mother-in-law's garden up (she passed away) and I wanted to CRY as the soil was so black, rich, amazing! I couldn't believe how easy gardening would be with real soil and NOT clay!!!!

This'll be my first year to w.s. - can't wait. I have a room full of milk cartons.
Cynthia

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

>>and one I can adapt with some really thin sheets I bought at a "deal," which turned out to be no deal at all except for the vendor.

LOL -- been there, done that!!

did a quick google and found this blog...
http://composteasy.blogspot.com/2008/07/interbay-mulch.html

super idea Karen... thanks for mentioning it.

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

Wow, thanks for the great link (and all the ones listed at the end of that one--I ended up following quite a few!). It gives me some ideas on how to improve the technique I am just tinkering with! I wonder where I could get some burlap cheap. Looking to cover about 400 sq. feet of veggie garden! Or do you just build it into "humps" here and there around the garden, instead of covering the entire space? I was hoping to do a double-whammy of preventing weeds and improving the soil.

Angie

Kannapolis, NC

That IS a great link and one I've added to my favs. Thanks tons! And guess what? I just found an excellent source of clean, aged composted horse manure nearby! {{~~~~}} doing the happy dance!!

Other Angie

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

My BIL has a wealth of aged horse manure, but I have no way to transport it between his house and mine. Somehow just not keen on the idea of loading buckets of it into my minivan, and enduring the stench for a couple of hours on the way home. :) And for some reason, he is not keen on the idea of shoveling it into his pickup and driving it all the way over here. He's said I'm welcome to it if I'll come get it. Oh, well. Maybe I'll find a closer source. LOL

Angie

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

If the manure is well aged, it shouldn't stink- it should just smell earthy.

Kannapolis, NC

Now I only have to persuade DH or some unsuspecting strong young man to go help me load it and then unload it!

Other Angie

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

gemini_sage

I was going to make the same statement, earthy, and I think green manure isn't bad....LOL

Now a buck (male goat) is for sure one thing that is rough to deal with the smell in a van, especially for two days (don't ask me how I know that...LOL)

If I had the opportunity at aged horse manure, man you couldn't keep me away....

Janet

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I've started to collect a few jugs, here and there... Dont want Dh getting ticked that they are collecting in the kitchen so soon... so i bagged them up, took them in the basement - and put them in a far corner... i looked over and saw a huge trash bag that was full of something -- and low and behold... it was full of milk jugs!! jack pot!! i've got a huge jump on next year. [probably 10-15 containers]

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

Since it is all my DH and I can do to drink enough milk for the jugs, I send an e-mail out to all of the membership in my garden club and ask them to save theirs and bring to our meeting, well last week I received 30 jugs, not bad for a start. now all I need is 170 more.....LOL

Janet

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Oh my gosh, only 200 jugs Janet? Let's go double, ha!
Cynthia

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Well, my ante just got upped! My DNeice has asked me to help landscape her new home! Does she know I've only grown veggies???!!!!

So, guess who's gonna be collecting a LOT of milk jugs between now and December?

I've got dibs on both my nearby Starbuck's, and picked up jugs last night. I'll be sowing flower seeds for my niece, myself, and my neighbor. I AM my neighbor's keeper!

P.S. I am DEFINITELY gonna need ya'lls help with flowers for a front yard! Thanks in advance!! ^^_^^_^^_^^_^^

Linda

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Starbuck's? What did I miss? Can you get jugs from them?

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Linda, ya know wintersowing is great for most tree and shrub seeds. That could come in handy with your landscape job :-)

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

G_S! PLEASE tell me more! She only has 1 tree on 1-1/2 acres. I truly don't know plants and flowers like I've learned veggies. I did stop today 2 take a picture of a shrub on someone's curb. I figured I need 2 start identifying plants that catch my eye so I'll know which seeds 2 WS! I've asked my niece 2 go thru some magazine's 2 select landscapes that appeal 2 her. We might also need 2 ride thru some Houston 'hoods 2 get some ideas. Thanks again. Here's the pic from today. I think its some kind of azalea.

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Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

I've tried maybe a dozen or so woody plants with wintersowing and its worked well. The specific plants would differ for our zones, but most seed producing woody plants you see growing in your area would be worthwhile possibilities. I started Caryopteris and Vitex last year, and the Vitex even bloomed the first year!

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