I am trying a lot of Rudbeckia varieties. I'm most excited about the Cherry Brandy. I am also trying coneflower, clematis, bleeding hearts , foxglove and delphs. I started some African Lilies inside and I'm just starting to get some sprouts. Anyone ever WS Bleeding Hearts?
Just wanted to pop in and say hello. I have been lurking the forum for a few weeks wondering what I was going to do keeping myself busy over winter and this has given me a start... lol I just relocated to Ohio from Florida in May so am lost on what to so over winter..
Today I decided... LOL I bought Rubbermade tubs and am trying the bag in tote method. I got the tubs for $3.40 each and a bag of soil at WM then came home and raided the craft bins to get bags and label systems together.. 12 bags fit per tote and it looks pretty tidy (for now)..
I think I did right
1. Drill holes in top and bottom of totes
2. cut drainage holes in bags, - paper towel for covering the slits and fill bags3-4 inches
3. moisten bags, disturb soil, sew seed
( after the seeds were sewn I put a sigle stape in teh tops of the bags to keep them upright until they sprout and need opened)
4. lids on the totes and outside they go outside in the morning to the snow
I did 12 bags on purple coneflower, 8 bags of hosta, 4 bags of chaste tree,
and 12 bags of columbine.
Thank you. I checked a few threads in the Clematis forum. Most people buy their plants. There was a web link posted. I saved it on my other computer (the one waiting for parts). The person on the website used a greenhouse.
There is a thread on starting Clematis from seed: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/969342/
People have had success winter sowing. It can take a year or more for the seedlings to bloom. If the seeds are from an area with numerous clematis or hybrid vines, the seedlings may be different from the parent.
Diamond, I'm doing the same as you.. a lot of different Ruds :) I'm a transplanted Okie here in Iowa, so it'll be fun trying to figure out when to start this year.
I just finished with a seed trade and I have roughly 25 different ruds coming along with some zinnias too. I'm so excited about the Green Envy and Tomato Soup. I hope to have a lot of seeds next year for trading :)
Do I have to worry about cross pollination though?? I want to plant all of them in one bed..
LoL @ Clan! I should change my name to "RudCrazee2" LoL My patio area is enclosed by a 6 ft privacy fence. I am trying to tunr it into my own little paradise. I sit back there and stare at the flowers for hours. I thought it would be nice to invite butterflies and hummingbirds. I wanted to start some flowers that would attract both. Once I began looking at the Ruds I fell in love. It seems that everything that I like that attracts both BFs and HBs grow to 3 ft or more. It may looked chaotic but oh well. LoL I am equally in love with the tropical "look". Last year I planted cannas, elephants ears, variegated ginger and pony tail palms. I have a banana tree that I wasn't brave enough to put outside. LoL
I have never heard of the tomato soup Ruds, so I googled it. Those are the same as the Cherry Brandy! Those are the Ruds I am most excited about. I really want to WS a couple of trays just to make sure I have some for next summer. I think I read that those bllom the first year.
Thanks TC! I have some Zinnia seeds I can start, too. I googled the tomato soup coneflowers and I think those are just as pretty as the Ruds!
Merci, last summer I did a daily patrol at Lowe's. LoL I bought some things but there was very little that peaked my interest (maybe the double knockout roses). I found more flowers of interest in the nurseries and greenhouses. I lean towards the out of the ordinary colors. In our area e1 has the purple bearded iris but I wanted the peach along with the Georgia Peach Coral Bells.
LOL My big victory over Christmas break? I got my SIL all excited to try wintersowing! Now I need to give her a Dave's Garden subscription, so she can access this forum. I printed Critterologist's article for her, and pointed her at wintersown.org, but I'd love to make this forum available for her, too! She was really interested in hearing about how I'd done it, and what I'd sown, what worked well and what didn't, etc. I sure hope she gives it a try! She always has such pretty containers, she must spend a fortune on bedding plants!
I'd think my MIL would be a natural at WSing, since she can't bring herself to get rid of any kind of container (even to recycle them--she might "need" them some day!), so she's got everything she'd need to get started.
I haven't even started my WSing lists yet, much less cleaned and prepared my containers. My DH has brought home about 50 plastic Folgers coffee cans from work (think he takes after his mother?), but honestly, I found I had much better success with the milk jugs than the coffee cans. I cut the center out of the snap-on lid and used it to hold down pierced plastic-wrap, but it just never seemed to hold the heat and moisture as well as the milk jugs. I need to try something different next year. Maybe a plastic tarp or old shower curtain, instead of plastic wrap?
I'm a firsttimer with the WS process, and I'm excited! Been collecting gallon milk jugs from Starbucks and am still deciding on which flowers to sow seeds for. All my WS flowers will go into containers on the patio.
Went to HD yesterday and bought a fistful of seed packets. Here's what I bought:
Zinnia (mixed -- looks like the envy, fushia and one other color)
Cosmos (some orange-y color)
Irish Spike? (a lavender and white spike-y thing)
My concern is that these are all annuals. I truly would like some perennials that will self sow and come back year after year, even in containers. Any suggestions for container perennials?
P.S. The containers will be placed on the patio, amongst the jungle of greenery that already exists there. It's has a tropical look and feel, so I'm looking for color that will fit in with the variegated ginger, ferns, philodendron, rubber trees and geraniums (which were the mainstay of the shot in past years).
P.S. I think I'll be safe to begin spreading seeds by mid-January in Zone 9a. We'll start warming up around March.
Thats beautiful Linda. I like the snake plant against the tree.
You might try some daiseys, rudbeckia and hardy geraniums. Elephant ears and cannas would look good in there for a tropical look. It looks good the way it is actually.
Thanks Jadajoy. That pic is from Spring/Summer 2006. Wish I could say it still looks that good. The bones are still there, though, as that foliage hasn't died out. Just looking to get some color in the planters for this upcoming spring/summer/fall.
There is a very small bordered flowerbed surrounding that tree. DH puts those disgusting asparagus ferns and wandering jews in and they just take over everything they (the ferns) can climb on. They're also running rampant on the opposite floor of the patio, along with his beloved vines. It's not that I don't like them -- I just don't like them everywhere!
I dug everything out last summer, and you know it's all grown back again!
LoL @ Linda I am right there with you. I do the same thing every year. I start a bunch of seeds, run out of room in the yard and have to give plants away. The next year I start more seeds with the intentions of moving plants around around, then what happens, I have to give plants away again. LoL I.need a field!
Coco coir is only the latest rage in seed starting!
It is ground up coconut husks that lets water percolate through like a sieve. Only, it soaks up the water it needs, and releases the rest. When it's wet, it reminds you of spongy coffee grinds. A DGer here, Bocabob, is a distributer. I'm about to order more for my seedlings.
Go to the DG marketplace and put "coco coir" in the search box. His site will come up. He has a whole seed starting kit that works just great, and various other seed starting products, including 5-gallon grow bags for tomatoes, etc.!
The beauty of my plan for overage is that I have TWO relatives, in brand new homes with VIRGIN landscapes, who are anxiously waiting ANY flower overages I have. And, my neighbor across the street!
tcs - you may have addressed this before - in your first photo at the start of this thread, you have your containers in cardboard boxes. Are you using cardboard as a temporary holding container for your milkjugs, or do you actually sow the seeds, and replace the milkjugs back in the cardboard box? Will the cardboard box withstand the elements? Or do you put them in another large plastic container with holes to allow for drainage?
I have a collection of about 10 milkjugs now, and am starting to poke drainage holes in them (I like the suggestion of poking a hole with a sharp small knife and twisting it a bit to enlarge the hole). I also use the same knife to jab a starter hole in the container, and continue cutting it with a kitchen scissor.
This is my first winter-sowing experience and I am looking forward to it. I have rounded up all my seeds (some as old as 10 years) and will start sowing soon. I don't expect many of the older seeds to germinate, but it is worth a try - better than hanging on to them for another 10 years Lol. I have been collecting seeds all year from places that I have visited, not with an eye for the current blooms, but for any blooms that have set seed. I try to have snack bags or napkins with me at all times.
I still need to get more potting soil. I cannot find in the local Walmart the type of potting mix (pro-mix?) that has been suggested in other WS threads, so I will just get what is available at a store closeby. Even got some old wooden stakes that has been around for 20 years to put inside the jugs as labels.
Enjoyed reading all the helpful hints in this forum.
Turn on your stover burner and heat the tip of a phillips screwdriver. It'll melt holes in those jugs faster than you can blink. Goes lightening fast if you alternate between two screwdrivers. Just remember to turn on your stove vent, and try not to breathe in when the plastic's smoking.
i use the boxes for various reasons... the first year, so my dog would not think the jugs were toys [that happened to one gal] , it keeps them corralled - especially in high winds. plus in the spring, i tend to move them all around a bit [just something i do] and it's easier to move the boxes than to move 100+ containers.
the boxes do withstand our weather here... a few of the thinner ones will be pretty broken down by mid-summer... but then they get recycled or used for lasagna gardening. [when i need to prepare a part of the weedy yard for a new bed, i lay down the card board, then layer compost and soil -- lasagna gardening]
Thanks, Gymgirl and Terese. I actually did have to use a heated pick to poke holes in some 2 L juice bottles that I also collected and was too hard for the knife. A phillips screwdriver would provide larger holes, so I'll do that next time.
I have a variety of cardboard boxes, so it is good to know that they will survive the winter and early spring. Looks like most people have the containers where winter rains will water them? or do you have them sort of sheltered so that the rain won't disintegrate the cardboard??
Hope everyone had a great Christmas. This is a variety of Kniphofia called Christmas Cheer that blooms around Christmas time in my zone. There are some seeds that form, but I normally just divide the plant at the crown. If I had any extra containers left, maybe I will sow some just for fun.
I have some extra Phillipine lily seeds if anyone would like to try some. They self-sow too.
Remember I'm a WSing newbie. I have some nice Begonias I'd like 2 divide 4 Spring. Could I do it now and put them in gallon milk jugs 2 get established for a March 1st planting? Our cool weather hasn't hurt them at all. Linda
Karen, the only gripe I had about the gallon jugs last winter was that when I was ready to transplant..I had a heck of a time getting the potting mixture out without it falling apart. This was mainly on the ones that hadn't grown a ton of seedlings in the jug.. is there a secret to getting them out more easily?
Since I'm in the same zone as you..I'll keep watching what/how you're doing it LOL.. so if you feel any eyes peeking over your shoulder, it's just ME! @@
Chris, did you cut the jugs up to get the plants out? LoL I wish I could physically stand over shoulders to watch each step of WS. It sounds to easy to be real! I know everyone experiences some failure with seeds as I'm sure I will but I'm already hooked! I had to buy more seeds just to have different plants to start. LoL In some of my containers I only put slits (not holes) for drainage. Are the slits sufficient?
Diamond9, making slits in your containers is fine as long as water drains out easily. I slit my plastic containers with a craft-knife and then twist the blade a bit to be sure the plastic edges don't join back up. SO FAR I haven't cut off a finger.
In the late spring when I'm removing the seedlings I cut the jugs apart with the aforementioned kraft-knife or scissors. It's almost always too hard to get them out without destroying the jugs in the process.
kq, are those Marigold seedlings? You can WS them? What else have you WSown?
I also am a newbie and will be trying tomato seeds and numerous flower/shrub seeds this month. I started saving milk jugs 2 months ago. I never thought about getting them from Starbucks. I'll have to give them a call, I already get used coffee grounds from them.
I can use all the help I can get.
So glad ya'll are here! I have almost 40 jugs prepped for WSing waiting on me! I have a question Regaring potting medium falling thru the holes. Anybody ever experienced this before? I can start sowing today with either Bocabob's coco coir, Jiffy mix, or MG potting Mix to start my first batch of Tomato Seedlings. Not making a move until ya'll respond! Linda.
P.S. Reply ASAP, please. Its getting cold outside!
Yes, those are marigolds. Like all tender plants, they do best when sown closer to spring. I start tender things like marigolds, zinnias, or cosmos around very late March, early April. Same method is used, just the timing is different.
THANKS, Kelley! I've got 3 HUGE bags of MG! I'm Gonna Go sift a batch right now (I just hate all those sticks)! And I wanna give my tomato & pepper seedlings a finer mix 2 push thru. No internet 2day, and can't post large pic files from my cellphone. But, I am taking pics of my progress, N will post soonest!
P.S. A co-worker's saving her tall, square water dispenser jugs 4 me. I stood it vertically with the dispenser spout pointing straight up. I cut a flap starting opposite and along the spout side. The hinge is directly behind the spout. Reach for the spout to open it up! Its DEEP! Think I'll sow the Zinnias and Marigulds in those, in case they don't get transplanted on time. They won't flop over! How's that for African Ingenuity?!
I probably asked this before but once you see sprouts in your container, do you simply vent the container or do you remove the lid? I'm in zone 5, so I think our last frost day is mid-May to June 1. I'm wondering when I should start checking my containers for sprouts? Should I expect sprouts in March or April? I'm assuming that if I leave the lids on once they sprout they could cook on a warm day. But it seems like they would need an adjustment period.
It depends. I usually start seeing sprouts in March and April. As weather warms I'll often add more vents. But my jugs aren't air tight. Besides the top hole, I generally have big gaps around the center because I close with only 1 or 2 small strips of duct tape.
I might open the jug if I already have good germination. I usually leave the top half attached but open. In case of frost I can flip it closed for tender plants. The hardy perennials don't generally mind the frost. Sometimes I've already planted the hardy ones into beds when we get late frost.
The sifting has become my OCD in the garden. I got hooked on how "pretty" the sifted soil looks! I know its not necessary. Just my personal quirk!
I don't sift everything. Just for the "wee" seedlings! Besides that, its hard work, and I need 2 lose 35 lbs. In 2010. Sifting is becoming part of my cardio workout! ^^ Linda
These things are the reason why I like WSing so much. No sterilizing. No dampoff. No sifting. The process is easy if you let it be.
You could reuse the jugs next year. I don't because I don't want all that junk sitting around all year. I start with new jugs every year. They're easy enough to come by.
Another philosophy in wintersowing: Pay it forward. When I was just starting out wintersowing, so many online friends were so helpful. I try to do the same for other WSing virgins now. It's a wonderful garden method and nice to share information. Remember, I was in your shoes a few years ago. In return, you beginners can coach the new folks next year.
Linda, that's just too OCD to sift for pretty soil in a jug that's gonna be taped shut! You won't be able to see it anyway!
I like chunky soil. I often add bark and lots of perlite. Don't wan't particles all the same size because it compresses and compacts too easily.
Here are my first sprouts of last year. Rudbeckia cherry brandy, March 10.
I love the Cherry Brandy. I know I've said that before. LoL I have newly discovered the different varieties of Ruds. So you got sprouts in March? I know I'm making this difficult again but you opened your containers when you got sprouts or actually saw greenery?
Looks like you have a fair amount of greenery. Sprouts in my opinion look as though they are still white and uncurling from the seed. By greenery I mean leaves on stem standing upright. I like your set up. We should develop WS containers that can be used every year with the vent and drainage holes already in place. Think there would be a market for that? I have a picture of some sprout. Some of my sprouts have gained color but some are still in the uncurling stage. .
Hello everyone. I was recently introduced to WSing (less than a month ago) and its been the best advice I've had in a long time. I'm still a n00b gardener, who has spent the last two years delving into all things gardening. This winter, I had planned to start all my vegetables and herbs under lights...these plans have all changed, though, which is great because I was struggling with where to put all the new shelves and lights I was going to have to buy!
I've been lurking here for about three weeks now and I've learned *lots* of stuff, so thanks kqcrna, et al. You may consider yourself a newb Gymgirl but you've been a big help, too.
Here's what I've got cookin' right now (cut n' pasted from Excel) :
Vegetable Name Location Plant Date Sprout Date
Summer Glory Lettuce Milk Jug 12/24/2009 12/31/2009
Summer Glory Lettuce Milk Jug 12/24/2009 12/31/2009
Summer Glory Lettuce Milk Jug 12/24/2009 12/31/2009
Summer Glory Lettuce Milk Jug 12/24/2009
Basil- Dark Opal 2 liter 12/24/2009
Basil- Red Rubin 2 liter 12/24/2009
Swiss Chard (4 seeds) 2 liter 12/29/2009
Swiss Chard (4 seeds) 2 liter 12/29/2009
Swiss Chard (4 seeds) 2 liter 12/29/2009
I still need to collect more jugs and bottles so I can WS tomatoes, peppers, yellow crookneck squash, okra, various herbs, butterfly bush, and who knows what else...
You guys keep this thread going for us newbies. This is my first time WS and I'm learning so much. I plan to use aluminum roasting pans with the plastic covers. I would love to use milk jugs, but I'm not going to get away with having them in my yard. My husband is too persnickerty; worried about what the neighbors would say. I believe that I can hide the pans in my borders around the house. Someone in another thread suggested using drinking straws to divide the different seeds planted in one. So I'll do that. Any other suggestions I can use?
dmac: You won't get any sympathy from us on that 13 degrees. It was 3 here this morning, and no doubt colder for Terese and others in points north! I just sent my husband out grocery shopping- I'm not going out there!
>>I just sent my husband out grocery shopping- I'm not going out there!
It's funny -- we went out to dinner last night, to our favorite sushi place... which is in the same shopping center as our grocery store. Even though DH needed a few things... he took as pass with how COLD it was... didnt want to get back out of the car til it was in the garage.
I think he will do without bananas for a few days... as i wont go shopping til i run out of half&half.
since my kid works for starbucks... i never run out of coffee... one nice "perk" they get... free coffee.
If i am really in a bind, and he's working... i'll have him bring me home some H&H so i dont have to go out.
I did venture into the garage this morning...thankfully it's attached... and I do have a halfa bag of MG.
I should go thru the seeds that i have [I've updated my spreadsheet - I have over 180 seed packs on hand]
and get a list going of what i need to get sowing.
I also spent some time on "Clothier's " site this morning... such great information.
we don't have to ask for the grounds. They bag em and put a recycle sticker on them and put them in a bucket by the door. All you need to do is grab a bag. It's pretty cool! I read it on a thread somewhere where someone was going to Starbucks asking for them and then the month after, I saw them at Starbucks.
this time aroung I sowed all perennials.Thats what I'll do the next round too.I've got a couple of areas that I am trying to build up.Need a lot of plants with minimal expense.
Foxglove ,heucheura,monarda,baptisia,columbine,hibiscus,coneflower and a couple of others.
I used a scott brand potting soil.
dmac... I too hope to live in a zone7 one day. These temps seem to get worse as one ages.
I'm considering NC or TN ... but of course i have to get DH to agree with me.
but being able to grow hosta and salvia - both as perennials... that will do it for me. :-)
LOL I have lived in a few places but oddly enough the two places I lived the longest have both been zone 7 but with different water situations but very similiar seasons/temps.
I lived in Connecticut as a kid and the last winter we lived there, there was huge blizzard (1978) and I can still remember being out of school for almost a month. We had random snowplow drivers in and out of the house for food, bathroom breaks and to call their families. Of course for me being a kid in 5 grade the worst thing was having to make up the snow days and going to school until June 23 that summer:lol:
hey... I was a kid then too!! I think our big blizzard was 79-80 ... ones that i recall. Our garage collapsed that year. or maybe it was 78-79. anyhoo...
I've been here, in this town, since 1969 ... so i'm ready for a change... well, i'm ready to get out of these winters. I really dont want to leave this house. *sigh* But warmer will be NICE.
WOW, I remember that storm in 1978. Matter of fact i was just telling my sister about it because they are expectinng lots of snow today in New York. It didnt start till that afternoon and I was able to get to work no problem but by late morning it dropped a load and they let us go home. I had such a time getting home, hours, and was chilled to the bone cause I had to walk part of the way.
The winters here are much milder and the growing season is longer April to almost November. Plenty of time to get my WS plants established.
TC, I remember the blizzard of 78 and i think we had another bad one soon after. During that time we had oil for our heat source. The truck couldn't get to our house to fill the tank. We were trying to heat our house from the stove for a few days. What a mess!
I didn't know Coral Bells could be WS! I guess i could add those to the list. I was reading info on Clematis and Hostas. It sounds like they are unpredictable germinators. I was lucky enough to start Hostas once only because I completely forgot about them...could take 30 days to germinate.
The coral bells I have that reseed are mainly a no name with mid green leaves and red flowers and Palace Purple which is a sort of purple/brownish leaf w/ white flowers. Guess they wintersowed themselves:lol:
My dad worked at Electric Boat (made nuke powered subs) and he ended up ditching the car on a bridge and walking home in the blizzard. Mom thought he was an idiot for doing that--she was probably right.
Our yard was on a rise and about 3-4 feet above the street and our porch was about 5 ft up from the yard and I can remember the snow being almost level with the floor of the porch--couldn't see any of the cars or fence tops in the other yards that sat lower than our house.
Where I grew up I can remember almost freezing in the Winter, and we had to walk to school. It would get way down into the 50's.
Okay, so that wasn't fair. : )
To make up for the above tropical weather, we went through a record breaking blizzard in Eastern Washington. It was several weeks before we could get to town. We lived in the Wenas Valley working for a cattle ranch. Thank heavens we heated with wood as the electricity was out. Had to keep the horses in stalls because all the fences disappeared. Elk at our back door and coyotes trying to get in the chicken house.
We did have 10 degree weather here in the Willamette Valley, OR (record breaking) last month (Dec). Cold and windy, no snow for ground cover. Now we are back into the 40's at night and 50's daytime.
Will be planting lettuce, tomato, chard, ruds, echs, and oriental poppies tomorrow.
I got mine from just letting the flowerheads go to seed on the plant. They form on the flower sprays and are super fine like dust. I ended up just cutting off the stalks when everything was very dry--I'm sure some had already shaken loose by then--but there was still plenty on all the stems. I cut them into smaller pieces and stuck them in a gallon ziplock bag and shook em up pretty hard. Since they're small you can't really separate the seed and chaff easily so I just left it.
I'd definitely love to try any seed you may be able to collect from your heucheras.
TC Plum Pudding is my absolute favorite Coral Bell other than the Georgia Peach. I found one of the Puddings a few years ago and it hasn't multiplied. It has gotten bigger. Finally this year I tried to harvest some seeds. LoL I couldn't tell the seeds from the chaff so I kept everything. I harvested seeds from the peach CB as, well. I know I will probably get the parent plant and not the true plant but I will try to WS those too.
Ya'll are making me so cold, just reading your post. We are going down to 26 tonight, but our days are in the high 40's. And we are cold. Must be the humidity. LOL Or my age. My son said that when he was stationed in Nevada and had night watch duty on the flight line it would get down to -3 some nights. But, it was a dryer cold, he said , than here, so it didn't seem so cold. I pray each of you get warm to your toes. Thank you Lord for putting me in the deep South. LOL
Um, is this where I post my WSing progress?
Karen you made good sense about the different size potting mix particles being necessary, so I opened another bag of MG and WSowed emerald Giant and king of the North bell peppers and southern broadleaf mustard seedlings. I LIKE winter sowing!
Hi gymgirl. Just thought I'd mention that you might have a bit of a challenge getting plants out of your large water jugs in the spring unless you want to cut the jugs. I had trouble with any container that was smaller at any point than at the bottom. However, cutting them down the side would certainly solve that problem.
This will be my second year with WSing and I am just as excited as last year if not more so. Had great success. I did save many of my jugs from last year (in the attic) to try to save some prep time. We'll see how that works.
Been lurking here and enjoying the reminders and new info...
Yesterday evening, it was like clockwork to grab a jug, 4 trowels of MG potting mix, sprinkle those seeds, pat down gently, water in with the sprinkler from the sink, close em up with a coupla pieces of tape, and out to the concrete launching pad!
I did 7 jugs in 45 minutes. Mighta done more, 'cept I didn't wanna drop the squirming
4-month-old sitting in my lap...shoot!
Very cute infant with those diamonds sparkling in her ears.
"Concrete launching pad". I like that. I have a concrete launching pad, too. Unfortunately, take-off takes a little longer up here, doesn't happen till late Feb (rare, if we get a warm spell) or early March.
How wonderful, getting your little one started early in life with Winter Sowing. : )
I love the 'Concrete Launching Pad', now I know where to put mine. : ) No dead grass that way. So much to learn and so little time.
That's the beauty of us all being in this together! The Learning Curve gets flattened in no time flat.
Um, that is NOT my baby. She's my great granddaughter, and she KNOW'S how to play a room, already!
They had to go on the concrete launching pad, 'cause I don't have a cement pond to sit 'em around all winter!
Thanks for the tip about those water dispensers. It's all I can do to keep the DH from going ballistic over the 45 milk jugs on the patio table. Not a problem to cut stuff open and discard until we start all over again next year.
Linda, I often chop up the milk jugs to remove seedlings, too. I like to dump out the whole blob at once then cut up the blob with a knife. Sometimes it's not easy to get the entire blob out in one piece so I cut the jug.
Great granddaughter? Geez, with a moniker like Gymgirl I guess I pictured you as being in your 20s.
Um, that is my DH's great granddaughter. I don't have any children. I'll be 53 this Friday, and living on the younger side of life.
The women in my family all look younger than we are...
When you say, "cut up the blob" do you mean take a sharp knife and then just cut it into little sections/chunks? You're not teasing the roots apart? How do you not damage the roots? And, do the the plants feel this surgery or is anesthesia used (smile^^)
Yep. I've been outta that gym for awhile now, and had to get my mind in gear again. It's a commitment. I'm not looking forward to the start-up pain I WILL experience, but I have to start back on a Lifetime program this Saturday morning.
And, hopefully, I'll be working out or involved in some physical activity at least 3-5x a week for the rest of my life, or until I keel over, whichever comes first.
I have 3 closets full of clothes I plan to wear by the end of this year...and, after I start wearing those, I'm gonna start swapping them out for investment clothing that will carry me into my golden years -- those classic, timeless pieces that are always in style!
Been lurking here for awhile. Thought I'd say hello.
Going to try my hand at WSowing for the first time this year.
I have some milk jugs, 2 liter pop jugs and some roaster pans with the clear lids.
I have also heard of cutting toilet paper and paper towel rolls into 3 or 4 pieces fill with soil and using those in the pans to keep seeds separated.
Gymgirl: Yes, I cut them with a knife, like a pan of brownies. Sure, I cut off lots of roots. They might pout for a day or two, but they get over it soon enough. If a few seedlings out of hundreds are lost, who cares? Survival of the fittest. Wintersown seedlings have healthy roots. No anesthesia used. (But funny you should mention it, I am an anesthetist by profession. Seriously. Aren't you glad you're not on my OR table?)
I've got those closets full of skinny little clothes, too. Tired of the struggles, I think I've finally given up that weight control conflict. I'm 57, stopped coloring my hair too this year. Decided I'll just be old, fat, and gray. But I'll be happier.
Welcome, jjsgramma, nice to have you aboard. Some people do use tp rolls and the like successfully. They didn't work at all when I tried them. I'm strictly a milk jug and 2 liter user. They've always given me the best results. If it ain't broke, I don't try to fix it.
Might as well admit it; I also do whatever it takes to get those seedlings out of the jugs/bottles. Usually this entails cutting the containers up first-- then sometimes I tease the seedlings apart (Okay, PULL); sometimes I cut them into squares--JUST like a pan of brownies; love that explanation, Karen.
No anaesthesia. I figure that the little guys are going to be so happy getting out into the big wide world of my garden that they'll forgive me.
Karen, I'm 57 too. I did the same thing you spoke about. Let the fitness thing go, stopped coloring my hair, got fat,old and happy ...for a while. LOL But, I miss feeling great and I got tired of seeing that old lady in the mirror looking back at me. I colored my hair again and as soon as it warms up again around here, I'm going to start walking. Spring is coming soon and if I dont get back in shape, all of these seeds that will be growing in the jugs by then, will just have to sit and die. Don't get comfortable yet girl. We need you to hang around and keep teaching us how to winter sow. :)
Who was I impressing with dark hair? An old face with wrinkles tells age, and dark hair looks dumb I think. Didn't match.
Lollyjean: You can wintersow just about anything. But here in our area (I live in Cincinnati) it works better to wait until close to spring to plant the tenders. I don't sow zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, and the like, until very late March or April. They can sprout fast. If sown now they might germinate in an early warm spell in March only to croak when the freezing weather inevitably returns. These tender seedlings would need very good protection in case of a freeze . Perennials and hardy annuals don't mind the cold.
Ok maybe I confusing cutting the stems of plants. When I transplant flowers I try to tease/spread the roots apart. But if the plant has been rootbound the I make four cuts in the roots, then plant. I read that some place.
LOL Karen, you are so right about dark hair color on an older woman. I remember one of my family used to dye her hair and eyebrows black . YUK and she was OLD as dirt. She was scary with that get up. No, I mean a softer shade of my natural hair color, like a soft, light chestnutty brown. But I like gray too, so , to each her own. LOL
And thank you for the tip on the zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, I hope you stay warm.
I'm a relative newbie to winter sowing, last year was my first year, with a few of the seeds most likely to respond well to WS. It worked so well, I'm going to do lots more this year. I did not believe it'd work, but it worked wonderfully. I had poppies, verbena bonairiensis, nicotiana, and larkspur. I've always done well with germination and light stands indoors, I was almost offended that all of that fiddling around could be avoided. LOL Well, there are always seeds that need tons of bottom heat to germinate, and tropicals to overwinter, lol.
kqcrna, I'm in Columbus, a half zone colder...do you do really warm weather seeds like tomatoes and basil? I just can't imagine them catching up with seedlings I've grown indoors. Normally I start tomatoes, basil and peppers mid-February, so I have good-sized plants by May when I plant them out.
diamond...Oh yes. Cutting the stems or pruning makes for bushier plants. Normally if I have a large plant that needs transplanting cause its outgrown its container, I'll cut the roots back to keep it in the same pot. Once the roots start growing in circles in the bottom of a planter, it disrupts the growth habit of the plant.
Thats a good tip about the four cuts. I'll have to give that a try.
karen, when I retired, I relaxed into not doing much for my appearance. I'm 52 and thought, I need to just be me. But now I find I have less energy and a spreading middle. I am happy, but think some kind of healthy routine might be necesary and is in order. Its just difficult to get motivated sometimes.
Celine: I have done tomatoes, sown in March or so. They were only about 3 inches tall I think when planted out in mid-May, but they took off after planting. Last year I started them inside and was glad I did because the spring/summer was so cool, cloudy, and wet. They really did to well either way but maybe produce fruit a week or two earlier if started inside, depending on the DTM.
The thing with wintersowing anything is that you can't control conditions like sun, rain, or temperature. I think they'd do great most years, but in an off year like last summer... nothing you can do about it. You are dealing with the whims of Mother Nature.
Thank you, Karen. Last year was very weird weather, truly. It's not as if I could set out the ones I had grown on my light stand till mid-late May, and I don't think they really take off till the soil warms anyhow. I'm going to experiment this year with tomatoes, peppers and basil, and do one pot of WS, one indoors to compare. Last year I had a minor freakout when snow actually covered my containers, but a local WS'er talked me down, and my Drama Queen poppies started just fine.
Most of the reseeding type annuals that I tried did great, I'm never starting them indoors again, LOL. I'm really grateful for the info on WS these plants, I have much more interesting annuals, because before, space limitations kept me from growing as many, and I relied on the flats I could buy commercially, which are boring. Now, I can save money AND have more interesting plants, no down side to that at all!
Basil grows too well. I used to just sprinkle it in a garden bed when I planted out toms and I still harvested basil before tomatoes. Now I usually confine the basil to a pot to keep it from taking over the whole bed and blocking sun to toms.
Quoting: But now I find I have less energy and a spreading middle. I am happy, but think some kind of healthy routine might be necesary and is in order. Its just difficult to get motivated sometimes
Jada, that's exactly where I am right now. I am MISerable because I'm to tired to do all the things I want to be doing.
My motivation is the fact that, since the cleaners lost three pairs of my everyday dress pants and a pair of jeans, which were the last pants I fit in comfortably, I've been wearing the only 3 pairs of pants left that I fit in to work every week. I simply REFUSE to invest $$$ in new, larger sizes when I can get off my butt, get my butt into gear, and gett my butt into my 3 closets of beautiful clothes!
Yep. I have incredible staying power. But even I'm getting to the end of these 3 pairs of pants...that's enough motivation for me right about now!
This cold weather makes me so lazy, I swear. I just want to curl up under a blankie and read a book and sip hot tea. I spent about 15 minutes out shoveling a little snow off the driveway and my face was numb. National weather service has already posted a winter storm watch for Thursday, 2 days from now. It usually doesn't snow all that much here, and when it does we don't handle it well.
I have a big pot of soup cooking for dinner, using the Christmas ham bone. This is definitely soup weather.
I figured this weather would be just another cold day in January for peeps in Cincy. Just wait till this cold snap hits Houston, it will be a huge fiasco on the roads/ highways. Houstonian drivers aren't noted for patience or skill. Hopefully I can just take the day-off or something.
Well, this will be the test of all tests for this WS business. I guess I am just supposed to leave everything outside, huh? Even my precious babies (my lettuce sprouts.) The forecast call for lows in the 20's/ teens Wed or Thurs, so we'll see. That's *very* low for this area.
Maybe I'll put some blankets around all the jugs? Lol.
I feel yah! I've got those 16 cabbages in eBuckets at 50% maturity! Don't wanna lose them. I'm considering hosing them down tomorrow evening, and double layering with sheets, then the plastic tarp. I still have a GAZILLION uncut milk jugs I can fill with hot water to shove underneath the tent.
And, if push comes to shove, and the cold lasts longer than the two nights, I WILL be plugging up a small electric heater and shoving it underneath, sandwiched between two 40-gallon garbage cans that sit twice as high as the eBuckets!
John, so true! Everywhere will be sold out of hot chocolate, bread, and milk as if there's some kind of storm of the century coming!
DH is outside building a cold frame, or something like that, so he can hang a light bulb to keep the lettuce alive. I told him it was okay if we harvested it all and started all over agin in a month or so. Oh well! Keeps him occupied (but he should be looking for a job) and out of my hair! LOL
Exactly, Gymgirl. Maybe I can pitch my tent in the backyard, then stash all my jugs/ bottles inside the tent..on top of my sleeping bag.
Good one Stephanie, storm of the century indeed. Can't wait for the 24/7 news coverage from my favorite local tv news crew. Expect reporters to station themselves in various locations throughout Houston, airing live, while saying things like, "These are the first snowflakes of the new decade..."
This is going to require a leap of faith, but I must believe in the system (WSing, that is)!
A 2-day cold snap just doesn't compare to the threat of a hurricane. I have a co-worker who will show up to work in her long johns (cuddle duds), undershirt, long sleeve work shirt and outdoor boots. By mid-morning she'll be complaining she's hot. I'm like, "Really? Could it be that you work INSIDE and don't need all those layers for walking to/from your vehicle to your home/workplace?"
Gymgirl, me too. I have been buying a few cheap things but my excuse is I'm just gardening in them anyway :-0
Oh, to be able to get back in my good clothes...sigh.
Now you guys have me worried about my one container I put out. It only has perennials thou. Think it'll be ok? I was getting ready to do another tonight but think I'll wait. The river here is growing ice, a first for this area.
I have been trying really hard not to beg for milk jugs. I did find the 1 gallon water jugs for a $1. Not a bad deal to get my WS fix. Worse case scenario, I drink more water. LoL Where are you all getting your containers. The first 5 or 6 jugs were pretty easy. Now I'm getting strange looks. LoL
"the boys" went out to dinner. Since I dont care for "wings" ... Buffalo Wild Wings is boys night out. So -- since i have the house to myself... i fired up the glue gun and melted holes in teh bottom of 30 containers.
I currently have 13 gallons
7 half gallons
10 qt sized.
I am using 2 liter soda containers. (Walmart finally has a diet root beer!) A neighbor is saving me containers, when she remembers. I don't drink milk. Any one feeling unusually tired or cold should have their doctor do a blood test to check their thyroid hormones, especially if putting weight for no apparent reason. I have hypothyroidism and feel terrible if my levels are off.
Hope everyone is keeping warm and safe. My cat is sitting on my feet, keeping them warm. Soup is on here as well, chicken soup.
GQ ... I have Hypothyroid too... and the only symptoms i have are cold hands and feet [DH is convinced I'm a corpse] and someone said, thin eyebrows. OH, this summer i started getting tightness in my throat... swollen thyroid gland. Getting all better now with that ... but no other symptoms... never have. OH well... yea - i too am over weight with a difficulty getting it off.
It's only after you have actual seedlings that frost/freezing is of any concern. And then, only if they're seedlings which are tender to frost, like zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, tomatoes... Perennials don't care. Hardy annuals won't bat an eye. You come to know which annuals will take frost. I've never had a light frost which damaged nasturtiums, petunias, or snapdragons.
If you do have frost tender seedlings and a frost hits, you can cover the whole jug with a sheet, blanket, or tarp. Or you can stash them overnight in an UNHEATED protected spot, like a garage.
Well, remember everything is relative. ( In your zone I can't imagine much problem with frost and freezing anyway). Snapdragons will freeze out at some point, don't know how cold. But a mild frost at around 30 to 32 degrees they'd probably be fine in a milk jug. -5 degrees might be a problem. If in doubt cover for the night.
Trust me, I get a lot more really cold weather than you do, but I've had snapdragons last 2 or 3 years, surviving winter just fine.
I have been looking at this forum for a few days now and never tried the WS and am going to try it this time. Plants are so expensive and since I am out of work now need to try and hold on to what I have until I find another job. I have started saving the milk jugs and the 2 litter coke bottles. I have one question about how many seeds do you put in the jug or bottle. I have tons of seeds that I collected last year and want to get them planted.
Welcome to Wintersowing, Sami! You're going to have a lot of fun. I know we all do!
The question of how thickly to sow seeds in containers depends on a few variables (including the expected germination rate.) You can really sow as many seeds as you want per jug. Some folks like the HOS (hunk o' seedlings) method, whereby they sow a lot of seeds in each jug and then just cut the resultant mass of seedlings into little squares and plant them out. IMHO the seeds that are best suited to being thickly sown are those that will like to grow closely together, such as trailing, matting, or groundcover seeds like allyssum, creeping phlox, and creeping thyme, for instance. Cosmos and poppies do well, too for me,as being thickly sown. So do wildflower mixes. Every year I WS thickly my Italian parsley seeds and plant all the "hunks" into a big pot for a lush growth that supports all the tabbouleh I want, all summer!!
Or you can plant fewer seeds in each jug. This works for seeds that might need more room for their roots, or that might be sensitive to transplanting, or that you want to remove individually. I do certain large seeds this way--sunflowers--and veggie seeds.
I'm certain that other folks on this forum will have better and more detailed advice for you on this subjects. My feeling has always been that recycled jugs and bottles and a little potting mix are cheap, so I sow lots of them with a lot of seeds and see what happens!
Thanks CapeCodGardner I do have some Cosmos that I want to plant. My grandson planted some last year in what he calls his garden and hope that they do as well as they did last year. He is five and loves to help out in the gardens. His dad is a gardener and so is his mom so he is out with them and me when he comes here. Here is a pic of the cosmos he planted last year.
thanks Karen I do have some Zinnias and want to try some balloon flowers that I had last year. I have a big bag of wildflowers but I think I am going to put a area to just spead them in one spot and see how they do. I will have to look and see what I do have just cant remember at the moment. I have the neighbors saving mild jugs for me and my son and want to get started right away. My grandson is coming this weekend and if it is not too cold for him will get outside and get a little fresh air and plant a few jugs this weekend..
Got home around 7:15pm and DW had covered the few plants I have outside, plus she brought all my WS jugs/ bottles and my store-bought plants inside. Oops. Well, her heart was in the right place and I was very happy with the gesture. I think the WS'd stuff had been indoors for a coupla hours and they already had condensate inside. I immediately took them outside and the temp was cool but lots of humidity. Calm before the storm I guess. Hopefully the (lettuce) seedlings won't be shocked since that's all that's sprouted so far.
I had "cheated" and bought swiss chard plants (about 8"), red giant mustard, and strawberry plants in order to get my fix for now, and they are still in their small nursery pots. So, I moved them to the garage. I thought the temp differential would be too much if left indoors since they've been outside this whole time.
Trudi has always cautioned against bringing WSown seeds/seedlings into a heated house. My friend did it a couple of years ago and the seedlings died within a day. I left mine outside covered with a sheet and they were fine. A protected UNHEATED area like a garage is OK, much different from a heated house.
I suspect that the problem is damp-off or some other form of fungus. After all, WSown conditions aren't sterile like indoor seed starting. And remember, no amount of cold or snow is a problem for seeds, only potentially for some frost-tender seedlings. That's why it's advisable to wait to sow them until spring, less danger of frost then.
Same old rule of thumb applies: If it's hardy in your zone, sow it now. If it's frost tender and killed by frost, wait till spring. Some folks do start tender stuff early, but then you have to worry about protecting seedlings if they sprout early. You just need to know whether the penstemons and salvias that you have are hardy in your zone.
Anything that doesn't tolerate frost, I don't sow until spring, around April in my zone.
Here's a pic of Penstemon Smallii that I wintersowed a few years ago. Hardy in my zone, they were sown in winter.
I WS salvias last year at the same time I sowed everything else. They just needed warmer temps to germinate, so they were one of the later ones to start showing anything in their jugs. Remember, we're replicating what Mother Nature does and she doesn't wait until the temps are right to sow seeds.
EXCEPT, and this is a big exception. Temp in the jugs gets much warmer than in a garden bed. If Stephanie's tender seeds, like zinnias, sprout early, probably no big deal. How likely is it that her temps will get below freezing after they sprout?
Tender seeds can sprout fast at the first sign of warmth. If we get a warm spell in February or March, not all that rare here, and it can be warm enough in the jug for the seeds to sprout. We still have 2 to 3 months of freezing temps to go then. That's why I wait until spring.
Thanks so much for the info!
tcs-since Salvias are like an herb,sage, it makes sense to wait for those.
Quoting:If it's hardy in your zone, sow it now. If it's frost tender and killed by frost, wait till spring
Great advice in a nutshell!
steph--so true. I just need to ask 'What would mother nature do ? :-)
The problem is I got most of them in trade and dont have names or info on them. I think i will do them in a separate container now ( I'm chomping at the bit to get started:-) and save some seeds to do later and compare them. I may have to baysit them a bit later, but in the separate container it will be easier.
Heavens no, I'm not wise. Just a seasoned veteran now. This will be my fifth year wintersowing. I have sown tender annuals in winter and lost them to frost. Experience is the best teacher.
Often I just take cues from the weather, which varies so much year-to-year. 2007 was the hottest, driest spring, summer, and fall that we have ever had. I was sweating to death planting out seedlings in May in temps in the 90s. Last year (2009) was so cool, cloudy, and wet, that some of my annuals sprouted later, barely doing anything until late summer when more normal weather returned. I had a heck of a time getting them into the ground because it was always raining. There are no guarantees in dealing with Mother Nature, you just have to learn to go with the flow. I try to avoid a few pitfalls by sowing annuals in spring; it keeps life simple.
In some cases I'll gamble if I have a lot of my own seeds to spare. Then if the thing freezes and croaks, no big deal. I just sow more.
Karen, you are so right! I do pay more attention to them once they've germinated and will bring in jugs if the weather is going to be cold. Believe me, living in Texas, you never know what kind of weather you're going to get at any given time of the year. Right now, it's 21º and today's high is only expected to get to 28º. Insane!
It's 23 here at noon. White stuff is flying. Supposed to get 3-7" by tomorrow morning, depending on who you believe. That's enough to paralyze the city for a couple of days. Schools started posting closings last night, by 5 this morning most were officially closed, though the first flake hadn't shown up yet. News crews were broadcasting from all over the city "no snow here yet"...
we probably have 3-4 on the ground, expecting more, but you never know what you will get. NW Ind. will get dumped on, as it is supposed to be lake effect snow this afternoon.
currently 19° ... but it doesnt feel that cold to me, i just spent the last hour outside and i was sweating.
Must be the new Sorel boots. **Wink**
Well, DH just told me he's going out for the day... so that means i can WS in the kitchen.
[we put the other cars in 'storage' for the winter months, so we deal with just one car... so he always asks what i'm up to for the day, before he makes plans.. since it really is my car. ]
I've got 13 milk jugs... so now i have to find 13 good seeds i want to sow...