I guess I should have taken more photos... but i have a notebook where everything is written down... for example...
1) Smooth Aster, BlueBird. [wind] who i got the seeds from, amount of seeds [ALL] and surface sow.
just notes -- it all gets entered into my spreadsheet when i get a chance [it's already updated]
I've started putting in a plastic plant tag... it has the container # and what the seed it.
I just started doign the plant tags... did a few last year. Found it was very helpful when things started germinating. I can just look at the tag. Before i'd look at the number then have to look it up. I rarely write the name of the seed on the container... don't know why, i've just never done it that way... plus, by May, most of the lids are cut off and recycled.
I do put the container number on both top and below the cut line.
I"m just a very detailed oriented person. my 'whole' spreadsheet put probably make your hair curl by all the info I have in it... But there are many times i need to reference back to something.. and there are even times the details are not there... I tend to slack off on things mid-season.
but in the excel "book" i have my seed list and my WS list. so 2 pages for each year.
Like i said.. i have a thing for details.
My spreadsheets were pretty basic when I did them. (Didn't do one last year.) I just included basics like jug number, common name, botanical name, annual or perennial, date sown, date sprouted (never was good about recording that), HxWidth.
Anita always had a good one on her website, she included mine there too a couple of years. I can't remember the name of her website but it will come to me. Haven't seen Anita on here lately.
[quote]Since you all have been WSing for a while, I'm curious about all the flower you sow. Do you extend your gardens? What do you do with all the flowers?[/quote]
Ah Diamond, that's the dilemma. . . some of us extend our flower beds to contain the new WS seedlings, others of us pot up our extras for friends and plant sales, others just cram them in. I do all three! It helps if you either have a lot of room or like the look of a full flower /herb/veggie garden!
My neighbor and I have been working on a "field" behind our home. it's technically State property, but it's land locked and they can't even access it without taking down a fence. [those highway ones]
I've been at it since the second summer here... 2003? I expand a little bit each year, clearing a little more weeds... I give some away - mostly to my neighbor. I have a summer place, it's an RV Park and i've taken on the project of working on the neglected flower beds throughout the park. I have a few friends up there that i'm growing some plants for, and i'll probably take some to our Upper Midwest Round Up in June... plus... I cram them in.
Terese, you are the Queen. I humbly bow to you.
I bought some Sterlite containers today to try to "Corral" my jugs this year. I used cardboard boxes last year, but they just got so sloppy wet. I figured if my jugs were in containers, maybe they won't look so objectionable to DH. I am pooped, unloaded 1/2 a truckload of compost on one of my lasagna beds today. I am trying to cover the cardboard I have lining the driveway. New gardens to plant my WS babies this spring!
those containers i showed yesterday... you can barely see them now. i had thought the snow was over... it had stopped, i went out and shoveled last night [I have this thing... it's a sickness really... but i absolutely HATE it when a car drives in my driveway if there is snow on it... I've actually had my kids in the street, waiting to pull in the drive, while i shovel a spot so they can pull in.]
anyhooo... i shoveled last night because Alex was still out, and i finally got to shovel wiht a car NOT in the driveway... i woke up at 4AM and snow everywhere... Probably another 3" ... this stuff was a big 'blowy' though... small drifts... when i have it at the back door AND the front door... i know it was blowing.
SO.. i told DH to teach Alex how to use the snow blower today. I generally shovel for the exercise... but the kid needs to know how to use it.
Has anyone ever sown Veronica Darwin's Blue?? I have a lot of seeds and chaff...I'm going to give it a whirl this year to see if i get anything. didnt wanna trade the seeds to find out they dont germinate.
OH and i had completely forgotten... DH is a pop drinker... sometime last year he switched to 2Ltr from cans, since it's cheaper... So, i've begun collecting them too... i only have 2 right now, but it's a start. We always let Buddy chew them up... great toy when you pop them in the freezer for a while.
I'm having to find pictures on line. Have some,just haven't posted them yet. Guess since today's it's 12 degrees out w/ only 29 for hi,it'd be a good day to get that done.
I haven't listed the dianthus,snaps,pansies and violas I did in Oct/Nov.yet. Need to go to GH to get info but as I said...12 degrees...I ain't going out there...LOL. GH isn't heated so I still call it WS.
I'm so ahppy to hear that you all look for place to plant flowers and give them away to friends and family. I have one stipulation, whomever I give plants to have to take care of them. And if they decide they don't want them, then they give them back to me. LoL So I can find a good home for them. I even post some plants on Craigs list for little or nothing. I'm helping with a garden at the Extension Office this year so, hopefully, some of my plants will find a home there.
I need to find out more about the lasagna gardening thing. Is this useful in starting new beds? Last year I tilled my entire patio area to start a new garden. I stll have problems with pop up grass. I'm wondering if I tilled a new site, added cardboard, wet it down, added compost, then planted flowers if that would hold the weed/grass out of my new beds? If that works, I can easily make room for all of my new seedlings. LoL
The beauty of lasagna gardening is that it is NO TILL gardening!
Just lay the cardboard OVER your site, border it in, and start layering your ingredients from there. The cardboard smothers off your grass...add enough organics and veggie peels and the worms will start churning up the ground below the cardboard, once it's broken down.
Let the wildlife do the tilling! (Basically, this is just like building a compost pile in place...)
I chased flying, empty milkjugs all over the yard this morning! The wind was up and I had them prepped and sitting on the patio table. My DH keeps eyeing all the "junk" I bring home, so I couldn't just leave them strewn everywhere or they'd be in the dumpster when I got home!
Happy Birthday GymGirl! I hope you are spoiled and pampered today. I'm so thrilled at the idea of lasagna gardening. How soon can you plant your flowers? Are you planting your flowers in the upper layers (above the cardboard)?
since our 'search' is down for a while... the best way to find something - say using google.. type in your search word, "lasagna gardening' and add Daves Garden... they it pulls up threads with in Daves. I do that all the time for plant files.
Last year, I planted about a week or two after putting down the cardboard and compost. The cardboard cuts easy, If there was still grass or weeds there, I just pulled them out when I cut the hole. That probably isn't the correct way, but it worked for me. I might add another layer of cardboard/compost this year in some of the places where the grass and weeds insist on coming back.
We did raised beds last year that were enclosed and 18" high. We put down a layer of cardboard. Watered well, then put down a thick layer of leaves from our front yard. Again, watered well. Then we added our soil. It'll be interesting to see what those beds will be like when we turn the soil this spring.
You're right Terese, I have "lasagna-ed" several areas and been very happy with the results. I've seen reports where people build the hump a foot or two high but I've never had enough organic material to do that. Mine have only been around 8"-10" deep but still worked very very well. The organic material rots pretty quickly so that it doesn't end up raised at all. This past fall we built 2 new small tomato beds with the method. My husband built 2 wood frames, each 4x8'. We covered the lawn with wet cardboard then topped with about 4" of purchased topsoil, bought as a dump truck full. I've never added soil before but this time I did want because I wanted it to end up as a raised bed. It was the usual nasty clay that is native here. That was covered with a couple of inches of homemade compost. Then layered a few inches of straw, wetting down each layer. Each week when my husband cut the grass we added fall leaves mixed with grass clippings, some coffee grounds, yard waste, whatever turned up. It would settle down (and possibly start breaking down) for a week and the next week when he cut the grass we'd add more stuff. I watered each layer well as I built it, a very important step. I finally covered it with bedsheets, kept spraying the top with the hose to maintain moisture until weather turned wintery.
I like to cover the hump with breathable fabric as in interbay mulch. Initially I used burlap, but after my !@#$%^ husband threw the burlap away, I've used bedsheets which seem to work fine, too. I'm hopeful for some really good tomatoes this year.
Thanks Mike. I still have quite a few to go but I'm getting there.
Still need to get out the GH to inventory the rest I WS but it's only 10 degrees out there now and not getting a whole lot warmer for the high...BUT...temps are suppose to be going back up and there's some 50's for next week...YAY!
Boy, Karen, your new beds sound fabulous!
I extended my border-beds last fall (about 2.5 ft x 40 ft) with the lasagna method, starting with wet cardboard, then some purchased soil, then whatever homemade compost I had, then leaves, etc. But I never thought of using the old ripped burlap I had lying around as a mulch, and I threw it all away myself ! (#A%/!) Would it have broken down on its own over the winter?
Since my beds were extended out into my lawn area, I cut away the grass into about 12 in. squares and turned these upside down before laying down the cardboard.
Just to keep this on the topic of WS, this is for an area that I'm going to "cram" with WS seedlings next season. Which I haven't started doing yet; I've followed your practice for the last two WS seasons and waited till mid-Feb. to begin my jugs, sowing tender things even into April. We have a long cool Spring on the Cape (latest average frost date: May 23) and this seems to produce the best results.
Hi Karen & folks: Since posting my question immediately above regarding the use of burlap in garden beds, I found a site that Karen recently posted on another thread (Soil and Composting forum). Here the Interbay Mulch system is explained in great detail. Sounds to me like a great process, and one based on the lasagna method, IMHO.
Sorry for hijacking the thread again, but this might help all us Wintersowers who need more or better beds for all those wonderful hardy seedlings we're going to have next season! GO WINTERSOWERS!!
[quote="bigred"]Thanks Mike. I still have quite a few to go but I'm getting there.
Still need to get out the GH to inventory the rest I WS but it's only 10 degrees out there now and not getting a whole lot warmer for the high...BUT...temps are suppose to be going back up and there's some 50's for next week...YAY![/quote]
I've got family out that way in Stone County and they say the same thing. lol
I have a question for the seasoned WSers, how large should the drainage and vent holes be? The size of a straw or smaller? How fast should the water drain? For the ventilation on the 2 liter bottles or the milk jug I have only been leaving the lids off. For other containers, I'm curious how many holes are you all creating. Does anyone have pictures?
I dont make mine that big... in yrs past, i've sued a steak knife... Poke and twist.
This year i used the tip of a hot glue gun to melt holes... they are about the size of a small straw.
I do have one 2ltr bottle on top of my frig... I was going to cut it and do images.
for those... you cut it in half, then for the top portion, you cut "V" like cuts, and slide the top back over the bottom... tape it shut... then when it warms and you need ventilation, you can just slide the top up a bit for more air flow, but still leave it on until it's warm enough to completely remove it.
I like lots of drainage but I generally just poke thru with scissors or a steak knife and twist. They're probably about 1/4" in diameter or a little larger. I probably use about 8 or 10 holes per gallon jug. I also put one on the side, about an inch above the bottom.
We make the holes about the size of the shaft of a standard size screwdriver. If you've got a Phillips head screwdriver, about that size. We do about 6-8 on the bottom of the jug and several around the top, in addition to leaving the lids off.
I checked the link. I didn't make my drainage holes nearly that big. LoL I hope my seeds will still have enough drainge. I probably ask the same questions, if so I apologize. I know its not an exact science, but every bit of info is helpful for me.
[quote]This year i used the tip of a hot glue gun to melt holes... they are about the size of a small straw.[/quote]
Tcs, I just got my first glue-gun. This sounds like a great idea. I generally wrestle my drainage holes into the bottom-sides of my jugs and bottles by twisting a craft knife violently, but I feel it's not the safest way to make those holes. (DH says he can't watch.) Quick, though.
Lea [lebug] told me about that. I used my kids gun. Just may have to get my own. but it worked pretty good.. .i always worried about stabbing myself using a knife.
Diamond... mine were nevr that big either. but i use more than 4 on the bottoms... and dont put them up the side, Karen mentioned that too... BUT -- I have had issues with rotting seeds and moss/mold. take that for what its worth. :-)
I use a soldering iron to put holes in the bottom of plastic pots...this is only my second year WS'ing, but I did three boxes of containers in probably half an hour. You get the stinky, plasticky melting smell, but it dissipates quickly.
Ok I should have a hot glue gun around here some place. I think that is much safer, too. Have you all had any success with containers other than the gallon jugs or 2 liter bottles? I'm planning to put more seeds out today. Unfortuna(ely, I have more containers from fast food restaurants than I do milk jugs. LoL
Um, I have waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more holes in the tops and bottoms than any of those pics.
I use a hot phillips screwdriver. Heat it on the electric burner. Goes very fast if you alternate between two screwdrivers. Just don't breathe in while the plastic's smoking, and turn on the stove blower...
I think I have an average of 18-20 holes in the top AND the bottoms. I have a row of holes around the lowest point on the sides, too. LOTS of drainage...
Unfortunately, I'm lagging as far as my tomatoes go. My order is still in transit but worse, some of my tomato seeds did not ship (pressumably because they were out of stock.) My fault for ordering on Christmas Eve, LOL. I hope to sow more peppers in the next coupla days, though.
Anyway, my lettuce is looking good so I'm happy. I'll have to take pics of my little WSing operation at some point. It's such a rag-tag group of containers, though, pretty funny.
p.s. happy belated B-day Linda. Hope you had a good one!!!
I was busy saving a life on the evening of my B'day!
Praise God, I was home at the kitchen table when my (NOW) 94-yr-old Aunt Beatrix (we're born on the same day!) had a heart attack and passed out while sitting quietly at the table with me. Then everything in her stomach came up while she was still passed out! Thank God, she didn't choke to death or die from the heart attack.
I thought at first she was just snoozing, but then I noticed too many differences to this snoozing. She's usually what I call a "Church Snoozer." Doze off then startle yourself awake -- then look around to see who saw you fall asleep!
But she wasn't startling herself awake and, at one point, her head gently bobbed back and forth 5 times against her chair and I thought, "she's having a seizure." But she still didn't wake up. When her hand fell outta her lap and she still didn't wake up, I started calling her name and shaking her with no response to anything I was doing to wake her. She probably will have my handprints across her face...
By the time I stood over her shaking her violently, the Sci-Fi stuff started happening...
I yelled for my DH to call 911 right away. Well, he'd had a few Friday evening chugs, and was not sharp enough for my comfort. So, I left him holding the phone in one hand and Aunt Bea in the other, darted straight across the street, and pounded on my neighbor's door. She answered as I yelled "I think Aunt Bea's choking to death!" and ran back across with her right on my heels!
And, by the time we got right back, Aunt Bea was sitting up, fairly alert (but dazed), no memory of any of this, and ALIVE!
ER cat-scan ruled out seizure & stroke, but confirmed she'd had a heart attack and passed out.
The miracle of it all is that I'd been at church every evening last week until after 9:30 for our Revival. Friday was the last night. But, all day the Spirit keep pressing on me to go home to "be with Aunt Bea" on our b'day to help celebrate with her. It was too cold to go out to dinner or anything, and I knew she'd be grumpy we hadn't done anything special. My intention was to at least have a meal together, or tip a toast, or rent a good movie and do popcorn, something, anything to commemorate and make her evening special.
Amazing that she woke up so quickly. That's great.
Linda, didn't you say that you have several elderly relatives close to you? You know you can buy a defibrillator for home use ("AED") and/or take CPR classes from the heart association. Sounds like both might be useful in your case. Of course resuscitating someone that age can raise a lot of issues.
Wow, Gymgirl! Sorry to hear about that! Like others have said, it was a good thing you were right there for her and it was interesting how everything played out. I've never been through anything like that but I imagine I would be pretty shaken by it. I hope your Aunt B is doing well and is in good spirits.
What kind of success have any of you had wintersowing Petunias? I've gotten pretty over starting a bunch of stuff under lights. There's a few slow pokes that I will, but with a lot of annuals I'm not so concerned with getting an early start on blooms anymore. Wondering if anyone starts them directly in the hanging baskets they'll reside in?
Ahhh, thank you tcs. I was just looking thru my notes and found where I had copy/pasted the post you made for me, going thru my seed list and giving me pointers. You are too kind. Thanks so much. Now that I'm actually doing it, your notes really helped me.
You can pretty much disregard any information on the seed pack. That info and instructions deal with indoor seed starting. WSing is a whole 'nuther animal. All seeds have an optimal temp for germination. When you start to get spring temps, sprouting will begin. For me that's usually around March for things that sprout at lower temps. Debbie, for you it might be February.
Neal, I've had great results with WSing petunias. They start to sprout and grow at fairly low temps.
I'm new at this and already have several jugs started with great anticipation. But I do have a question -- for annuals, do you wait to sow until it warms up? I'm thinking about things like cosmos, zinnia, and veggies.
This has got to be eaisier than starting thousands in the house. I did this while living in Montana -- now in Texas and thinking the growing season is long enough to start stuff later -- outside! But the idea of WS is totally irrestible. I'm hooked!
for the mroe tender of annuals, you should probably wait until your last frost date, or close to that...
here is a quote from kqcrna [Karen] that was a good one, regarding seedlings and frost...
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.
LOL , Karen you make me laugh. "we don't all live in Texas".
And about February, that's what I was thinking. But, with this unusual cold weather, I may even start a little later than that. And yes, it looks like I'll be about a month ahead of you on the perennials and then again on the annuals.
I have to thank everyone for all of the info and please keep it coming by asking questions. I have to say , that I have learned more on this thread , than any other thread I have been on ever.
And Terese, I started my spreadsheet yesterday and your words kept coming to my mind as I added yet more columns. LOL You said above,
"I'm just a very detailed oriented person. my 'whole' spreadsheet would probably make your hair curl by all the info I have in it..."
:)For those who don't like details, my spreadsheet would make their hair fall out. LOL
And Karen, your spreadsheet is in your head, cause you have been doing it for so long. I saw all of the listings you had on Anita's site. Many many sheets. :) And I'm glad I found them, cause they have some great info on them.
Kisses to you all for the help.
I am officially hooked.
Yes, Deb, you might be a few weeks ahead of me on both annuals and perennials. That's when we Yankees get zone envy. But when our gardens are peaking and beautiful in August and yours are fried, we smile in revenge. Since we can get frosts into May, I don't sow tender annuals until the last of March or April. Less worry about frozen sprouts. But you could safely sow your tenders earlier in La.
I never did do a spreadsheet last year. I'm not very good at Excel (or anything computer related for that matter) and I just didn't force myself to do it. It only included very basic info when I did do them. It was helpful the first few years though. If something failed to sprout when sown once in January, the next year I might try sowing later, that kind of thing. So the spreadsheet was useful.
Deb, do you grow any coleus from seed? Or just collect the vegetatively propagated ones? I tried some with the WSown method one year (Wizzard series I think) and they just took forever to look like anything up here. I've had better results inside under lights. I'm trying seeds of the Versa series, I have a few under lights right now. Just a few sprouts but I'm anxious to try them. I hope I don't kill them because I'm much better at WSing than under lights.
Peggy--who are you ordering from in the UK if you don't mind me asking? Did you need a permit or is it part of your business? I'm half applied for the permit for the small seed lot thing with the government--just gotta get over to the office w/ ID and finish the process.
I'd ordered before from Chiltern (only stuff I can't find offered stateside) and didn't have any problems but ya never know with customs and all that.
I went thur all that small seed lot permit hoopla last year only to discover I didn't need it to order from Plant World Seeds. The others I got from our DGer bartjestuin...she always has a great seed list.
I may at some point,need the permit for some other European seeds purchases so I've got it if I need it. I think it's good for 3 yrs before you have to renew.
Debbie -- I know there was a thread a while back where we [a bunch of us] added a link to our 'uploaded' spreadsheets. I think most were on Google Docs. I have not re-uploaded mine, since i'm awaiting seeds to 'check off'
But i think it was neat to see how others did theirs.
diamond, I have a generous pack of 'Pam's Choice' another member sent me that I'd be happy to split with you. If you're interested, just drop me a SASE (the seeds are so tiny, I don't think they'll need a bubble envie)- I'm in the addy exchange.
Thank you Terese, I'll try to find the thread and check them out. And thank you for the seed link.
Karen, fried indeed. It gets really hot here. I have been known to run around with umbrellas, trying to shade my plants. LOL And no, I've never tried growing coleus from seed. I thought about it, but, so many of my sweet DG'ers send cuttings and then , of course, their is the instant gratification of Rosie Dawns. Summer of 2008, I think I ended up with about 200 coleus, and then along came Gustav and they simply disappeared. Weirdest thing I ever saw. There wasn't a sign of them anywhere and they were all planted in the ground. Oh, and you are correct, I can't wait to see my first seedlings. Ya'll will hear me holler from your houses. LOL
if you click the tab for 2010 Seed List ... if it has the 'yellow", i have those on hand, and all the others i'm still waiting for... should get them this week. I was just trying to 'inventory' my seeds, so i knew what i had and what's gone.
Thanks so much for the SS links. I have been studying them. LOL And yes , they much like mine, except I use Excel. Great job and very helpful. I am going to add another column to mine that follows up on the bloom or the end result. I will write things like, bloomed great , but an ugly plant, dont reorder. LOL Or Bloomed great, but gets too leggy here. Until I get really good at this, it will help me to just glance to see the ones I want to re order. I ordered the Hollyhocks from Summerhills. Did any of your Hollyhocks bloom from 2009? And I didn't add both the names on mine. I just put the name that was on the seed pack. So, I need to go back and add that. And I want to add the Daves link on the ones that are in plant files, so that when I go back and make my notes as they bloom, I can just click on there and add the photo and notes. I can't tell you how much I depend on plant files with all of my plantings. Thanks again for the links.
Debbie -- i think most of us used Excel, and just uploaded it.
I did not have much luck with HH's last year. i was quite disappointed that the Summerhill Black Current Whirl did not germinate. I still have more seeds though, so i will try again.
I only had 1 or 2 HollyHocks germinate... gave them both away.. silly me, but one was to my neighbor, and it bloomed, so she gave me more seeds.
I too reference from the Daves link to PF... so glad i added that field. And I have 2 comments fields, the second one i will use for things like , bloomed great , but an ugly plant, dont reorder. LOL Or Bloomed great, but gets too leggy here.
also -- WHO i got the seeds from... if i ever have questions, i know who to ask.
If busy work makes you happy, go for it. That crap drives me nuts. One thing I always like to know is the botannical name. If I know that I can look up anything. Having only a common name like "coneflower" doesn't do it for me because so many people call different things coneflowers. And of my favorites that I sow repeatedly in subsequent years, I often like to buy new commercial seeds. OP seeds can lead to too many disappointing results. Ditto many traded seeds. Some are great, I know, but some I'd just rather buy.
I had 1 Echie produce a bud the first year, but it was so late that it froze before I could see the ray flowers extend. It was saved seed from one of those coral or yellow modern hybrids, I was really curious what it would look like! It was the only seedling out of several sown to germinate. I also started several others, none of which bloomed. They did grow well though, and promising to be lovely this year :-)
I'm terrible with records, and honestly don't see myself improving much in the near future, LOL. In the garden I've got so many "irons in the fire", so to speak, I want to get everything labeled and cataloged, then I get overwhelmed and walk away, LOL. I've gotten back into the work world lately too, so I'm not fooling myself into thinking I'll take the time.
is EXCELLENT to order from, and surprisingly the service to get it here is very speedy. Her seed collection is incredible and so many unusual ones that I have not found around here or other companies...
She is out of country right now as she has had a death in the family, so should anyone being trying to contact her and you don't hear back give her some time to reply.
Terese: I had similar results to Neal's. I once got one blossom on an ech late in the first year, like October. Generally they'll bloom the second year. Worth the wait, though. But in your zone I wouldn't expect any until 2nd year.
Mine from seed didn't have any either, but they grew well, so I expect something this year. They were from my DG newbie seeds so were just labeled Purple Coneflower. Hopefully they're the native kind so I can save some seeds to stealth plant around the wild (unkempt) pond in our complex in fall. I also ordered some native water plant seeds to toss in there, try to use up some nutrients and get rid of the billowing green algae crud.
Terese, I have downloaded your spreadsheet for reference. Mine have a million columns too.
edit: Anyone WS'd pelargoniums? They seemed pretty tough this fall. I need to get them started in the next few days, along with the petunias, though it seems you guys have had good luck with WS those so they will go out. It'll be nice not to have them hanging around inside for months.
I just noticed the comment "rabbits ate all my sunflowers" from 2007. They did that to me last spring, left me with 2 out of 12, even after I started them in peat pots so the chipzilla wouldn't eat the seeds. Bit the babies off about an inch above the ground, all in one night. I'm gonna try sticking a bottomless 2 liter bottle over each one until they get too tall for it this time.
I started some flowers inside one year. The bunnies ate only the blooms! I was so sick that I couldn't plant the rest of my babies. I kept Coleus and Rose of Sharon inside for two years. The Coleus began to twist and curl but it was the most beautiful plant. Anyone have voles/moles? I have one that insists on digging up my bulbs. I like seeing the b unnies hope around and I couldn't dream of harming them but that vole/mole is going to be fertilizer for my plants.
Oh, bunnies don't stay so cute for very long, LOL. They find a lot of flowers quite delicious! I've had mole and vole issues in the past too, it was awful! Bulb cages were the only thing I found that worked. Castor oil poured here and there around the garden did deter them till after a good rain, but I wasn't good about keeping up with it. Most bulbs that voles eat, have sprouts that are tasty to rabbits too, like tulips, lilies, and crocus.
The bottle idea is indeed a good one!
grrrlgeek, I have a feeling Pelargoniums aren't a good choice for wintersowing, at least in cold zones. I've never had a volunteer seedling from one, and I believe they require a bit more of a head start.
I came home to find a cat sitting on my porch one day. I thought it was odd but I didn't understan why until I found the moles tunnels. I like the idea of the cats keeping the rodents in check but if they were to "present" them to me, I would lose it. I'm a wimp!
yes... this year they ventured close to my house in my south bed. It's a MESS. DH put out a few mouse traps... hope we killed a few of them. THey have their little tunnels all thru the bed, half destroyed my dianthus MicroChip -- I dont let Charlie run wild outside.. so he can't keep them in check. [dead]
LOL Anita! We have 2 indoor only cats and they occasionally find prizes and leave them for me. Thankfully, they only find things like roaches (ICK!!) and other bugs. However, my neighbor has 2 outdoor kitties that keep the rodents in check in my yard as well. I was outside one morning last fall and she was yelling at her cat, "Mango! How could you? That's so gross, Mango!" (Mango is the cat.) I asked her if everything was okay and she told me yes, but that Mango had left a "prize" on the seat of her outdoor table where she likes to have her morning coffee! Her husband had the flu, so she had to deal with the "prize". She kept saying, "I'll do throw up and other things. I DON'T DO DEAD!" LOL LOL LOL I told her she should get a shovel and carry the little critter across the street to the empty lot!
My 2 are indoor, only "out" time is on the deck to chase off the squirrels and lay in the sun, and in the garage. They occasionally find something there. They once had a chipmunk they brought in alive and had it cornered under the desk. Live toy!
I was glad they got that chipmunk out of the garage finally, but...
gemini, Yeah, that's what I was thinking. I need to get them started under the lights soon.
My dog is an inside pet/person. He brought baby bunnies to the patio for me once. I had no idea pets did things like that until the Humane Society came out to get the dead bunnies. He said there was a nest in my yard. I was afraid to go outside. I thought we were being invaded by alien animals. I'm with the neighbor I cannot do dead, my feet won't let me. When I see dead animals, my feet start moving and won't stop until I can no longer see them. The same goes for any live rodents or pests (not insects/bugs) that move faster than I do. LoL I'm a wimp! I did have a toad in my yard that we tried to accomodate.
How many bags of MG have you all gone through. The WSing obsession is forcing me to go out for a second bag. LoL
I didn't with the geraniums, only because I didn't have the bottles saved at the time. I took cuttings, allowed them to dry and callous over for a day. Then I just stuck them in damp potting mix and stuck each pot in a plastic bag. They took off, have been blooming through winter. I cut them back several inches last weekend because they were getting too tall to fit under my lights.
I have never had Geraniums but they seem to be really popular so I will try some this year. I am WSing a lot of perennials that won't bloom until next year. I will need some heavy blooming annuals. Has anyone ever WS fern spires?
Annuals that I've WS that are heavy blooming include marigolds, zinnias, pansies and violas, sun flowers, and dwarf dahlia Redskin (not technically an annual but I treat them as such.)
They start out small at the beginning but grow into big sturdy plants by summer.
I wintersowed 40 seeds on 3/14/09 here in zone 7a. My notes say "good germination" on April 6th. I planted out ten lusty seedlings June 1st., which grew into nice border plants. Sorry I don't have photos. I treated the plants as annuals, but you could probably save the tubers and grow them again.
Anita, Dahlias are easy to grow from seed, and grow quickly. They're very frost sensitive, so they would be something to WS later, but others have reported success wintersowing them.
Teresa, usually I don't even have to start watering my containers till up in April when it really warms up. The coverings seem to hold moisture well. That will depend somewhat on the potting mix you use too. Lets see, flowers I've had the most success with...I'll start with perennials:
Everlasting Pea (perennial sweet pea)
Annuals- sown early
Kiss me over the Garden Gate
Annuals- sown later because they're frost sensitive
Morning Glory and Moon vine
That's what is coming to mind right now, I'll add as I think of others.
All of you are so helpful. I am about to try my first winter sowing. I read and read and now I need to do and do. Actually, it will be next week when I do the sowing. In the meanwhile I need to get the jugs ready. And, I love Anita's site. Thanks for all the help...
Oh, yes...about tender Geraniums. Would you WS them? Mine is called Black Velvet Red from Springhill.
I haven't risked sowing WS tender geraniums either--I HAVE grown the Black Velvet series of geranium seeds under lights, and they do well, but of course you have to fuss with them. I will be interested in hearing about your experiences in WS these seeds in your warmer zone. Keep us posted!
Hey ya'll. I've got 3 jugs of bell pepper seeds inside on a shelf. I checked yesterday and there's a spot of mold growing on one 'a the seeds. I've heard H2O2 will take care of this. What's the formula mixed 2 water? I should just water through right? LMK soonest. Thanks! Linda
Ok, Winter sowing works! I peeked today and I have 2 jugs of Southern Broadleaf Mustard Greens and 2 jug of Wando Peas coming up. These were seeded on January 9th.
Now what do I do? They're still tiny yet, so I imagine I'll be waiting a coupla more weeks before attempting any kinda transplanting, right? The greens I'm not so concerned about, 'cause I've grown em from seedlings before. But, I've never grown peas. And, I sooooooooooooo wanna grow green peas!
I just went to pour the H2O2 on the bell pepper seeds, and they've sprouted already! I read that bell pepper seeds took forEVER to germinate, especially without any bottom heat. I expected germination in about six weeks from now, not today!!!
Hi, all! This is my second year of winter-sowing, but my first time posting on this forum.
Last year, my seeds came from local garden centers. This year I'd like to expand my horizons, and go the mail-order route. Any seed companies you recommend? With whom have you had pleasant business dealings with?
Hi Kevin--enjoyed looking at your blog!
I think that mail-order is definitely the way to go for more interesting and varied varieties of seeds that you won't find at local garden centers. If you go to the DG site listed below and check the Garden Watchdog Top 30 companies, there are several that deal specifically with seeds. Besides those that are listed, I've also had good luck with Thompson & Morgan and Park Seeds. But I'm sure there are many others that people can suggest to you.
Linda, well, aren't you just something else. Not bad for a novice, huh? Isn't it great? Affirmation that WSing isn't a major hoax on you- It works! Milk jugs rock, you can't beat 'em. Congratulations, Mom!
I have no idea what to do with veggies anywhere, let alone in zone 9. I just grow pretty stuff, nothing practical.
I was telling one of the gardeners I work with what I'm learning about WSing. I cannot wait to show him my new flowers. LoL
GymGirl, I'm excited for your new mustard greens and peas. I cannot wait until I can see some green through my containers.
How big do the sprouts have to be before you open the lids? I'm thinking of WS some Liriope. Anyone tried the monkey grass?
Linda~You're an inspiration! You 'da woman! You go girl! I've got my soil and seeds and jugs, just not all in the same spot. Would you please make a road trip north and do mine?? I'm really working on the DH to do the jugs this weekend.
diamond: I open tops of jugs when I have pretty good germination. The top helps hold humidity and encourages more sprouts to pop. Overheating won't likely be an issue for you in zone 5 for a while. Size of the sprouts is irrelevant. I open a jug when it has several sprouts, keep it closed mostly until then.
Stephanie: What does your husband have to do with the jugs?
Oh I've got another month before I start my WS, although with the above freezing temps we are enjoying I'm almost wishing I could start now, but I have to behave as I'm getting over hernia surgery (Asthma coughing does terrible things to your body...LOL)
So I'm trying to be good and just live through what everyone else has/is/will be doing...
Anita, your SASE came today. There's enough postage on there for at least a few packs of seeds, I'll check your lists and see what else I may have to stick in there. I just received scads of seeds from the Piggy Swap, some really generous packs too, so I'm sure there are plenty to share.
Step stop dorkin' around and go get those jugs together!
Heat those phillips screwdrivers on the stove burner and start poking holes. The time will fly!
I stopped obsessing over drawing a perfectly straight horizontal slit, and started eyeballing a line parallel to one on the jug.
Chop! Chop! (literally)
Oh, I'm covered up with seeds now that these from the swap have come in! To think I was actually tempted to order some the other day, LOL. I was just going through and organizing these seeds, and feeling rather overwhelmed. I've gotten them separated into baggies of one Genus, and most are alphabetized, now I need to separate out those for wintersowing- which I do into 2 baggies, 1 for early WSing and 1 for tender plants to WS later. Then one for direct sowing, and another for starting under lights. Since I'm so fond of a large variety, I just aim for 6-12 plants of each variety of seed, and most of these packs have way more than that in them.
meadow, I have the opposite problem, I have elbow surgery wed. and will lose the use of my right arm for 1 week (and I'm right handed), then not to lift anything heavier then a cup of coffee for 3 mos. May have to fudge on that last one; that takes me into April, and I have stuff to do outside (like a crisper full of bulbs-I'm not keeping them in there over the whole summer). If I could find a cheap dorm frige to keep in the garage I might though. Need to check Craig's list, maybe Target.
I just got my latest seed orders-lots of natives from Prairie Moon and Everwilde. Some I'm going to WS and stealth plant in the wild areas around the pond. The "landscapers" never bother touching it, so it's in desperate need. Some I'm just going to sprinkle the seeds in the snow around there sometime when it's supposed to snow. Prairie Moon says I have til February to do that here. Some are for my little rain gardens-I think I'll have to cut back on the drainage holes for them if I WS, they're supposed to be started in "mud".
Good grief, who knows?!? This is Texas and just about anything could happen regarding the weather. We've had snow, deep freeze, and everything in between. We haven't had any ice yet, so that may be coming.
Linda- did you say your peppers germinated??? That's great!!! I can't believe it.
I had a major set-back earlier this week when my stupid beagle of a dog ran rough-shod all over my WS'ing collection...
I should have anticipated this disaster, but I got busy with work and things had been going great for several weeks so it was out-of-mind. I lost some of my swiss chard crops and my bell peppers were disrupted, meaning they were knocked over but did not "spill" so I don't know what to expect with those jugs. I will be WS'ing more peppers tomorrow, though (I've been prepping containers like a madman the last day or so...gearing up for "the big push" when I WS lotsa stuff. Luckily I have MLK day off from work.)
I was so mad...but it was my fault, lesson learned the hard way.
Mine are going in clear rubbermaid totes with holes in the bottom. So far I have one with a broken lid and one I got cheap at Ace. That way the squirrels and chipmunks won't be out there knocking them around.
sorry to hear you will have to behavior yourself for a while, but honestly do make sure to follow the Dr's directions cause you sure don't want to have lasting problems due to wanting to get back to normal sooner...
Okay, question please? I'm sure this has already been covered, but I don't seem to see it. What type of soil are you putting in your jugs? I have potting mix or Jiffy?
Thanks. I'm ready to begin! :-)
All my 41 jugs are filled with MG Potting mix.
My 3 jugs of Emerald Giant and King of the North Bell peppers have almost 100% germination. EG Jug #1 has 9 outta ten seeds up; EG #2 has 8 outta 10; K of the North, #3 has 6 up, but I think the others are on the way. I put the jugs inside on my light shelf in the dark. Once I noticed they were up, I started running the fluorescent lights on them for 4 hours per day.
One DGer says the leggy-ness comes from either the lights being up too high or being on too long. So, I'm gonna try his 4-hour/day schedule.
I sowed three more bell pepper jugs today and will keep a closer eye on that germination date. I believe the three above germed in 8-9 days.
but say you are using 2Ltr or Milk jugs... throw the "caps" away.
the containers need to "breath" a bit.
once the weather warms up a bit - wont be for a few months,
and you have little seedlings in there, then you can remove the top half of the container, but dont throw them away yet, as you may need to recover them on cold nights.
That is why many of us create the "hinge" on our containers... we can open them up, but still have the top portion in case we need to close them up again.
Catchin' up on this thread. A bit back someone asked about WSing bacopa. I did last year with great success.
I think I read somewhere that one person had success WSing iris (can't remember if it was this thread or one in cottage gardening. Has anyone else had success? I tried Siberian Iris Caesar's Brother last year with no germination. I have some more siberian iris along with some Japanes and artic iris if y'all think it is worth the effort in zone 8b.
Gymgirl: Now you have confused me. I thought you were talking above about wintersown sprouts. Now you're talking about legginess and distance from lights. Are all those sprouts wintersown ones or inside under lights.
Only the 6 jugs of bell peppers are inside. Everything else is outside. I kept the bells in because I read they needed bottom heat for germination. I was trying to figure out how to give it to them so they would germinate and not take forever!
I started a bell outside last fall (didn't realize it then, but I had actually WSowed in a Sam's rotissirie container). It took almost 13-15 weeks before those seeds germinated outside...
Those peppers will be the only seeds that get started inside -- and that was a total accident on my part. As soon as they get some true leaves, they're going outside with their brothers and sisters!
We needed to bring a cabinet in from the garage through the front door. I had on a long sleeved shirt and an unzipped hoodie and needed a shower after! This was on the west side of the house at 3pm-ish, so plenty of sun. Felt good.
It was gray and bleh until the afternoon. I did a couple of things outside too. I'm not sure how warm it actually was, but it felt good in the sun. Especially in comparison to recent crud. We're both cool temp people-we keep the thermostat on 68 all winter and are quite comfy.
I finally got my butt in gear and cut up my bottles. I realized that I cut the 2 liters off too high, so I made my v-cuts shallower and more frequent, so I think they'll be ok. The stuff I want to sow now would probably be fine without a cover if it weren't for the curious critters.
Poop, I just realized I poked lots of holes in all my containers, and I have a few things that like to be started in mud. Maybe I'll keep those in a different outer container with only a couple of drainage holes.
After putting out my containers, I started thinking (always gets me in trouble..lol) how much covering should these seeds get? I know some seeds only need to be pressed into the surface and some need deep cover. Should I have paid closer attention to this?
Gymgirl..that is impressive sowing!
tcs..thanks for the pics.
Did I read some place that you plant as deep as the seeds are in size? And if the seeds are super fine then you don't cover at all depending on the specific requirements for light??? Do you all press the seeds into the soil? Mother nature makes it seem super easy!
Mud=water calla, marsh marigold, pickerel weed, arrowhead. Things for the rain garden and edge of pond. The lotus can apparently just be nicked and tossed in the pond. Just have to figure out when. When/if I restart my aquarium, I'm going to try arrowhead started underwater to put in it.
I never pay any attention to that stuff for wintersowing. I just sprinkle seeds on the surface and move on. Big seeds I will stick individually into the soil. And who cares about the "light" and "dark" stuff? They're outside!
The only thing I really push in are big seeds, otherwise they've pushed themselves out with their roots. It seems that more and more seeds have directions like "barely cover" or "surface sow" or very shallow depths like 1/16". The only place I still see that "bury the seed x number of times the size of the seed" are on some mass produced seed packets where they obviously don't change the directions to match the individual species.
the year i did Siberian Iris' ... i was constantly pushing those seeds back in the ground... i guess they were popping up with the 'heave' of the soil. but i also noticed, ones that i missed and were still on the surface... they still germinated while they were on the surface.
Gymgirl, you have encouraged me. : ) I will keep you posted on when (not if) they germinate. I still have a couple more varieties to sow. Need to find more jugs. I emailed everyone I know that lives close by asking them to save milk jugs and the large pop bottles. I have a couple of jugs planted with hostas, one of johnny jump ups, and one of columbine. I need more jugs. : ( I only have about 130 more pkts of seeds to plant.
Wow! You people have been busy -- must be time for me to get going again. I have a few milk jugs and grape boxes (sams) started, but obviously not enough! I'm almost afraid to start too many. . .where oh where, will they all go? I'm also trying to be smart about all of this -- If I plant it AND they grow, then I have to water it. . . all summer. And Texas manages to have some real scorchers. So, I'm trying to plant only those that claim they can make it in heat, humidity and drought. . . which really limits my choices. But nothing worse than planting and then having the extreme heat destroy it.
Planning is so much fun. Tomorrow I get to sow a few more -- looking forward to it!
You can also just buy water in big jugs, a great idea I learned from diamond. I dont drink enough milk to collect those containers and when I do, I always buy it in the wax container because it keeps longer and tastes better, to me.
Water jugs are less expensive too.Good luck on your 'maters.
If you have friends with kids you can ask them too:) I don't drink enough milk or soda to save enough bottles for myself either so I recruited outside help. I like the rectangular bottles from Ocean Spray Cranberry and Grapefruit juice too.