Thanks jada, we don't use much milk either, and we don't drink pop at all. I don't buy water as our water here is very good. I need to learn to think creatively, hard for me to do. : ( Our weather is starting to get a little better so will be able to go out to the rock pile soon. : )
dmac, I put out an email to everyone close by to save milk/pop containers, then contacted my neighbors with kids. Hopefully they will start rolling in. : )
Check for milk jugs at your local coffee shoppes (STARBUCKS!) I've been getting about 20 milk jugs every time I call them to save for me -- and some places will even give you the coffee grinds, too, for your compost pile!
I just did a bunch of wintersowing this morning. I tried an assembly line style this year. I labeled all my milk jugs first and taped the corresponding seed packets to the outsides of the corresponding jugs. I then got a big bin full of my potting mix added water and mixed it up. I filled all my jugs with the potting mix. Then I sowed my seeds and taped up the jugs. It went pretty fast.
Here's a list of what I sowed today. I'm still waiting for some seeds to come in, but feel like I'm off to a good start :)
Achillea “Flowerburst Red”
Columbine "Origami White"
Columbine "Tower White"
Delphinium “Centurion Gentian Blue”
Delphinium “Centurion Sky Blue”
Delphinium “Connecticut Yankee”
Delphinium “Double Blue Lace”
Delphinium “Centurion Royal Purple”
Delphinium "Magic Fountain cherry blossom/white bee"
Delphinium "Magic Fountain Dark Blue/White Bee"
Delphinium "Magic Fountain Lilac Pink/White Bee"
Digitalis purpurea "Camelot White"
Digitalis purpurea "Snow Thimble"
Hibiscus "Disco Belle White"
Lobelia "Fan Blue"
Lobelia "Compliment Mix"
Penstemon heterophyllus “True Blue”
Prunella “Freelander Blue”
Thymus serpyllum “Mother of Thyme”
Veronica "Sightseeing Mixture"
I was like a caged animal for the last 5 days. Surgery on my left index finger left me unable to do ANYTHING I wanted to do in the garden or in the house (I did manage a one-handed WSing activity on the third day...)
But, by day #5, yesterday, the HOLIDAY!, I bit the bullet (almost literally when I forgot I wasn't supposed to flex...), and went out and did some light duty cleaning up on my concrete launching pad.
I found a great use for plant tape, too! For when your surgical bandage won't stay stuck!
Ok. I just am just about to die. For some reason I ventured over into the tomatoes forum and decided to RE-read Dr. Carolyn Male's instructions on starting tomatoes from seeds. And under her first MUST DO item was clearly stated that tomato seeds MUST be started in artificial mix and NOT in the MG potting mix I used...I have sowed almost 20 jugs of tomato seeds...
I KNEW this two years ago when I was a total UBERnewb! I got all caught up in the WSing adventure, and I totally forgot this one critical step. The fungus are probably munching on my seeds as we speak...
I need a pill...seriously...and, I bought ALL new seeds this time...
Yeah, I don't get it. How does she define "artificial mix"? what's that? How is it any different from MG potting mix? I don't use MG, but most wintersowers I know (and that's a lot, on this forum and the other one too) use MG for everything with good results.
Gymgirl, I did the same thing, used MG. : ( I didn't know we weren't suppose to. You are really quite inovative. : )
tcs, okay my heart is beating again. That was a big scare, I planted all of my tomato seeds already in MG.
Wow, pgt that is a really impressive list. I love reading what others are sowing.
Gymgirl wrote: I ventured over into the tomatoes forum and decided to RE-read Dr. Carolyn Male's instructions on starting tomatoes from seeds.
I DONT GET TO... ooops... over to that forum often.. but i'm assuming that those in the Tomato Forum start their seeds inside and under lights. You should not have a fungus problem when Ws'ing... from what i've read [in other places] the fungus issue is an Inside Sowing issue. your's should be just fine.
What’s in a Soilless Potting Mix?
Most soilless mixes are predominantly sphagnum peat moss. Sphagnum peat is lightweight, inexpensive and in certain areas, renewable. Just as importantly, it’s well draining yet water retentive. Granted, until you get the peat thoroughly moistened, the particles can be very unpleasant to work with. Peat is also on the acidic side and most seed starting mixes have a soil pH around 5.8, which is fine for starting most seeds.
There are also amendments added to the peat, which can include:
Bark: Bark is added to improve drainage and air space within the mix. This means it will also decrease the water retention slightly. Bark mixes are better for use with mature plants that need to dry between waterings than for starting seeds.
Coir: Coir is a coconut fiber by-product and works similar to peat in providing good drainage while also retaining water. It’s often used as a substitute in areas where peat is hard to come by.
Perlite: Perlite is that stuff that looks like pebbly Styrofoam. It’s a volcanic mineral, although it does not affect the nutrient quality or the pH of the mix. It does add in drainage and in air and water retention, that magical balance. In fact, it is sometimes used in outdoor gardens to prevent sandy soil from leaching nutrients.
Vermiculite: Vermiculite is those silvery-gray flecks you see in potting soil. It’s a mica-type material that is heated up and expanded, to increase it’s water holding capacity. The particles soak up water and nutrients and hold them in the mix until the plants are ready to access them. Perlite is also good as a soil covering for seeds that need to remain consistently moist to germinate.
You may see vermiculite for sale at home improvement stores, for use in insulation or plaster. This grade vermiculite is not really suitable for potting mixes since it does not absorb water easily.
Some mixes will also include fertilizer and/or trace elements or a wetting agents.
Yes...but... walk around a store and read labels. Many are called 'potting soil" . If you read the list of ingredients they'll include the above in different combinations, but no soil. Betcha a nickel.
I just checked on the potting mix I bought today (@Sam's...soil and pretzel store) It is MG and says it has forest product compost among some of the other items mentioned like perlite, coir and sphagnum moss.
Thanks for reminding me! I've got a friend who has been saving those big Sam's Snack cannisters all year for my WSing! I've got to go get them!
Like Karen (the WSing guru) said, I'd burn/poke holes in the cannisters and take the top off. Unfortunately, because of the height, we'll still need to slit em open to retrieve our seedlings.
I'm thinking, however, that if I cut my big square ones horizontally, like the milk jugs, I could start some special tomato seeds and deep root em as they grow taller, by just adding more potting mix as they get taller. By the time they reach the top, would be just about the time I'd do the transplant, and send them into shock with a good root system already in place.
How does this logic work for the tomato growers in this room? LMK soonest!
I see you're a tomato grower. Bocabob started this over in his coco coir forum last growing season, and it worked like a charm. He started seedlings deep down in his 5-gallon grow bags and added coco coir as they grew up. He never did transplant them at all, and had a BUMPER crop of healthy, well rooted tomatoes.
Joy1128 recreated the experiment last growing season in her garden with the same results. I'd have to remove the seedlings from the containers to plant out to the 5-gallon eBuckets or the 20-gallon tree containers, but there'd be one nice set 'a roots on those seedlings!
Hey, I'm not the guru. That title belongs to Trudi and Trudi alone. I take no credit for her creativity or all her work. I learned most that I know from her and the wintersowing forum at GW. Later, I joined Dave's and picked up some additional tips here. I do my best though, to pay it foreward.- share what I've learned with other gardeners.
I've never tried those big containers from Sams, just because they're too big too tall for my taste. They look like work and bother. Above all else, I'm lazy. You know me, I live my milk jugs and 2 liters.
Wahoo!!! Gymgirl, you just formed another thought in my head. : ) I can use some of the used tree nursery pots (10 gal size) to plant the determinate types of tomatoes. That would also make the soil warm quicker her in our PNW. So I will start out with the soil about 1/2 way up and add soil as the tomato grows. What do you think? I can set these around the yard and not use up all my raised beds with so many tomato plants. It's been 2 years since I've grown Matt's Wild Cherry because it took up so much room. One plant filled a 4 x 8 raised bed and went 9 feet tall. I had to keep pruning it to keep it from spilling over into the neighboring beds. Those are very tasty tomatoes.
Not only do I think that you are going to have a fantastic year with your tomatoes, and that I will be receiving some 'a Matt's seeds, but you've also given ME an idea of how to create a MUCH-NEED trellis system over my potting area with that branch you've got stretched overhead!
I am just about to burst!
What you proposed to do with the 10 gallon tree containers is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. I'd start filling in at 1/3 rather than 1/2 way, if the seedling's strong enough. The container will provide warmth and protection till it grows up higher.
"You've got it, Toyota!"
And, don't forget to post the success story pics, please!
It's actually a home made pipe frame for hanging/storing bicycles (7 ft. tall x 8 ft. long). I found it at a yard sale. Everyone including my husband thought I lost my mind, paid $2.00 for it and he had to come with the pickup to take it home. He likes it now. : )
Gymgirl, my Matt's Wild Cherry seed will be here next week. I ordered the larger size so I can share. Let me know if you would like some. : ) Make sure you give it lots of space. : )
I don't see the picture of your pipe fram bike rack? Do you elevate it over one of your raised beds for the tomatoes to climb on?
I just started reading this thread. I think I'm going over to the recycling center to see what plastic jugs I can find. I'll also pick up some sterile potting soil on my way back and get on the Winter Sowing Band Wagon!
Valleylynn, I really just need to figure out how 2 construct a PVC A-Frame like for a swing so t can put it over my line of tomatoes. Then I could take it down at the end of the growing season. I already have clips for the maters. Just throw guide lines over top of the frame.
Creekside, Walmart has the big bags of MG for $5. something. I got two bags yesterday. They have them in the outside plant area still on pallets.
The pipe fram is hidden by the one tomato plant. : ) You can see a little bit of the top in the picture.
Nice part about Matt's is that they trellis really well. I think I'm going to grow it on our wire boundry fence this year. Keep the raised beds for some other things. : ) You can also put up one of those nylon garden nets on a wooden fence for a trellis, we put one on each side of the frame (like a swing set frame). Works great.
Gymgirl they have fittings that will work for doing that with the PVC pipe. Just be sure to put caps on the bottom of the legs so they don't sink into the dirt as the plants get heavier. We put small blocks of wood under the bicycle frame.
Karen, you are da W/S guru, or at least ours. I have read all of the wintersowing threads, and they are many. And I have Trudi's site on quick click, so you know how much I've read on there. LOL. I've gotten so many good tips from everyone. But I have to tell you, you have simplified it for me so very much. And I thank you for all of your patience. And to everyone else, thanks a million for all of your input.
valleylynn, was that MG potting mix for 5.00? Awesome price.
Quoting: would like to try WS. I have lots of these containers. Would they work?
Bananna, I've used those types of containers and they work, but the ones I've used from BJs have quite thick clear plastic walls, and they are a BEAR to cut into for bottom-drainage. Easy for the blade to slip! I've nearly replicated Gymgirl's finger a few times (hope yours is better now, GG!) and I've decided to stick to thin-walled jugs and soda bottles for safety's sake.
Ya'll really don't wanna know how my finger is. The one that I almost sliced off cutting winter sowing jugs has healed quite nicely, thank you, but...
On December 22, I tripped and fell over an improperly parked pallet dolly in a Supermarket, while holding a small glass bowl. Small nick on top of the big knuckle on my left index finger. Bled like a stuck pig! But. Go home, neosporin, bandage, good to go, finger all healed up...
Fast forward to January 11, 2010 when I'm getting the finger x-rayed cause I can't bend it without excruciating pain. And touching the top was like hitting a raw nerve..
Fast forward to January 14, 2010 when I'm under general anesthesia in surgery having that finger cut open so they can fish out whatever's in there that shouldn't be...a piece of the glass bowl...and a big glob of something trying to cover over the glass like the pearl in the oyster...
Fast forward to TODAY, when I can hardly bend my finger at all, and cannot GRIP anything with my left hand because I'll rip the stitches...
Fast forward to the day when all my PAIN is gone, AND my SUFFERING is over, 'cause all I can do is stare longingly out the window into the yard that I can't go play in very well...
The Store Claims rep who told me this morning to be glad I had a hand at all, since there were people who had lost theirs in accidents...
I hung up and thought of all the choice pieces of my mind I was gonna call back to give her, but (TGIC), I decided those were parts I couldn't afford to lose, especially since my claim is still open and active...
You are so good at making me laugh Gymgirl. I'm not laughing at you, but with you. May you be able to perform the 'Happy Dance' soon. I can't believe the Store Claims Rep said that!!! She needs to take a class in how to help people.
Gymgirl...ouchie. you're making my finger hurt! gosh...I know it doesnt seem like it now but you are lucky that it didnt do more damage. i'm sure we could all tell you horrow stories...but we'll be nice. ;) but you know, I think I'd be calling that store's claim rep's boss. there's no excuse for her remarks. IMHO anyhow.
no WS here yet. i'm just lurking. I think I was about 6 weeks too early last year so as much as i am anxious to get started...i'm living vicariously thru ya'll right now.
Veronica, Iron Weed
Verbena Hastata, Pink Spires
Veronica, Darwin's Blue
"Butter cups" - no idea what these are... the lady i took the seeds from says she calls them "Buttercups".
it's perennial in zone4, and does well in the shade. I never did get a pic of them.
Last night I stop by one of my garden club buddies house to pick up more milk jugs... not thinking about how many they said they had for me (I should have taken the pick up truck) so here I go in my little 4 door car, get there and he is opening the back of his pick up truck and there are 50+ jugs in there. So there I go stuffing them in the back seats until I can no longer get the door shut... so next open the front passenger door to pile in more, (all the while wishing I had emptied out the trunk where I have other milk jugs stored...) and more and more thinking how in the world am I going to drive home?????? finally come to the end of the jugs. Say thanks and good night and then comes the task of getting in the drivers seat and trying to find the floor gear shift to put it in drive... finally find it and get it done...
thank goodness it was night so that I could see the shine of headlights to let me know at that left turn stop sign that there was a car coming... ok coast is clear and off I go, make it home... safe and sound but this old girl isn't going to be doing that anymore...LOL
I just wonder what the cars that had headlights shine in on me where thinking, LOL
Holy heck, Linda. You don't have babies in those jugs, they're teenagers. Yep, looks like a root there.
nannieb: Why do you say you were 6 weeks too early last year?
Only 10 jugs done here. I haven't taken inventory in my yard yet. I need to get out and see what I left in fall in terms of perennials, and what looks like it will survive the winter. Then I'll know how much I can sow. I do have at least a million volunteer seedlings carpeting the flower beds. Must cull those when weather breaks.
I've been WS like crazy since last Oct. I'm officially out of benches for more trays and pots of seeds so I'm already cleaning up the nursery display area and moving mature plants off the benches so I can get going again. Already have LOTS of lil green sprouts.
You can check out my Winter Sowing '09-'10 journel to see what all I've sewn so far. I'll be updating it today with all the new sprout sightenings.
ive w/s a few flower seeds today such as calendula, violas/pansies, agastache and poppy . im keeping a journal on google docs as to what specifically ive sown day by day..ive decided i am not going to go all out like i have done in the past and just do one day at a time hopefully being more focused and being more selective.
ive never w/s petunias or tomatoes but i will try some probably next week. i will indoor sow those two for comparison.
Karen, because we have late springs typically. we still had frost in May. and it was too cold for me to get my beds ready. or the garden plowed where I could put out tomatoes and few other veggies that i sowed. so my plants were spilling out over the jugs.
i may change my mind but i just thought i'd wait a bit.
Janet, that goes under the heading of a dedicated WinterSower =) driving with all those jugs. i should take a picture of mine...they are on a clothesline going down the stairs to the basement. it looks like it could float a boat.
No more nightmares for me. I just found a source for 1 gallon milk jugs. I will be able to WS. The little town of Monmouth has a neighborhood recycle center that everyone takes their stuff to. I got 22 jugs today. I am so happy. Right now I have 10 jugs with 10 varieties of tomatoes. I can now do the other varieties and start on flower and shrub seeds. : ) When I run out of these jugs I'll go get more. Life is good!!!
Meadowyck, can't wait to see your new idea.
This message was edited Jan 25, 2010 11:49 PM
Bad spelling again. : (
nannie -- that is one issue i have with direct sowing -- especially plants that are new to me... i probably end up pulling them all thinking they are weeds.
one thing dawned on me late Fall. I had been thinking about 'grasses' and how i have the toughest time growing them.
A few yrs back a neighbor gave me a ton... i mean stuffed gallon ziploc of Zebra Grass. I tried to WS some, zip - nadd nothing ... so last spring, i raked up about an 8" circle in a newer bed, and put the seeds down... then mid summer, i see all this grass invading my new bed, and pulled it all. did not dawn on me til months later, that it was probably the zebra grass i had direct sown. Next time i will put a small fence around it and tag it.
I did that my first year, direct sow some zinnia seeds and forgot all about them and then in late May they started popping up and I thought they were weeds, so I pulled them out. Then I went to my mother and saw the leaves and thought "Oh no!" I managed to salvage a few anyway.
It's sorta like "fix it and forget it" except that you do need to remember to check on the jugs if you don't get any rain or moisture. You also get better germination because you don't have to sow as many to get the same number of plants.
up here... we dont have to worry about that for months... mine stay pretty well frozen until March/April time frame -- weather depending. I really dont have to water until April or so. Only once the sun is out daily and it's warmer.
Steph, et al.
Most all my tomato seedlings have germinated, as have all the bell peppers that are inside in jugs. I turn the fluorescent lights on the bells for 4-5 hours in the evenings. The bells are about 2.5-3" tall and look content 4 now.
The mater seedlings outside are about 1.5-2" tall and look good.
This is my 1st time WSing tomato n other veggie seeds and I'd like 2 ask if I now proceed as if they had come up under the lights inside? What do I do 2 keep the BP happy inside? When do I put them outside 2 harden off? What about feeding them?
Sorry 4 so many ??, but ya'll are the experienced WSers here, and I'd like 2 keep my seedlings alive and healthy. I've got lots of people depending on these seedlings...
Your brain and fingers work too fast, I can't keep up with your thought processing.
I've done WSown toms in jugs. They're the one thing I have potted up into cups. This is because they grow fast but can't be planted out until late here. But if you pot up into cups, you can add potting mix to the top as the toms grow. As a result the tom ends up planted deeper and forming roots from the stem. It's comparable to a store bought tom where you just plant it deep. One of the beauties of WSown is little to no hardening off. They were born outside so are pretty well hardened from birth. If they've been in mostly shade you could gradually give them more sun exposure.
Since our spring was so cold last year I started toms inside. Grew them in cups and added soil to top as they grew. I put them outside on our rare nice days and brought them inside at night when it was cold. Worked well. I rarely feed them but use very gentle organic fert, diluted a lot, when I do feed them.
I WSowed the toms in '08. They were small at plant out, probably only 5" tall. Once planted out, they quickly caught up to store bought ones which were a foot taller when planted out at the same time.
I start so few seeds inside that I wouldn't try to offer advice on that. But you can start to harden off anything once your weather is nice. Just give a little sun at a time, starting with dappled shade under a tree works well. I just start off by giving them field trips outside for a short time on nice days. Also hardens them off to wind.
I plan on WSing my tomatoes and bell peppers. I'm planning on transplanting them into 16oz. Solo-esque cups. We got a huge bag, probably 500 of them, at Sam's for super cheap. I'm also going to use them to transplant my giveaway flowers into for the Spring RU which should be coming up in April or so.
From your replies, I now know that I should proceed like I did inside after the seedlings came up under lights. I understand about the up potting process very well, and will proceed accordingly.
Since I'll be selling/giving away the majority of these tomato seedlings, I'll need to up pot into cups to get them to good size stock. Since they're outside in the cool and (controlled) sunshine, they shouldn't stretch and get all leggy. Consequently, I'll pot up once into the 16 oz red Solo cups (like you said) and deep root them by adding potting soil as they grow taller (like Karen said).
And, prayerfully, I should have close to nursery quality seedlings to offer!
Thanks for that input.
Now, regarding what to do with the bell pepper seedlings that came up INSIDE under lights. I'm thinking it's far too early to put them outside, cause they'll just start to pout in the cold. So, I'll continue with them inside until we get consistently milder days.
Maybe I'll take them out on a field trip periodically...
P.S. Do bell pepper plants grow roots along their stem like tomatoes do? If so, I could deep root those as well. LMK.
LOL! We were totally shocked! The DH saved this guy who'd volunteered in the watermelon/pumpkin bed last fall. We were cleaning it out to plant garlic. I'm sure it's from seed that were tossed with a tomato in the compost pile. Stuck it in a pot and when it started getting cold at night, moved it into the sunroom where it gets tons of sunshine. We've been watering it about once a week through the winter. This past week, the temps outside reached the 70s, but we didn't move it outside. When it started to bloom, we'd shake the branches when we went out, but left it alone otherwise. Now, we have about 5 toms on it! I'll keep ya posted on any other developments.
70 degrees, oh that sounds heavenly. We will get about 50 today, which is really warm for us this time of year.
I just love your little tomato plant stephanie, think I might try that next Fall. We too ended up with tiny seedlings popping up in the Fall. It sure won't be a Matt's Wild Cherry however, that would take over the whole house in no time. : )
Well, I took my flu self outside for a walk a few hours ago. It is sooo beautiful today. 66 degrees of wonderful sun and light breezes. Needless to say, I started playing in my garden and forgot I was sick.. At least until I came in and sat down. Oh dear... I think I should have just sat in the sunshine, instead...
As soon as I get better, I think I need to start working off some of this winter bulk or I will never be able to do all the squatting,lifting and bending it's going to take to get my poor garden back in shape.
I figured all those holes in the top of my jugs could catch more than rain, so I just set the garden hose on shower and aimed for the tops. And all those drain holes in the bottom work pretty well too!
Should my Ws jugs be in the shade? I have them on the south side of my house right now, but was reading on the seed germination site that some seed containers should be on the north side of the house...Should most containers be protected from bright light?.. I have Dianthus bath's pink, verbascum southern charm, and yellow lupine already sprouting.. Once these sprout should I open the container tops for ventilation or wait till the second set of leaves? Thanks for any help Trish
gymgirl put me on to this thread after i d-mailed her and asked questons about her winter sowing. i get the concept but after the seeds germinate and they start growing don't you have to take them out and repot them and when you do that don't the repotted seedlings have to go under lights??
i would like to try winter sowing next season as i do not have milk jugs or anthing like that now. i live in new york so when is the right time to start my seeds??
Herbie, I think you could use old plastic storage totes if you have them. I am thinking about using a couple of under the bed storage one. Anyone try these before? I have little plastic tags so you could mark where you change seeds.
and there are so many different types of containers you could use... milk jugs [any type of gallon] vinegar, water, juice
are nice... they have that built in handle and are roomy. but you dont have to have them. when i run out, i get creative. As long as the sunlight will penetrate it, and i can get 3-4" of soil -- plus room for the seedlings to grow... i'll use it.
and yes... one of the great things about WS'ing is no lights, no indoor shelving units, etc.
just sow'em and stick'em out in the 'wild'... let mother nature do her thing. They will germinate when they are ready, then when it's planting time, you just plant them. no transferring to larger pots... just right into the ground or container - if you are putting them in containers.
Can anyone tell me if the small aluminum roasting pans with clear lids are appropriate for winter sowing? I'm a newbie and my husband is not going to fall for milk or juice jugs in the yard. Does the container have to be see thru plastic or just the lids?
Please allow me to clear up the confusion I caused by stating I was "Up Potting" my WS seedlings.
Since I'm growing MOST of my tomato seedlings for OTHER gardeners, I will need to separate and grow them into hardy stock with good root systems. Consequently, I'll up pot ONLY those seedlings being offered to other growers. I'll ahve to transplant them into 16 oz. Solo cups and deep root them for individual sale/giveaway.
The tomato and other veggie seedlings I'm keeping for myself are following the instructions on this and the 1st of our WSing discussion threads. I will transplant my own tomato seedlings into their final destination, and will deep root them in place..
I do have one exception: I have 7 jugs of sprouted bell peppers inside. I made this decision because it's still too cold out (at least, I think it is...). If I had put the jugs in the yard with the others, I think the bells wouldn't have germinated as soon as they did (in 9 days!). They're on my light shelf, and I turn the fluorescent lights on when I get home at 6p and turn them off around 10-11p before I go to bed. These are the only WS veggies
in the house under lights (loosely speaking). And this ain't gonna last much longer, either.
I'm thinking that I'll put those jugs outside this weekend in some really bright sunshine to create the warm internal environment the bells like. I'll monitor that sunshine so they don't fry!
Hope this clarifies my procedure and intent.
I am LOVING this WSing process.
I do NOT miss the shelves, lights, timers, and my DH complaining about his electricity bill!!!
^^_^^♪♪♫♫ (Me doing the WSing happy dance to music!)
stephanietx wrote:I plan on WSing my tomatoes and bell peppers. I'm planning on transplanting them into 16oz. Solo-esque cups. We got a huge bag, probably 500 of them, at Sam's for super cheap. I'm also going to use them to transplant my giveaway flowers into for the Spring RU which should be coming up in April or so.
Stephanie, I did the same thing last year. I put a couple hundred tomato plants in solo cups with holes drilled in the bottom (you can drill through 5-6 at a time), and lined them up by variety in one of those deeper underbed storage boxes. It kept them all upright on the way to the Round-up in Iowa, but wasn't so deep that it was hard for people to see the labels or access the plants. Worked great! I did use my label-maker to label each cup, though, as I was afraid any labels stuck in the dirt might get switched, with so many people looking through them.
edited to add the quote of stephanie's post. I realized I should have put it in, so you all knew what I was referring to when I said "I did the same thing last year." LOL
Quoting:does anyone water milk jugs from the bottom? I had problems with mine drying out last year.
Bluegrass, I can't remember where I read this, but some people do water from the bottom by placing their sprouted jugs in a larger container (like a little plastic child's swimming pool) and putting water in that to be sucked up through the drainage holes. This would work, of course, only when the weather warms up!
RE: I watered from the top. but I also put my jugs in cardboard boxes ( a hint I got on the WS forum last year) and that seemed to help my jugs from drying out. But, we had also had a lot of rain last spring too. I wasnt gentle with my watering either...I figure Mother Nature isn't when she waters =)
the boxes kept the jugs from blowing away or critters disturbing them and also retained water. here's some that I had opened and was 'sunning' them around the first of April last year. you can see how the boxes held the moisture.
tcs1366 - o.k. you convinced me to try it next season. i have three questions though. o.k. say i start my seeds in february. i can put the containers in the front of my house tucked in and around some evergreens i have growing. they will get the morning light and will be sheltered under the eves (since they are under the eves they probably won't get a lot of rain and snow, does that matter??)
when do you think they will start to germinate and that is my second question. once the seeds germinate when do i lift the cover on my milk containers so that they are completely erxposed and three, oncethey get really growing do i put them in the back of my house wehre there is sun for most of the day.
I leave the lid off mine right from the get go... and put a few more vents along the top of the sides .. so when the weather warms up... I can open the vents... they don't need to be in a sheltered spot ... only secured so they don't blow over... I put mine against my deck rail and usually prop them against each other with something that has some weight.. some of last years filled containers usually do that job well
Frank, while cold or frozen, the soil in the containers seems to retain moisture quite well, but once warmer temps arrive, you'll need to check them to make sure they're moist. Mine start germinating in March here, but that depends on the seed sown- hardy, cool weather plants germinate early, like Poppies and Wallflowers, but many others wait till temps are steadily warm. In April I see loads germinating every day. Some are just naturally slow, I've had Columbine wait till June to germinate. I keep the lids attached till danger of frost has passed or the plants outgrow the container, whichever comes first (I typically don't have any that big till after danger of frost, but hardy plants I often plant out early while quite small and they do just fine). I wouldn't put them in a lot of sun once they're up and growing, mainly because they tend to dry out quickly. If the lids are still attached, that may allow too much heat to build up. I find morning sun works beautifully for them.
went with DH to a consultation... ended up being gone 5.5 hrs!! but i got a gyro dinner out of it.
Frank... for milk jugs or any container with a screw cap... just toss it, you dont need it.
as Neal said... once it gets warm, you can removed the top half, so your seedlings dont fry in the hot sun [it gets warm in there] though most of us do not totally remove and throw away the top half until your 'last frost' date.
i gave my soil a good soaking and let it drain for a day or so before I sowed any seeds so that i wouldnt have to water and disturb anything for a few days.
i sowed seeds on top of the soil. I did not cover them. (again, it was that's how Mother Nature sows her seeds thing)
another hint I read last year about 'lessons learned' ( i tried to scroll back to last year to find it because it was the most concise list of tips that ive seen so far, but, didnt find it. yet)
was that she made a label of the plant and inserted it in a cheap sandwich ziplock bag. because using markers on the outside faded, etc., etc., so I made a double sided one. rolled it up and inserted it against the wall of the jug between it and the dirt so that I could see it thru the jug and so that if it faded, i could still see the one on the inside. I only had one mess up...the bag wasnt sealed tightly. but it worked. might have been over kill .
I didnt transplant anything to pots/cups unless i was sharing it with friends. mine went from the jugs to the ground.
here's my labels in 2 ltr bottles. (i like them because you could watch them grow)
I use a #2 pencil and old mini blinds as plant markers. The pencil doesn't fade or wear off over the year. (I found some markers out in the garden today that I could still read just as though I'd written them yesterday.) I put one inside the jug as well as mark on the outside of the jug.
I bought a large bag of Miracle Grow potting Mix over the weekend, got about 10 jugs ready about three weeks ago and is still looking to collect a few more, found some really old packets of seeds, along with seeds I have collected in my various trips the past 5 years, and a few recent seeds collected last season. Thinking about planting in the next few weeks. I guess that makes me one of the slow pokes. I had really planned on sowing some of the digitalis early to fool them into blooming later this year, but, I think I missed the window of opportunity.
Hats off to those of you who have rows and rows of jugs planted, labeled, and ready for action.
Linda -- when i was at Sam's last - and picked up that huge bag of MG, there was a different bag next to it, about one third the price... so i stood there comparing the two. both where MG. the newer one, was $5something... but it said...
Miracle Gro Potting SOIL -- where the other one $12something did say Potting MIX.
the potting soil did say... Not to be used in containers. and something about amending soil.
you'd have to read it pretty closely - and i guess not be a novice ... even though i stood there a while trying to find the 'ingredients' [never did] but a gal came over and started talking to me ... she basically said... oh - this stuff will turn rock hard if you use it in containers.
You might want to watch the garden soils in bags. Some of them have sewage tankage in them listed as manure. Some of these tankages have not been properly digested and can cause illnesses... som also have heavy metals in them.
I went out and checked my bags of MG. There is a difference, unknowingly I bought both kinds, There is a difference in texture and the soil mix one doesn't have perlite or vermiculite in it, it is also much cheaper. Hope this isn't going to make a difference in WS seed starting. : ( It does say on the bag for in ground use, not for pots.
Well, I learned something new. I am going to see what the results are between seeds started in both.
why dont you try a sample of it... put it in a pot of some sort, add water and see what it does after a few days... how's your weather? can you put it outside with out it freezing? [I couldn't... we are only 10F right now]
You just dont want it to turn hard... if it compacts too much, the seeds can't "breathe"
I dont know enough about it to know if adding perlite would help.. maybe someone else would know.
Gymgirl, I thought that was a great question. Now we are aware there is a difference and it could be a problem for WS.
tcs, I will do that test right now.
We are pretty warm right now for Jan (unusually so), 30's night time,low 50's daytime. We will be getting some freezing weather before it's all over for Winter.
I don't especially like Miracle Grow and don't use it much, so can't comment on their soils. But generally garden soil is not recommended for containers.Google it. Read the label for ingredients. If it's soil, I wouldn't use it. It might work OK, but might not. Why set yourself up for failure?
well, MG brand period is not my first choice, but I live 50-60 miles from big stores or garden centers. or sams. if i dont plan ahead and want something now, or cant get to real shopping, lol, I have to settle for the store I dread the worst...starts with wal and ends with mart, lol. their selection s*cks
I haven't even started sowing yet. Just got the stupid cast off my stupid elbow and it's still sore. Plenty of winter left to work with though--supposed to be minus 3 tonight.
I have a bag of that MG organic choice garden soil still laying around. I haven't opened it yet to see what it's like but I can mix it with aged pine bark fines and poultry grit if it's too heavy. And the giant leaf bin of leftovers and dumped out pots from the fall should work nicely.
Well, I'm late getting started this year, but yesterday I sowed salvias (four kinds), gazania, gaillardia, cordydalis lutea, aconite and crocosmia Emberglow. Will be sowing more this weekend, as we're supposed to be snowed in, so it'll be a good time for me to get myself in gear. I'm using anything I can get my hands on: milk jugs, 2-liter pop bottles, large plastic cherry tomato boxes from Sam's Club, the large plastic baby spring mix containers from same place, even converted some plastic domes from CD cases into use. I do want to get some of the larger plastic drink cups to use for seeds that I don't want to sow a gazillion of. I have some caryopteris that I will be starting in the freezer, as Hort.mag says to start them. Going to get those babies going, too.
Oh, and yesterday while DH was taking out some spireas for a bed we're redoing, he found egg cases for Chinese mantids! Hoping we'll have some blessed events this spring when they hatch. Love the praying mantises. Woohoo!
Angie -- when i was doing my fall clean up, i found a bunch too... but it 's usually after i've done the clean up... So i just push, whatever branch/stick/whatever, back into the ground... they are sort of clustered together... not sure if htat is good or bad, since they will eat each other if there is not other food supply.
In the 8.5 yrs i've been here... I've seen the mature ones since about year 2, and last year was the first time i saw a juvenile. they are cute lil buggers.
Okay, guys since were on the subject of planting medium, I have a question. Is potting soil and garden soil the same thing? I know that garden soil is just that, it's for outdoor use, and not even for container growing. I have a bag of Wal-Mart Expert brand potting soil that I was given last summer (I thought it was potting mix until I opened it recently and saw how heavy it was). I will use that if I need extra backfill when I put potted plants in the ground. I've since bought a large bag of MG potting mix which I will use for WS. This is my first year, and I want to do it right. So, I want to say thanks for joggy my memory to take a 2nd look at the label.
Nanniepb, are you saying that the potting soil is appropiate for indoor/outdoor potted plants?
Linda... what would you like to see a photo of?
the "egg" or mantis? i dont have an image of the juvie though.
and an egg... i'd have to run out in ... Ummm, 5 degree temps to take a pic... you may have to wait til it warms up a bit.
if you research them... they are quite fascinating .. the female is larger than the males... they will eat each other if there is no other food source... and at the end of their life cycle, they mate, usually killing the male... while they are mating... she will usually kill and partially eat him as they mate. from what i recall , the head has the most nutrients ... once i found just the body still clinging to my fence...head was gone.
then the female wanders off to lay her egg sack... then dies. here that is usually November time frame. Weather depending...
Here is what I have Winter Sown so far: Tomatoes:
Black Sea Man
Magyar Piros Boker
Matt's Wild Cherry
Super Snow White
Hosta Big Daddy
Hosta On Stage
Hosta Silver Lode
Viola Heatsease 'Johnny Jump Up'
Dicentra scandens 'yellow bleeding heart'
Much more seed to go. : )
That's the absolute beauty of Winter Sowing! You don't necessarily need to wait on the weather, as long as the tender stuff is protected when the temps drop.
Karen says she waits until all danger of frost has passed before sowing non-frost hardy vegetation, but mentioned she's pushed the envelope a time or two and sowed anyway. She had time to sow again if stuff didn't make it...
Jada, it will be awhile before these germinate. It is cold and damp here. Have you done WS before? If so how did it do for you? This is my first time. I have already planned out where the different ones will be planted. If all my planning works I will be in tomato heaven. : )
Speaking of rocks, wonder if putting some of the big ones against the jugs when the seeds germinate will help them along by storing heat during the day? I wouldn't do it until they germinate.
Thats good advice Gymgirl. But I have seeds given to me by folks that I cant replace and I really wanted to wait till the optimal time to make sure I get some germination if any. I might try a few indoors too just to increase my chances. The wx here is too iffy right now for vegetables I think.
And if I did them now, I'd be too busy worrying about them to do anything else. I dont really want to babysit, I have too much on my plate:-)
I saw your pics and your setup is impressive! especially the 5 gal veggies. I wish I could do that...thinking about it for next year...
Sorry Lynn, I cross posted. I think the rock heaters would work!
I started wsing in 2007 and it worked great! I have been busy these past winters, but this year I have many containers and many more to do. I'll post a pic for you when I take one. I use the HD containers and 9oz clear plastic cups in them.
I can get 24-32 cups in each one, which gives me a chance to get ALL my seeds done. So far I have about 5-6 containers, so thats about 120 different varietes, minimum, that are wsown.
Ok, my WSing plans for this weekend include HOSing some of those mustard seedlings into other containers so they can stretch out. I have so many, I can afford to lose a few.
I also have to plant some Snow peas out that have been in the little peat pots since I bought them about 4-5 weeks ago -- it's a miracle they're still alive, although damping off tried to set in. But I curbed that with some H2O2...
Also, my "air" potato experiment necessitates me prepping at least one of the washing machine tubs. I have seed potatoes that have sprouted and are growing potatoes while on a paper plate in a dark cabinet in my office!
Here's a pic. Fascinating to see how the potatoes actually grow from side stalks that are traveling underground!
Jada, would love to see the picture, that sounds like a great idea. That would really be a space saver. : )
Linda, that is the first time I have seen potatoes growing out in the open. How cute is that. It will be end of May before I can plant potatoes here.
Herbie, I'm going to let someone else answer your question as I am new to WSing. : )
I'm gonna be a pest and ask my question again: do you do anything differently for seeds that supposedly germinate better in the dark? Dianthus, centaurea, viola etc. I've started Dianthus and Centaurea inside just making sure the seed is completely covered, but I'm afraid they'll rot if I do that WS.
Also, does anyone do more than one kind of seed in a container? I don't have a lot of room for perennials, so some I only need a couple. The smallest thing I have is 2-liter bottles, but I do have a lot of 500ml water bottles I can save. Anyone ever used something like that?
Jadajoy, any pics of the cups in containers? what do you cover the cups with? Those might work better for me.
grrrlgeek, I put different types of the same plant in one container when I use the milk jugs. I might forget later which is which, but it saves space.Its dark here now but I'll take pics in the morning. Someone else will have to answer your other questions.
No progress wintersowing this week, been busy recovering from food poisoning, diagnosing and repairing a problem with my heater, unsuccessfully trying to contact the manager and maintenance staff to repair said problem, and calling realtors. Good news is that there are lot of nicer places with more garden space available. However, I best limit the number of wintersowing containers that have to be moved lest the bf question my sanity.
I definitely have to use up the rest of the potting soil that I sterilized. I have things sown in soda bottles which are stored in plastic trays. Most have dividers (recycled lidoderm patch covers) to fit at least two varieties in each bottle. The bf got the trays to make it easier to transport and store soda. He hasn't seen my alternate use for soda bottles yet. I am not going to mention the alternate use for the soldering iron either. My goal is a cottage style garden with lots of flowers in bloom. I will be happy with several plants of any given variety.
I would love to read any tips to get dianthus to germinate. I haven't wintersown any dianthus , yet. Attempts to start them inside last spring were unsuccessful.
It is 13'F here at the moment. High temperatures for the next couple of days will be in the 20s. I think it is too early to start tender plants like tomatoes here. (Depending on my relocation situation, I may be waiting until next year to start tomatoes). Nevertheless, I am very interested in following everyone's progress with tender annuals, especially veggies. I have limited space for grow lights and seed trays. (I have one wire shelf unit for both my plant supplies and any seedlings under lights. I have more shelves, but no room to set them up.)
ow, hope you're not having to use those patches yourself. Maybe a plastic plant tag stuck down on it's side would work.
I don't remember doing anything special for the dianthus. They were Dianthus plumarius 'Sonata', I started them in these little fiber plugs with holes in the middle. I put dirt over the hole since they supposedly like dark. My note says they germ at 70* so they either weren't on the heating mat or on the very edge where they didn't get much heat. I potted them up into cow pots. They didn't get very big, my fault for not getting them in the ground fast enough, but they were healthy and growing so we'll see if they come back.
Actually I am using the patches myself. I am recovering from a serious auto accident. The patches are preferable to the other medications that I would otherwise have to take. (And still have to take if I overdo it gardening. It doesn't take much for me to overdo it.) The bf did all of the hole digging, rock removing and trellis installation.
Does anyone have dimensions on the 5 gallon growbags that worked well for tomatoes? I am experimenting on making my own. I tried different fabrics/styles for smaller plants last summer. I am ready to try some bigger ones.
Thanks for the tips on dianthus. I tried 'Siberian blue' and 'rainbow loveliness' I got a couple of seeds of the Siberian blue to germinate . They remained tiny hairs and never got big enough to plant out. I tried the rainbow loveliness inside and direct sown. Not one seed germinated. Arggh. Maybe the bf is right about seeds. I am glad to hear that covering them well is adequate. I was concerned that I would miss any germinated seeds if they were covered with brown paper to block the light (some expert somewhere does that sometimes). I guess one could put the container under a box or in a dark spot or something. I have never seen any dianthus or carnation plants around here. On the proposed carnation/dianthus forum, one man buys carnation at Shop Rite (ironically at the same store where the bf saw the carjacking) and roots them. I guess that is another option. The dianthus forum also has links to a lot of online ebooks and other information. I have been reading some (and getting distracted by eBooks on other topics). I haven't found good information(yet) on starting dianthus seeds. I read thru one very interesting chapter on propagating/hybridizing it gave excellent information on pollination, etc. but when it got to planting the resulting seeds it said plant and watch for interesting characteristics. A barren pot of potting soil isn't very interesting (unless you are a fungus gnat).
I can't believe I know something that'll be helpful here! I've started a LOT of dianthus indoors, including Rainbow Loveliness, but I haven't wintersown them before, but I am this year. They reseed well, so I'd think they would be a good candidate for WS. I have always started them indoors, no heat mat, jiffy mix, covered the seed about 1/4".
Looking at my plant list, I've done Rainbow Loveliness many times (it's a short-lived perennial), Siberian Blues, D. Plumarius, and others, all with good results.
Celene, I'll have to keep a look out for 'Jiffy Mix.' Last year I used Shop Rite brand potting soil. It is very heavy and full of mushroom spores and weed seeds. The bf just got some more for me on sale, 'thanks sweetie', at least i know to sterilize it first this time. I think it would be better mixed with peat and perlite to lighten it up a bit.
Did you do anything else for your seeds, mist them, keep them damp or on the dry side? What kind of containers do you start your seeds inside. Do you put a lot in a big pot, individual seeds in peat pots or egg cartons?
I think dianthus are so pretty. I saw so many varieties growing in gardens in Ireland and England, but I haven't seen any growing locally. I got a few varieties in recent swaps. I'll try some of each type wintersowing and keep some in reserve for another try if needed. Actually, that is what I am doing with everything.
I planted 8 more jugs and set them out. It is so cold. Tiffany checked to be certain that no voles were bothering the wintersown containers. My neighbor was joking, "what are you making, moonshine?" I said "no, planting seeds". He said, "I should have known it was some kind of flower." Then he said, careful they (the boozehag and her pothead bf) don't pee in them. I moved my containers away from the boozehags, just in case. Tiffany was sniffing and digging, so I suspect that some rodent was trying to burrow under my containers. I added "Tiffany safe rodent deterrent" to the shopping list.
I did nothing special...I used regular old nursery flats, with 9-cell packets, filled with Jiffy Mix, covered with the clear plastic dome that comes with the flats when you buy them, I got mine at Lowe's. No misting, no baggies, no nothing.
Re: wintersowing seeds that need darkness to germinate: Trudi has an answer for that, too.: "For every day there is also a night". As long as they're outside they're not getting supplemental light. Nights are still around 14 hours, longer than hours of light in a 24 hour day.
Trudi's site, wintersown.org is there for anyone to use and can answer about any question you have. If you are new to this process and haven't reviewed her site you are missing a lot.
I have checked out Trudi's site, but missed that tidbit. I'll have to check again. My containers are on the north side of my place and receive extra shade from a tall fence. As they, hopefully, start sprouting in the spring, I will move containers in front for more light as needed.
Deebie, I dont know if potting soil is recommended or appropriate... but thats what I did 6 or 7 months ago. Sitting here today, I cant tell you WHY I did it. LOL but it was there and I had plants that needed to be repotted and it's what I could find at the time. i potted herbs that I wanted to keep near the porch. I repotted some of my mother's houseplants that my dad had almost let die. What i wanted to keep and brought inside is doing well. thats all I can speak for. but for all my Wintersowing that I did in jugs last year, plus the failed experiment I read about on Winterown.org using freezer bags, which was BUST, I used the potting mix. thats what I was trying to add to the conversation.
Herbie, if someone answered, disregard this please, This time of year, I don't think its necessary to water. the rain and snow should do that as well as the natural condensation that builds up as it gets warmer. I only watered when could see seedlings emerge AND I could see that they were wilting.
here is an example of the containers with cups. I'm sure there are many pics posted on the threads of this. It snowed heavily here last night...( snow in Virginia?) and so I cant get to mine but this is last year
Yup the snow is gorgeous here too! I love how everyone initially stays in--makes it so peaceful without the regular traffic and people noise...at least for awhile:) Thankfully this occured on my regular days off (Sat. & Sun) or I'd have to face calling in to work and they don't approve of that.
I'll be finally getting started--I'm a lifelong procrastinator--so it will be a full day of hole pokin and potting mix fillin. I still haven't quite decided what to try yet...way too many choices.
I have decided that I may do two things per container--only if I intended to plant them together anyway. That way I won't be frustrated if I get one mixed in with the other.
Reading your posts on the snow makes me feel all peaceful. : )
tcs, that is a very good idea for me to use on the seed that I have small amounts to sow. Thanks for that idea. I even have a container to use. Do you cover it?
valley... not sure what you mean by... Do you cover it?
I had to scroll back to find my post in question.
if you are asking, would i cover the container?
In my post, way up there on the 28th, i was thinking to do the 'test' as an inside sow... so no, i would not cover.
If the soil gets rock hard, I probably would not use it for WS"ing... and would end up using it in the flower beds, outside, in the summer.
if the soil gets hard, the seeds can't breath and probably would not germinate.
you could also try a test pot of said garden soil and perlite mixed it... compare the germination, or lack there of.
I'm sorry tcs, I must have been half asleep when I typed that last post. I am still running the experiment on the soil thing. : )
I meant to as Jada if she put a cover on her plastic container with the cups in it. Seems like such a good idea if I have just a few seeds of a variety.
Sorry about the confusion. : )
GardenQuilts: "A barren pot of potting soil isn't very interesting (unless you are a fungus gnat). " hee hee, I have a few pots of amaryllis (with just leaves now) that have been found quite interesting by said gnats.
Hope you're healing well.
I started the dianthus with a clear dome until germ, and potted them up 1 per cowpot. They were watered from the bottom until they were put outside in the cowpots, then got rain or hose.
Jada, the idea with the cups in the container is great, and I have the perfect container--snagged it on sale at the hardware store. Some of the petunias I have only 15 seeds, so I will do those like that. How big/many holes are in the top?
Lynn, yes put holes in the container lid and bottom of container and then put the lid on to cover . You will get humidity in it and mine fog up.
grrlgeek, Put holes all over. Close to the edges and thru the middle and in between those. My first year I only put a few holes and some dried out.This year that wont happen:-) Put holes in bottom of cups too.
This isnt my idea, I learned it here on DG. Wish I could find the thread...
You can paint or tape over the pen, grrlgeek, or cross it out and write below it. Or leave it as is since you are the only person who will notice it.
I put a number on the bottom half each bottle to correspond to the number on my written list. I also make a plant label with discarded, repurposed blinds and paint pens for each type of seed. I put the labels in the bottles as well. I don't bother to label the top parts of the bottles because I know they will get mixed up anyway. I am using paint pens because my labels made with "permanent" markers weren't permanent enough last year. This is my first experiment in winter sowing, so I am not sure if my system works.
Garden, i think part of the beauty of this is that it's whatever you have or can get.
recycling and replanting. and learn from your mistakes or sucesses.
this was a thorn in my side last year.
I was out of jugs. getting two or three a week wasn't fast enough. the wintersown site said to use gallon freezer bags, but I couldnt figure out a support system. the tops would fall down. i used chop sticks. then i got the idea to use paper towel thingies. it used too much space inside the bag. and once it got wet, it sagged. later I tried clothespins to clip the tops together, thinking they would support each other. not. they all sagged together.
and those that made it to seedlings got hotter quicker and fried them.
the moral of the story...dont give up. keep on trying =)
nanniepb: I've never tried bags. Among other disadvantages I see is that eventually the container has to be moved. It seems the soil would crumble. I guess I'm wrong because people do use them with success. However, I feel that jugs just work so well and since it ain't broke I'm not going to try to fix it. As long as I can get jugs, I'll use them. If ever I find that I can't I'll try other things but I find that jugs are actually pretty easy to come by.
I've been saving all kinds of containers lately because I'm afraid I'm going to run out of milk jugs! Just yesterday we had an event at work and served cookies. I saved the plastic containers the cookies came in (deli containers)! People at work just looked at my pile and said, "More seeds to plant?" LOL LOL LOL
Hemo, what jugs? : ) Good thing to have snow cover, keeps things safe. I saw on the news that your area got snow, parts of Texas also. Wow, so far this has been a really strange Winter. We are having the warmest Jan. on record. Not a single freeze day for Jan. What scares me is things coming out of dormancy and then Winter setting in come Feb. sometime.
This is my first post on the WS forum. I didn't want to start my own thread for a single question, so I was wondering if anyone here can help. I am in Sacramento, CA (Zone 9) and I was wondering if it's too late for me to wintersow? I just recently discovered it and I have a lot of seeds so I'm hoping it might still work. I don't know if we'll get another freeze here but it's still pretty cold. Thank you in advance for any input.
Valley: So far what I have WS'd has been in deli trays and other recycled clear plastic containers that are deep enough to do the job. I will be turning now to 2-liter soda bottles for the rest of my WSing. I used them last year and they worked well.
So far it's been 4 different salvias, 2 gaillardias, gazania, corydalis lutea, crocosmia Emberglow and aconite. I still have tons to sow this week and next. I have some caryopteris seeds that I want to start and according to Horticulture magazine, they should be started in the freezer for about 60 days and then brought out. Need to refer back to that article and get the technique down pat, because I love, love, caryopteris! Since I found them several years ago, I wouldn't be without one for fall color. I was most impressed by my success in last year's WS efforts and it will remain part of my seed starting technique from now on. I need to try again with the meconopsis, because even though it germinated, it pooped out on me and I suspect that I waited too long to transplant it. Last year's winter sowing of rudbeckias, coreopsis, gaillardias, poppies, cynoglossum, dahlias, codonopsis, clarkia, dianthus and others was outstanding. I was amazed that this works, but it does! WooHoo!
Wow, Hemo, you are an old pro at it. This is my first year. You give me courage to plant even more. : ) Can't wait to see what grows from my WS efforts. Thanks for the encouraging info. : )
A sowing I will go.
I'm no pro at all. I just read through the sticky before starting last year and read the advice of Karen and others who have been doing it for a long time. With such excellent help, how could I go wrong? But trust me, it's hard to look out the window at frozen, snow-covered jugs of seeds and believe that they're ever going to do anything. But come spring and little green things start appearing from the soil and before you know it, you've got your first true leaves and can start setting out or moving into bigger pots to let them grow on. There's some wonderful mentors here who'll help you through the process.
Right now I look out my window and see jugs full of soggy potting soil. We are having a warm Jan with lots of rain. Hope things don't germinate to soon. This is unusual weather for us. Nothing green yet, hope they stay that way for awhile.
Hemophobic: It would probably take a lot of luck to get meconopsis to grow in your climate. They do well in the PNW.. They like acidic soil and cool conditions. I've never even tried; I know they wouldn't do well here.
Karen, I know you're right. I just couldn't help trying and will try again, useless as it may be. They'll probably go the way of my atttempts at lupines. Can't grow them here either and I love them.
BTW, if I've never expressed appreciation for all your help last year with my first WS efforts, let me do that now. I could never have done it without your support and encouragement and that of others here on this forum. I'm a believer!
The hosta you sowed will not be those cultivars that you have them labeled as. They will simply be seedlings and will show some (a lot of) variation. Please DO NOT label those hosta seedlings with the cultivar names that the seeds came from. If you want to use those names be sure to add "seedling" to the label so there is no question as to the parentage of the plants.
Frank (Herbie43) in Wappinger Falls, NY Zone 5b is in serious need of advice on when to Winter Sow his tomato seedlings. He's asking me, but I'm in Zone 9a.
There are at least two other growers in this discussion in or near his zone who are better able to advise him: (Terese-5a, Meadowyck-5b, and Wintergardener-5a). Could ya'll please communicate with him on this thread or in a d-mail so he'll know what to do, and when.
So far, he's got his gallon milk jugs outfitted and has planted 4-5 flower seeds (not sure for what) that have germinated already. His last frost date is April 15th.