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Winter Sowing: WS newbie-Put out now?

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clpgirl
Chippewa Lake, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 17, 2010
5:31 PM

Post #7566848

I've got all my containers, potting soil, etc. (oh, and a drill to make those holes!), faith and hope :)

I also have three feet of snow on the ground! My question is, should I dig down and put the containers in a space in the snow together, or just place them out on top? I do plan to put the containers in a cardboard box to keep them together. I understand that I probably should have started all this in Dec., but I hadn't even heard about it then! There are a couple small areas next to the house when the snow is maybe only a foot, but basically I've got drifts-deep-all over.

Recommendations??


edgeoftheworld
Conneaut, OH
(Zone 5a)

February 17, 2010
10:41 PM

Post #7567601

Hi,if it makes you feel any better.I have not put my containers out yet either.They will be out this weekend.I am behind this year.I think we are fine.Lots of winter left.In my experience its the up and down temps that help the seeds germinate.We know March is famous for that.I now live in Conneaut,its the last exit on I-90 before the PA line.I grew up in Wadsworth.All the best,Edge

ROSES_R_RED

ROSES_R_RED
Mount Bethel, PA
(Zone 6a)

February 17, 2010
11:58 PM

Post #7567822

I'm still putting out my containers. The idea is to have the seeds stratified for about six weeks. We still definitely have six weeks of cold weather to deal with.

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 18, 2010
3:42 AM

Post #7568342

hay girl... or neighbor,,,

I'm not putting mine out until end of Feb/ 1st wk of Mar. Our spring isn't right around the corner... too bad...

I'm doing mine earlier as I'm afraid that I'll have growth start too early and not have anywhere to transplant them to.

But then with over 200 hundred milk jugs, this is why I'm waiting longer to start...LOL

Janet
CapeCodGardener
Mid-Cape, MA
(Zone 7a)

February 25, 2010
12:44 AM

Post #7585384

[quote]I also have three feet of snow on the ground! My question is, should I dig down and put the containers in a space in the snow together, or just place them out on top?[/quote]
Clpgirl, I don't think it makes too much difference this early. I'd just put your jugs out on top and know that WS is meant to be part of Mother Nature's plan. The seeds will know what to do.
clpgirl
Chippewa Lake, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 25, 2010
3:36 AM

Post #7585920

Thanks for all your responses! Got the holes poked & some of the containers cut yesterday! Excited AND nervous...LOL
CrabgrassCentrl
New Milford, CT

February 25, 2010
2:50 PM

Post #7586650

The only thing I worry about with putting them on top of a lot of snow (and I did it too a couple of weekends ago) is if the snow melts unevenly and the jugs wind up tilting one way, so that precipitation might wash the seeds down one side before the germinate. So I keep an eye on the tops out the window to make sure they're more or less level.
CapeCodGardener
Mid-Cape, MA
(Zone 7a)

February 25, 2010
8:10 PM

Post #7587436

Crabgrass is making a good point. One year a couple of my jugs did tip (wind) and I didn't notice. . . Come germination time, I discovered a LOT of seedlings growing in a small amount of space on one side of the jugs! Talk about HOS!
clpgirl
Chippewa Lake, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 26, 2010
4:47 PM

Post #7589335

Just wanted to share my first WS with all of you-made sure the jugs are close together and pushed down to the patio under the snow. Last night we had another 6+ inches and this morning they are all tucked in and covered.

First pic is from last night-we still have more to go, but got quite a bit done in 2 hours!

Second photo is from this morning.

Thanks for all your info. I think we will put them in bins when the snow melts, but they are in an area protected from wind right now.

Thumbnail by clpgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

clpgirl
Chippewa Lake, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 26, 2010
4:48 PM

Post #7589340

Today!

Thumbnail by clpgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CrabgrassCentrl
New Milford, CT

February 27, 2010
6:29 PM

Post #7592358

Whoah, that's some snow! I grew up in Wooster, not far from you. My folks must be snowed in but it's OK, after last winter they gave up on their house (and its mile-long driveway) and moved into a condo where someone else has to deal with the snow. Me, we've missed the full impact of the last 3 storms here in our little sheltered spot in CT, while everyone around us has been hammered.
clpgirl
Chippewa Lake, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 27, 2010
9:07 PM

Post #7592657

My son goes to Trinity in Hartford, and they have had much less snow than we have! Go figure!

It's snowing again today so I guess those babies will be well insulated! Good for your parents...I always say I like the snow as long as I don't have to go outside...

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 28, 2010
1:34 PM

Post #7594127

clpgirl

I was just re-reading your first post and noticed you said potting soil? or did you mean to type seed starter soil?

I'm hoping you did start with the seed starter as it is much lighter. If you did use potting soil, did you put in a lot of drainage holes? If you don't have that many drainage soil then I would recommend that as soon as you can get to the jug again that you add more drainage holes so that your seeds can dry out between the weather patterns that we will be having.

Janet

finally a morning without snow, well for at least maybe an hour...anyway.
clpgirl
Chippewa Lake, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 28, 2010
8:39 PM

Post #7594951

Thanks Janet,

We actually mixed pro-mix with quite a bit of coir. Don't have the actual proportions, cuz we did it by feel. I'm hoping that will work, as we noticed the jugs draining water on the floor from the kitchen counter. Used a bit of perlite on top of some...

Fingers crossed!

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 1, 2010
3:18 AM

Post #7595944

good to hear, just hated to think your soil might be too heavy and you not have good results.

I'm hoping to start filling mine next weekend.

Janet

Gymgirl

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

March 2, 2010
4:16 PM

Post #7599622

We have liftoff in Houston. Just so you'll know what to shoot for...

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

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

March 2, 2010
4:19 PM

Post #7599630

We don't get snow, but our temps get cold, too. Started these January 3 and 16th. Almost ready to plant out the tomato seedlings and peas, broccoli, & cauliflowers that're in these jugs.

Just started the next wave of jugs with eggplants, & more peas

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

clpgirl
Chippewa Lake, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 2, 2010
6:51 PM

Post #7600003

Thanks for postings! Just shared them and feelin' optimistic!!
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 11, 2010
1:01 AM

Post #7620514

What all did you plant in those jugs? That looks like nice wicker furniture in the yard.. You don't cover that up during the winter? Too late now! Thanks for sharing your pictures. This is my first year doing WS and our 55 inches of snow has finally melted, with the exception of the piles of snow that were piled up on the side of the streets. Those are gradually going down and are like a snowcone texture but dirty black from the polution I guess. Snow is beautiful when it's fresh and nice and white, when it's falling except when you are having to drive in it, then it's not so pretty.
clpgirl
Chippewa Lake, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 11, 2010
9:16 PM

Post #7622773

Just to let you know, and I am still AMAZED, that my 'wicker' (some kind of 'fake' wicker) is as weather resiistant-as advertised when I purchased.. I had it outside in Northern Calif. for three years, Moviing back to Ohio I only have a one car garage at my little cottage by the lake- no way I could fit the furniture in there. I have been so pleased at how well it has held up! Even the cushions, which REALLY should come in, only have one split zipper after 6 years...

My REAL wicker is in my breezeway, and would never see a bit of snow or rain-mostly inheirited from family.

So far, have WS:

Morning Glory Tree (Ipomea Carnea)
Thumbergata Alata
Rudbeckia "Moreno", "Cherry Brandy", "Cherokee Sunset"
Cypress Vine, white and mixed
Cotton (regular old cotton-beautiful blossoms!)
Marigolds, "Lemon Drop", "Dwarf Bushy", "Kilmanjaro White", "Lemon Gem"
Cosmos, "Bright Lights", "Carioca",
Blue Bonnets
Hollyhocks, "Double Yellow", Mixed assortment,
Delpinium "Apple Blossom", "Blue Donna",
Nasturtium "Peach Melba"
Love--in a-Mist
Farewell-to-Spring
Cleome, "Violet Queen"
Sunflowers, "Mammoth", "Maya", "White Vanilla"
Violas, "Johnny Jump-Up"
Primrose, "Common Evening", "Sunset Blvd"
Oesteopurmum ecklonis, "Fire and Ice"
Coreopis, "Tinctoria"
Butterfly Weed
Mixed Four O' Clocks
Malva Muschata
Sea Holly
Crambe Maritimus
Frittalaria Camaschatcensis, known as Alaskan Lily, Chocolate Lliy (This one is a very slow grower, one grassy leaf the first year, two the second, etc. Five years or so to bloom and I am out of zone, so we'll see...)
Moonflower
Mini Yellow Hyacinth Bean
White Trumpet Vine
Schizanthus Pomgrens

Tomato Seeds:

Peach Blow Sutton
Matt's Wild Cherry
Amazon Chocolate
Pineapple Bi-color
Grandma Josie's White
Amish Rose
White Oxheart
Chrerokee Chocolate
Hillbilly
Mortgage Lifter
Great White
Yellow Pear
Burpee's Big Boy
Marion
OSU Blue Fruit
Chocolate Cherry
Brandywine Yellow
Aussie
White Mate' Giant
Green Grape
Cherokee Purple Spudakee

Still have misc. perennials, veggies, and zinnias to go.
Many seeds came from Wintersown.com, others from freebies, and various vendors. I am keeping a master list with all catagories. Began sowing on Feb.25, and continuing...

Thanks for your interest-this is a tremendous leap of faith for me!

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 12, 2010
7:14 AM

Post #7623452

clpgirl

you are just north of me and you already ws tomatoes? WOW, I'm just now getting my tomatoes started inside this weekend as I'm bond and determined to have tomatoes to eat this summer...LOL

Keep us posted on your tomatoes as I'm very interested in them.

Are you having as nice a weather up there on the lake as us. I've really enjoyed the warm temps, just wish it really was the beginning of spring as I'm so tried of winter right now...

Janet
clpgirl
Chippewa Lake, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 12, 2010
11:17 AM

Post #7623932

These are all definitely EXPERIMENTS! LOL!

It has been beautiful the last several days, finally the snow melted off a Helleborus I planted last summer, and it has at least seven buds and is bright green. I'm very excited about that one. In addition, and totally unexpected, found a snapdragon under the leaf mulch that is also bright green!

i guess my thinking on the tomatoes, since they are all almost all heirlooms, is that tomatoes tend to re-seed on their own in nature, so I'm giving them a try with WS.

I'll keep you posted. We still have more to do today. :)

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 12, 2010
1:28 PM

Post #7624232

Cool, looking forward to see how your do.

Janet
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 14, 2010
12:12 PM

Post #7628657

I'm going to WSow my toms this year, too. No space left under lights.

Karen

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 14, 2010
1:12 PM

Post #7628767

Karen -- this is the first year i am doing Tomatoes WS. I have some I just did on a heat mat, which is how i have done them in the past.

this way i will have a comparison.
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 14, 2010
5:16 PM

Post #7629326

Terese, I hope you'll give us your comparison. I WSed them 2 years ago. They were tiny when planted out but quickly caught up to their store-bought cousins. Last year I started them under lights because the weather was so cold and rainy.

This year, I am going back to WSing them.

Karen

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 14, 2010
7:18 PM

Post #7629629

will do Karen. I hope i take good notes.

last year, i grew a few, and bought one... due to the horrid summer... none of them did well.
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 15, 2010
5:41 AM

Post #7630277

Terese, I guess when you get right down to it, all we need to know is how they compared in terms of how healthy the plants are and when they bear ripe fruit. (i.e. did you get edible tomatoes from the indoor ones sooner than the WS ones).

I had thought about doing the same experiment but I'm pretty much out of space on my lighted shelves.

Karen

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 15, 2010
6:46 AM

Post #7630389

I dont even have lighted shelves... i use a south facing window for my heat mat.
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 15, 2010
8:37 AM

Post #7630630

I think all toms need to sprout is warmth. I wish I had good bright south facing windows, but I don't. The front porch blocks sun from the first floor window and big old maple tree block bright sunshine on the south side of the house. Even when not it leaf, the branches make for filtered light at best.

Karen

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 15, 2010
8:39 AM

Post #7630638

I -- luckily -- have most of my living space with southern exp ... the dining room window is a "bay" so it juts out a bit... that is where i put my flat or any other small pot.

but now that we have Charlie [the cat] I dont have as many pots and have to keep smaller seedlings covered, or he eats them. but the window helps a lot.
clpgirl
Chippewa Lake, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 21, 2010
10:04 AM

Post #7645404

I'm so excited. Looked in the jugs two days ago and saw this. Doing the happy dance :) and saying 'told you so' to my brother-in-law. So far many seedlings of Farewill-to-Spring (given to me), Yellow Hollyhocks and Salvia. These were all WS during the 'blizzard' in the first pics I posted.

Thanks to ALL for your support-been sending this pic to everyone I know-even if they only pretended to be interested in my new obssession. LOL!

Thumbnail by clpgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 21, 2010
10:11 AM

Post #7645415

that's gonna be a nice 'chia' in a month or so.

very nice!! and isn't this exciting?? the first year was so fun because deep down you really were not sure this would work.

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 21, 2010
12:59 PM

Post #7645754

clpgirl

I'm thrilled for you, just wish I had been able to have gotten mine started sooner...

Ok so are you up for swapping??????

but mine haven't even though about coming up yet... next month for sure.

Janet
jlj072174
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2010
4:20 PM

Post #7646208

I put a couple containers of hibiscus outside about 3 weeks ago (just moved them into the GH today so I can clean up other areas of the yard), and they're already going to town in my containers. How soon would it be suggested that I move these to larger/individual containers? I've never started seeds outside like this before, but they DEFINITELY look healthier, happier and green!

Thumbnail by jlj072174
Click the image for an enlarged view.

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2010
7:21 PM

Post #7646696

WhooHoo, Clp and Jij!
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 22, 2010
12:38 PM

Post #7648166

No need to pot them up- just plant them right in the ground and they'll do much better.

Karen

Gymgirl

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

March 22, 2010
2:10 PM

Post #7648400

K,
Remember those mustard green seedlings I WSed then planted out in the raised bed using the HOS method? Well, they're finally taking off! They were yellowish just like the mater seedlings (which have also started taking off!), but have greened up and are making it on their own.

I'm gonna start transplanting the larger of the mater seedlings into their containers, little by little out of necessity. I'll end up with a staggered crop from 1 week to 3 weeks apart. Too many seedlings and too little time in the evenings to plant everything at once. Plus, all the eggs in one basket spells disaster! Finally, having space issues, so have to make moment x moment decisions on what's going where.

Hugs!

Linda
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 22, 2010
4:19 PM

Post #7648697

Well, we have a definite wintersowing convert in you!

Most everything really takes off once it's in the ground.

Karen

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 22, 2010
4:47 PM

Post #7648762

ok, since we had some good rain today I thought I would check on how bad things might be messed up in the jugs... well to my surprise one jug has greennnnnnnnnnnnnnnn in it... Planted Mar 7th White Lychnis are up... the jug right beside it is pink lychnis so wonder how long it will be before they are up...

I'm really encouraged now...

Janet
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 22, 2010
6:39 PM

Post #7649069

Another beauty of milk jugs- even monsoon rain won't disturb tiny seedlings. They stay happy and protected from the pelting rain.

Karen

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 22, 2010
7:42 PM

Post #7649202

I sure hope so as we are in the middle of some monsoon rain right now... and I don't have caps, I'm trying not to worry as I keep telling myself if these were in the garden they would just be laying on top of the ground with no protection...LOL

repeating over and over and over and over to myself...

signing off for the night as we are also having a BAD thunder storm to go with the rain.

Janet
clpgirl
Chippewa Lake, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 22, 2010
9:15 PM

Post #7649357

I'm so delighted about this whole process. I felt like I was proceeding on a 'wing and a prayer'. It made sense to me logically, but ran so anti to everything I had learned about seed-starting.

Faith in Mother Nature, and support from the WS community has been just what I needed after some rough bits of life these past years...

My little rain lilies are popping up all over my yard, and bulb beds, along with tulip and daffs pushing up-renewing my faith in lots of areas. My little indoor mushroom 'garden' has teeny, tiny white mushrooms now too. ;)

I've enjoyed becoming a part of everyone's WS projects on this thread-so much I've learned and tried this year.

Janet, we have the same thunderstorm here. My son, home from college is all excited. Growing up in N. Calif. he only ever experienced them when we came back here to visit. He feels like this is a great gift from M.Nature for his spring break!

I'm signing off however, since I have a VERY anxious cat slinking and darting through the house...he needs HIS mom. LOL.

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 23, 2010
8:16 AM

Post #7650160

clpgirl

this is a great place to come to keep the faith on our WS seeds.

Yes what a thunderstorm last night... it even had my youngest collie girl darting around in the garage... gosh I sure hope she isn't going to turn into a problem. I had one that oh my, but sadly I lost her last year to cancer.

I've still got over a 100 container to get planted... but the drainage holes are slowing me down...LOL

Janet
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 23, 2010
8:25 AM

Post #7650186

Janet, up're using a drill and doing several at one time, right?

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 23, 2010
9:46 AM

Post #7650360

well the drill isn't working out cause it goes through but I can't get it out without the drill bit coming out. So I'm back to just using a Phillips head screwdriver that I'm hammering in through a hole.

this is why I'm not going to be using milk jugs next year...


Janet
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 23, 2010
10:35 AM

Post #7650487

Janet, the drill bit might be too big, or may not be seated right in the drill to hold it properly when tightened down. Most drills have a reverse, which makes backing the drill bit out easy.

If you can't get the drill working right for you, here's another suggestion. Light a large candle and lay a couple of large nail tips in the flame (or even an old phillips head screwdriver). Use one to push through the milk jug for your drain holes. When it no longer pushes easliy, trade for the other nail. Might have to use a pot holder or something to hold the nail head.

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 23, 2010
11:15 AM

Post #7650585

thanks, already tried that but I never could get the screw driver hot enough to make it easy to push through.

So for now I'm just using the hammer to push the screwdriver through the jug. I only have a little less than 100 more to do and then I'm done with that craziness...lol

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

March 27, 2010
8:15 AM

Post #7659813

Janet, I use a dremel which works perfectly. If you use a drill, you need to use a wood bit - it's shaped like an arrow - and it'll go right through. A regular drill bit won't work well, at least it didn't for me. For about $50 it was worth it - I did over 250 jugs and it worked like a champ.

I've been off DG for a while and with a new baby in the house - don't have time to read all the threads. Silly question - is it too late in Zone 5/6 to winter sow annuals? We will have some cool weather still but probably no more snow...?

birder17
Jackson, MO
(Zone 6b)

March 27, 2010
8:40 AM

Post #7659867

Janet, I use a soldering iron. Works like a charm and goes very fast. You just plug it in, wait for it to heat up and stick it into the bottom of your container.

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 27, 2010
8:54 AM

Post #7659900

thanks folks, for the information... I've decided to only do another 100 jugs due to the time getting the jugs ready, as I'm also doing seedling inside and my tomatoes are growing like weeds...

Janet

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 27, 2010
9:01 AM

Post #7659917

Cynthia... I'm zone5 and i've just started some annuals.
haven't done the majority of them yet... should have them all done by Mid-April.
you have plenty of time.
clpgirl
Chippewa Lake, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 27, 2010
10:16 AM

Post #7660063

My friend used a small knife on her leatherman, and did the drainage holes before cutting the jug. We had used a drill on the first set but this was MUCH faster.

My seedling in their jugs still look green and perky after two nights of mid-twenties & one of snow. Hooray for WS!

Moonflowers coming up that were only put out ten days ago! Also have Malva, Hollyhocks, Salvia, Cotton :)
three kinds of marigolds, one little cypress vine seedling...plus the chunk of farewell-to-spring, which I got from WS site and haven't a clue what they will look like. Going to PF now!) They hve been sayng hello-to-spring here for two weeks now!
hanseycollie
Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO
(Zone 5b)

March 27, 2010
9:50 PM

Post #7661243

TCS1366, thanks for the info. I have a daughter and one-week old granddaughter living with us now, so life has changed rapidly in the past two weeks. Don't want to miss WSing the annuals, but it hasn't been a priority recently, lol. I will get them done by mid-April no problem! Thanks again! Cynthia
P.S. This is Hadassah Nichole (Hadassah is Esther of the Bible's Hebrew name). One week old yesterday.

Thumbnail by hanseycollie
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Other Winter Sowing Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Winter Sowing Seed Swap .....part 2 alicewho 213 Mar 23, 2007 1:01 PM
Lessons learned for next year #2 zenpotter 256 Mar 23, 2007 7:56 AM
Milk jugs TurtleChi 99 Mar 19, 2007 12:20 PM
WS Poppies & transplant problems marie_ 100 May 11, 2011 4:44 PM
Database germination info bluespiral 6 Mar 5, 2008 12:23 PM


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