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Winter Sowing: My apologies...

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Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

February 28, 2010
5:06 PM

Post #7594503

I'm sure all of my questions have been asked and answered time and time again, but there are soooo many threads, and they seem to go hither and yon, and after almost an hour, I've decided to give up on that and just ask my questions. I'll understand if no one wants to take the time to answer something that's been already been answered, but here goes...

Can you winter sow both annuals and perennials?

Is there a minimum amount of time that seeds require to give them a good start before they need to be potted up?

Can you mix seeds when sowing, or is it better to use separate containers for separate varietes?

How many seeds do you plant in a gallon jug? (I have trade packets that have 20 - 30 seeds in them. Should I just scatter them across my soil, or is that too many/too few?)

Does one use soil free potting mix as when seed started in the house, or do you use soil ala Ma Nature?

Thanks for any help you can offer. I just decided to do this today, and now that I've decided to do it, I want to do it NOW! (Yoiks!)

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 28, 2010
8:25 PM

Post #7594893

Can you winter sow both annuals and perennials? YES! I've done both and they do well. You can even do veggies.

Is there a minimum amount of time that seeds require to give them a good start before they need to be potted up? To give them the best start, you probably should wait until they've got 3 or 4 sets of real leaves on them. That way you can see them after you've planted them and they're less likely to be eaten.

Can you mix seeds when sowing, or is it better to use separate containers for separate varietes? I would not mix seeds. I can only imagine what a disaster that would be! LOL I'd use separate containers for each seed.

How many seeds do you plant in a gallon jug? (I have trade packets that have 20 - 30 seeds in them. Should I just scatter them across my soil, or is that too many/too few?) Last year, I unloaded the whole package across the soil. Not a smart move as I had way too many seedlings crammed together and it was hard to thin. Lost many when I transplanted, too. This year I'm doing 5-9 seeds per jug.

Does one use soil free potting mix as when seed started in the house, or do you use soil ala Ma Nature? I use an organic potting mix. I've used soil from my garden, but that grew tons of weeds.
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

February 28, 2010
8:54 PM

Post #7594991

Oh, thank you so much for clearing up these issues for me! While I was awaiting a response, my neighbor's son cut down my 8 jugs and put holes in them for me. Now I am ready to fo.

Just one more question, further on: Is there a minimum amount of time that seeds require to give them a good start before they need to be potted up? To give them the best start, you probably should wait until they've got 3 or 4 sets of real leaves on them. That way you can see them after you've planted them and they're less likely to be eaten.

So, having answered the "minimum" issue, that begs the "maximum" issue... Can they just be left in there intil one is ready to pot up, or do they need to be removed when they get to a certain point?

Holy cow - I AM getting excited.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 28, 2010
10:15 PM

Post #7595172

I had some growing through the tops last year! LOL As long as you keep them watered and they don't die, they will be fine until you can transplant them.
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

February 28, 2010
10:27 PM

Post #7595199

Stephanie - I can't thank you enough!

Now I have to decide what I shall plant for this first year's experiment!!!
weedyseedy
Warners, NY

February 28, 2010
11:14 PM

Post #7595285

My first plants grown in milk jugs were still there in Sept and the looked alright when I planted them out. This year I hope to overcome my scepticism and plant more containers. I want to try milkweeds, echi's, delphiniums, primroses, but I am already behind. I always start daylilies outside when it warms up or inside in peat jiffys but I may risk some seeds in winter sown containers.--------------------Weedy

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 1, 2010
1:00 AM

Post #7595609

I had one jug of dill and one jug of a white rock rose. The dill went crazy but I never got around to planting it, so it died. I totally forgot the jug and left it on the patio behind some stuff and found it last fall. It was sprouting! LOL The white rock rose never did do anything. It also stayed out on the patio and started growing after a string of 100+ days and some fall rains.

This is my Cosmos growing out of the jug.

Thumbnail by stephanietx
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

March 1, 2010
2:29 AM

Post #7595804

Very pretty! I love my cosmos (both the flowers and the beverage!).

I notice you have holes in the top, too. I didn't put any of those in - should I add them?

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 1, 2010
1:39 PM

Post #7596561

Yes because they add ventilation as well as another way to get watered.
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

March 1, 2010
8:42 PM

Post #7597542

They look so neat and pretty. (How did you secure your tops to the bottoms? I read that some people use duct tape, and i'm wondering if they need to be completely sealed to work right?)

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 1, 2010
9:59 PM

Post #7597726

Each jug gets 3 pieces of duct tape on them I only cut 3 sides, leaving the side with the label intact as a "hinge".
JanieP
Jacksonville, AR

March 2, 2010
12:01 AM

Post #7597953

If your seed package says "prechill", "put between paper towel and put in refrigerator", etc, do you have to do this if your are wintersowing?
Thanks
lisabees
Centennial, CO
(Zone 5a)

March 2, 2010
12:11 AM

Post #7597978

Janie, putting them outside in winter does the pre-chilling for you!
grrrlgeek
Grayslake, IL
(Zone 5a)

March 2, 2010
12:31 AM

Post #7598033

I did plant more than one kind of seed in some of my jugs and 2L bottles sine I don't need such a big hunk. i used cut up margarine tub tops to keep them separated.

This is my first year too, but those in the know say that they sow thickly (the chia pet effect) and plant as HOS=hunks o'seedlings. There should be some pics in the links in this thread http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1072154/.

Also, here's the latest discussion thread http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1078909/ you may get more help there too.

Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

March 2, 2010
1:33 AM

Post #7598219

Unfortunately I don't have the time to wade through all of that. These threads tend to get so bogged down with conversation and other tidbits that it's hard to just gleen the facts.

You guys have been great, though. I feel like I am armed with enough information to get started. I'll start small, with the 8 containers I have, then proceed from there in the future.

I really appreciate the hand-holding!
grrrlgeek
Grayslake, IL
(Zone 5a)

March 3, 2010
2:50 AM

Post #7601144

Just remember what Karen (kqcrna) says--don't make it harder than it has to be. Let nature take its course. Don't worry about teasing a hundred tiny seedlings apart. Have fun!
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

March 3, 2010
3:21 AM

Post #7601221

If we let nature take her course, I'll be adding this to my list od addictions!

For now, 8 li'l old jugs can't do toooooo much harm, right???
tabasco
Cincinnati (Anderson, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 23, 2010
4:26 PM

Post #7651137


One other thought, and I'm not sure everyone agrees on this, but if one wintersows the seeds, the seedlings are supposedly strong enough to go right into the garden with no interim 'potting up' process.

I never find it necessary to pot up seedlings, but maybe others do? I just use the HOS (hunk o' seedling) approach.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 23, 2010
4:52 PM

Post #7651197

the only reason i'd "pot up" is if i was giving the plants away, to someone that isn't my neighbor... she gets them in milk jug halves.

My seedlings go right from the container they grew up in - into the ground.
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

March 23, 2010
7:18 PM

Post #7651552

So far nothing - hope I didn't start too late!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 23, 2010
7:29 PM

Post #7651586

the seeds will germinate when they are ready. It is still only March.

in 08 I had some seeds that did not germinate until early June... so just give them time. I know it's hard seeing everyone posting that they have babies.. but you will too.
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

March 23, 2010
7:47 PM

Post #7651621

It's really not such a big deal since I'm just experimenting with a few things. I already have peas up in the garden, and lots of babies under growlights...kohlrabi, brussel sprouts, escarole, cabbage, Elfin Impatiens, tomatoes and a few misc other items. Next year I will winter dow earlier and see what happens going through the natural process.

It will be fun to see what does meander along, though!

Gymgirl

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

March 24, 2010
10:14 AM

Post #7652660

Sequee,
Thank you for starting this thread! I, too, was getting bogged down wading through the other discussion. That said, I'm a WSing convert as of this season. In fact, I think I have the unofficial title of "WSing Cheerleader of 2010!"

Everything I started came through beautifully. Since I'm in a different Zone (9a), I'm getting ready to plant everything I WSed in January. I'm only doing veggies, 'cause I just never got around to sprinkling the flower seeds -- shoot!

Anyway, WSing is the easiest, singlemost productive seed germination process I've come across, and I don't ever want to go back to messing with lights inside again, with the exception of starting my bell pepper plants inside in January (a total timing mistake -- but a great mistake since my peppers will grow like gangbusters when they do get outside -- They're topping off at almost one foot and are about to start throwing blooms already).

I SOLD 7 of my WSed bells yesterday, and the buyer is still commenting on how healthy the seedlings are! Hoping to WS a LOT more veggies for $$ next season, only to break even on my own gardening expenses -- which means I'm selling those seedlings real cheap!

Check your local Starbucks or any other coffee shops in your area. I was hauling off milk jugs in large garbage bags, 20 at a time...

Here's another NEAT picture for your Winter Sowing inspiration!

P.S. I agree with Steph about the number of seeds per jug. Based on my experience with the tomatoes, I'll not plant more than 10 seeds per jug in the future.

STEPHANIE: You should enter that picture in the photo contest this year. Trust me -- it's a contender.

Linda

This message was edited Mar 24, 2010 12:17 PM

This message was edited Mar 24, 2010 12:19 PM

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 24, 2010
7:20 PM

Post #7653919

No argument here. Linda is the biggest wintersowing cheerleader of the year. She's a goner, totally over the top. Hooked forever I'd bet.

I do like messing with my lights inside too, though I use them mostly for propagating cuttings over winter. It feeds my new coleus addiction :-)

Karen

Thumbnail by kqcrna
Click the image for an enlarged view.

kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 24, 2010
7:22 PM

Post #7653927

And I can start a few seeds inside. My growing season is a lot shorter than Linda's. I started these from seeds, under lights, in January.

Karen

Thumbnail by kqcrna
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 24, 2010
7:31 PM

Post #7653950

Karen -- i need to do that. I love Coleus too.
lisabees
Centennial, CO
(Zone 5a)

March 24, 2010
8:35 PM

Post #7654062

Those are nice looking coleus, are they from seed or cuttings?
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 25, 2010
6:12 AM

Post #7654528

The versa were done from seeds, under lights. Most of my coleus are trailers started from cuttings. Trailers aren't available from seeds. I bought them from Rosy Dawn.
http://www.rosydawngardens.com/

Karen
grrrlgeek
Grayslake, IL
(Zone 5a)

March 28, 2010
3:13 PM

Post #7662735

I need to get more lights so i can keep some coleus for next year; i didn't realize there were no trailers from seed. An interesting thing I discovered with the coleus seeds--I planted them in a "peaty" mix (gardeners supply organic). One seed accidentally got in the next cell that was coir (for the "well drained" preferring seeds). It is at least 3 x the size of the others. i don't really like the peaty mix anyway--I got some free because I gave it a bad review last year (it had lots of sticks and stuff so I only used it to pot up) and it seems really heavy and crusty.

back on topic, I am woefully behind WS. I had planned to have everything out by today, and it ain't gonna happen.

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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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