Our annual end-of-summer contest is here, come on down to the Dave's Garden County Fair!

Only 13 Days Left to Winter Solstice - and WINTER SOWING!!!

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

It's almost time for WSing in my Zone 9a! (Well, it is for me...)

This year, I hope to keep a much more accurate account of my WSing experience. Last year was a phenomenal success with the tomato and bell pepper seedlings. My stock was better than HD and Lowe's put together!

I've since relocated to another house, and will be WSing in a brand new growing environment. While the process will not be new, the results will be dependent upon the untested new climate. The locations are only 7 miles apart. However, the old microclimate borders on being moist and damp most of the Wintertime (even without rain), while the other is relatively dry most of the time (and has different light patterns). This will be interesting...

Who else is on board for beginning their WSing with the Winter Solstice (December 21st)?

Chime in with your progress, and let's Winter Sow together!


Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Sounds good- that gives me motivation to get my milk jugs out of the shed and in the house so I can cut and prepare them. If we stay busy Spring will be here before we know it!
I just did some cleaning in the garden that I didn't get done earlier. We havd had temps below 0, and so much snow- I am amazed to see the carrots still green, cabbage is OK, of course garlic does fine, and so many flowers that have survived the deep freeze. Should I cut strawberry foliage back now that they have frozen?

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

I've never grown strawberries. This was supposed to be my year to try in a strawberry eBucket. But, I've been in transition.


Easton, PA(Zone 6b)

I left my strawberry foilage, but added some manure around the plants. In the spring, I cut back any dead foilage. I would love tips for strawberries.

Easton, PA(Zone 6b)

I have some bottles ready to go and some seeds ready. I plan to do some at a time as I have time starting with hardy perennials first. I garden time/energy/schedule/weather permitting, not bu the phase of the moon. I find phase of the moon gardening interesting, however, and would like to learn more about it.

Wintersowing is a great cure for the winter blues ...

Calgary, Canada

The seeds, milk jugs and starter mix have all been collected.
However, it will be a month or two before I put them together---too cold here yet.

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


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


Only 4 more days to the Winter Solstice!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Linda... you are not too excited, are you?

I discovered, i need 'medium' ... i'm just about out of MG, and wasn't thinking to look for it when i was out shopping the other day.

maybe I'll look after the holidays.

Easton, PA(Zone 6b)

I hadn't been feeling well this fall and I also hurt my back and shoulder. The fall cleanup didn't get as clean as I wanted. I had left some pots of soil that had contained annuals and veggies sitting on my patio table. They froze to the table during the recent 10-20' cold snap. My soil, peat moss, manure, etc (which I store in double garbage bags in garbage cans) is also frozen solid. It has been a bit above freezing here during the warmest part of the day, so I am hoping that I can get them pried off the table today. I reuse soil by mixing it with peat moss and other amendments and time release fertilizer using formulas loosely based on the Cornell formulas. I need to get more peat moss and other things from Lowes. I hope that they are still in stock.

My seeds and containers are ready,but still I need to defrost and mix the dirt.

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

Weather's been cock-eyed here in zone 8 Arkansas so I've been holding off. Lots of seeds to sow both in the GH and direct.


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


Time to start Winter Sowing those seeds! I'll be starting some seeds tomorrow and Thursday, and next Mon-Wed.

Hurray! ^^_^^

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Didn't get to see the lunar eclipse last night- It was snowing here. Does anyone have photos?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)


I'm sure many sites have them... this was just on my homepage.

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

I am a newbie to ws. I have collected the milk jugs but not ready to start yet.
You all in zone 5 when to you start ws?
I am guessing we start with perennials and then later do annuals?
If you all have the patience and are willing to drag me along I would love to watch, learn, and grow.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Happ -- welcome to the Winter Sowing craziness!!

I'm too zone5 and i'll probably start mid-January after everything settles from the holidays.

Yes ,perennials first, and annuals closer to March or April.


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

In the meanwhile, go to the forum and look for the thread that contains the WSing discussions from the beginning we had back last year. Read through them. There's loads of helpful information in the discussion and answers to lots of questions that were asked back then.

You've got time! ^^_^^

It's a GREAT adventure, and you won't believe the success you will have!

Here. I found it for you. Read Up!!!


Arlington, TX

How do veggies survive in the cold when you WS them? I am doing some perennials but didn't realize you could do vegetables. I thought they would not survive below freezing temps?

Arlington, TX

Oh I read all the posts and my question was answered.

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

I read most of the posts last year and followed off and on thru the summer, just didn't get in gear to WS last year, but hope to this year. I have been collecting milk jugs and read all the trials and tribulations on how to name them so......I feel pretty good about starting, just forgive any obvious crazy questions I might ask...LOL Not starting anything until the holidays are gone and things put away, then need to tend to the live (least I hope they are still alive) plants I have going now, then....finally w/s.

Least that is the game.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

GymGirl -- were you the one that used all those red 16oz cups last year??

I'm trying to locate an image, but can't find it.

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

TCS1366, here's the link to one discussion which contains the image I believe you're looking for. Or did you want the one with the cups in the Sterilite tub?


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

thats the one... i thought it was you that used the cups.

Wichita Falls, TX

Hi everyone. Last year I did this for the first time and was so excited, but I learned something very valuable -- don't use Miracle Grow! Things came up fine, but quickly fizzled out -- refused to grow! ???? I lost most of what I started. Even when using Mircle Grow the old fashioned way -- seeds in little pots, not winter sown, the outcome was horrible.

Very dishearting. . . in fact I have yet to plant anything this winter. Need to get some decent medium and start some, we still have plenty of winter left to do this.

Good luck to all.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Ironic... I've had good luck with it.

Arlington, TX

I am not sure if its the medium or the fertilizer but I don't like miracle grow potting soil either. It holds too much water and nothing I planted in it grew terribly well.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I've heard that before...so i dont think you are alone with the MG.

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

I'm converting my new garden over to Tapla's pine bark fines recipe soon as I get to the supplier that sells pine bark the consistent size of Sugar Corn Pops. His container mix is a 5:1:1 ratio of pine bark fines:perlite:peat (you can use 1 part MG for the peat ratio).

There's a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG discussion over in the Soils and Composting forum, under a thread called "Miracle Grow...." where Tapla explains the mechanics of this fast draining, oxygenated container growing medium that holds enough water to keep the plants exceedingly healthy!


Linda ^^_^^

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Lida -- the first thing I noticed in that thread... i've only gotten thru the beginning posts...
the MG tomatofreak is referring to - for use in her POTS, is not recommended for pots... it is supposed to be used to mix in with your garden soil.

I accidentally bought this SOIL mix last year ... it DOES not work that well in pots, though i did mix it in with old potting soil and had good results. But it says right on the bag not to use in pots.

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

Yep. That's what sparked the conversation!

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I cannot start my WSing now because I am using all my jugs to haul water to the frozen barns.

Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Hey all, new to DG website. I'll be wintersowing for the 1st time this year, just learned about it. I'm going to have to get creative with the containers since I haven't collected any milk bottles. I've been reading your previous threads and I'm excited at the thought of trying this. The issue with the seedlings dying off early may be damping off, which I learned about from one of the websites I ordered seeds from this year The recommendation to prevent this is Rootshield, anyone have experience with this, and has it helped with the damming off if you've used it? Annette

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Annette, Welcome to Daves Garden and the Winter Sowing forum!!

From what i gather, you shouldn't get damp-off with WS'ing... that is what i've heard anyways.

when my seedlings die, it's from neglect / lack of water. I get busy and usually leave town before i get them all planted, and leave my son 'in charge' -- so i usually lose a few.


Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Welcome Cem.

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

Hey, Annette! Welcome to the garden!

Cowden, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi, I've been reading this section for days now and I'm excited to give WS a try!!
One question I haven't seen, or maybe just missed. Can I use the white milk jugs, or does it have to be the clear ones?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

white would work... it's been said that if light can get thru it....

i use the opaque Deans H&H containers and the one for my Kefir ... those are both white.

Welcome to the WS forum....


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

If you can see your thumb through it, it's a viable WSing vessel! Welcome aboard!

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Can I use the white milk jugs, or does it have to be the clear ones?

Gymgirl's rule is the one I use: if you can see a shadow-y thumb through it, there is enough light. Having said that, I do make use of the pure white Hoods milk jugs, because I never have enough of the semi-opaque ones that I prefer. I just cut off most of the top half of the Hoods jugs, and then tape a gallon size Zip-Lock type bag over the top (with some vents cut in the top to admit water.)

Cowden, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks guys! Y'all were very fast to respond. Our milk comes in the white jugs so I'll keep saving those and use the ziplock bags over the top. I'll put the word out for some clear jugs.
I use vinegar ALOT so I have those as well. I just started saving though, so I might not get to sow as much this winter. It'll be good practice for next year tho. lol

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