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

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Gymgirl

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

December 9, 2010
11:03 AM

Post #8251895

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
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

December 9, 2010
12:32 PM

Post #8252010

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?

Gymgirl

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

December 9, 2010
2:51 PM

Post #8252163

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

Linda
GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
(Zone 6a)

December 10, 2010
8:08 AM

Post #8253163

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.
GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
(Zone 6a)

December 10, 2010
8:12 AM

Post #8253169

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 ...
CLScott
Calgary
Canada

December 10, 2010
8:19 AM

Post #8253176

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.

Gymgirl

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

December 10, 2010
1:44 PM

Post #8253585

Kewl!

Gymgirl

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

December 17, 2010
10:33 AM

Post #8265063

bump!

Only 4 more days to the Winter Solstice!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

December 18, 2010
9:44 AM

Post #8266442

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.
GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
(Zone 6a)

December 19, 2010
6:24 AM

Post #8267503

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.
bigred
Ashdown, AR
(Zone 8a)

December 19, 2010
6:48 AM

Post #8267539

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.

P

Gymgirl

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

December 21, 2010
9:49 AM

Post #8270703

TOAY'S THE WINTER SOLSTICE!!!

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

Hurray! ^:-)^
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

December 21, 2010
10:42 AM

Post #8270771

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

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

December 21, 2010
10:51 AM

Post #8270782

http://www.comcast.net/slideshow/news-lunareclipse/1/

I'm sure many sites have them... this was just on my homepage.
happgarden
Kansas City (Joyce), MO
(Zone 5a)

December 21, 2010
12:11 PM

Post #8270948

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.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

December 21, 2010
12:54 PM

Post #8271013

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.

Terese

Gymgirl

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

December 21, 2010
1:02 PM

Post #8271026

Happgarden,
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!!!

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1072154/
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

December 23, 2010
5:40 AM

Post #8273447

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?
C
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

December 23, 2010
5:43 AM

Post #8273450

Oh I read all the posts and my question was answered.
C
happgarden
Kansas City (Joyce), MO
(Zone 5a)

December 23, 2010
10:20 AM

Post #8273829

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.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 2, 2011
6:25 PM

Post #8289164

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.

Gymgirl

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

January 3, 2011
8:26 AM

Post #8289966

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?

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1080633/

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 3, 2011
8:48 AM

Post #8290020

thats the one... i thought it was you that used the cups.
gretagreenthumb
Wichita Falls, TX

January 4, 2011
9:48 AM

Post #8291949

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.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 4, 2011
9:56 AM

Post #8291957

Ironic... I've had good luck with it.
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

January 4, 2011
10:28 AM

Post #8292010

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.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 4, 2011
11:43 AM

Post #8292111

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

Gymgirl

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

January 4, 2011
11:59 AM

Post #8292150

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!

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1095346/

Linda ^:-)^

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 4, 2011
1:20 PM

Post #8292271

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.

Gymgirl

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

January 4, 2011
1:45 PM

Post #8292304

Yep. That's what sparked the conversation!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

January 4, 2011
7:04 PM

Post #8292829

I cannot start my WSing now because I am using all my jugs to haul water to the frozen barns.
Cem9165
Duluth, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 4, 2011
7:26 PM

Post #8292864

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

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 4, 2011
8:16 PM

Post #8292929

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.

Terese
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

January 4, 2011
9:31 PM

Post #8292994

Welcome Cem.

Gymgirl

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

January 5, 2011
7:34 AM

Post #8293396

Hey, Annette! Welcome to the garden!
nohren4
Cowden, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 5, 2011
2:19 PM

Post #8294081

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?

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 5, 2011
2:25 PM

Post #8294091

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...

Terese

Gymgirl

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

January 5, 2011
2:28 PM

Post #8294094

If you can see your thumb through it, it's a viable WSing vessel! Welcome aboard!
CapeCodGardener
Mid-Cape, MA
(Zone 7a)

January 5, 2011
4:10 PM

Post #8294274

Quoting: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.)

nohren4
Cowden, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 6, 2011
9:02 AM

Post #8295377

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
nohren4
Cowden, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 6, 2011
9:04 AM

Post #8295380

Oh, is there a thread stating what everyone is sowing this year? I think it would be neat to see what everyone is trying out. (I'm still reading through 2010's info, so sorry if I missed it.)

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 6, 2011
9:34 AM

Post #8295422

I dont hink there is a thread yet... I;m sure Linda [gymgirl] has started WS'ing already.. i haven't but i can get a list going.

here is my spreadsheet... click [on the bottom tab] for 2011
[HYPERLINK@spreadsheets.google.com]

where you see HS, that means i dont have them yet, but getting them within the month from a swap i was in.

Gymgirl

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

January 6, 2011
12:27 PM

Post #8295646

Thanks for Moving us forward TCS. I'm behind, but will start tomato and bell pepper seeds this weekend. Then when they're under lights inside I will start some flowers in planters covered with vented plastic wrap. They'll stay outdoors for spring-summer and grow in place (hopefully).
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

January 7, 2011
5:47 PM

Post #8298102

You put your WS jugs under lights?

Gymgirl

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

January 7, 2011
6:20 PM

Post #8298159

No. I'm not gonna be able to WS this time. Ran outta time to get tomato seeds sowed by 12/10, and I need 'em up ASAP.

After careful consideration, I'm feeling WSing will accommodate my spring flowers better than my spring veggies.

Sooooooooo, I still need jugs for my annuals!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 7, 2011
6:22 PM

Post #8298166

Linda -- can you do both, as a sort of 'test' -- do some under lights and some WS - just to see which turn out more sturdy/healthy??

what is your 'plant out date' =- last frost?

Gymgirl

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

January 7, 2011
6:42 PM

Post #8298189

TCS1366,
I actually WSed the best seedlings I ever had last winter, totally outside, in gallon milk jugs. I gave most of them away to a friend who grew a bumper crop, in ground. The ones I planted in my eBuckets didn't do doodley. Not one ripe tomato all spring.

My next tomatoes will be grown in ground, soon as I build two raised beds, hopefully by February 19th! Doing annuals will give me more time to prepare the garden.
Cem9165
Duluth, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 7, 2011
7:13 PM

Post #8298230

Gymgirl, I'm glad you can garden outside in February. We're still enjoying our warmest weather that predicted for Georgia this winter!!!! Another ice/snow/sleet storm coming through in the next couple of days here. 3rd on in less than a month. Should we fire our weatherman?LOL:-) Guess I'll have to live vicariously by wintersowing. I'm so glad that I found this forum. Annette
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

January 7, 2011
7:15 PM

Post #8298234

Thanks for clarifying that for me. I was a bit confused. I stay that way most of the time. LOL
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

January 9, 2011
5:50 AM

Post #8300187

Hello everyone ,this too will be the 1st time Ive ever ws`d ,wish I had a long time ago .. LOL I have grown under lights for 2 yrs 3rd this yr. I love it . Did tomatoes last yr didn't do well for me after I moved them outside,I acclimated them well before,they were set out in the garden,then it was a scorcher of a summer too..So I will be doing those totally outside.and I will buy some just in case..

I'm getting my jugs together today,have some stashed at work,have a bunch here .Hope Ive got enough,probably not.LOL

Need input seed starting mix or potting soil ?

now I should make a list of what I'm planting in jugs and what inside.Decisions decisions.OH BOY OH JOY

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 9, 2011
6:36 AM

Post #8300239

Tamara... took me a while, but I found ONE.

not sure if it was the one i was looking for -- but i have seen this one before...

best way to find it... it's a large file...

what i do is bring up the FIND [ctrl+f] and type in depth... then hit teh "next" until you find the chart that lists the seed depth.

it's right under Suggested Sowing Times

http://www.virtualseeds.com/Germination.html


I was thinking Thompson & Morgan had a chart too, but i have yet to find it.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

January 9, 2011
7:06 AM

Post #8300294

Thank you Terese,that is a lot of information.just got my seeds out and I told the dh looks like this could get out of hand.!!! lOL Where I plan on setting my jugs are pavers do I need to set them on pallets up off the pavers a few inches ???

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 9, 2011
7:11 AM

Post #8300302

no... i put mine on pavers too... and on my window well cover.

think i need to get my penstemon seeds ready.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

January 9, 2011
7:16 AM

Post #8300312

Good was hoping that..less complicated.I keep telling myself that !!! haha
Cem9165
Duluth, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 9, 2011
8:37 PM

Post #8301690

I did my first few wintersown containers last night. 1 milk jug, which was not as hard to cut as I thought it would be. The kitchen shears worked really well to cut the bottles used. I also used a clear 2L soda bottle and an OJ bottle as well as pots in a flat that I then put into clear plastic and tented the plastic with cut wire hangers. I left a flat of poppies open to the elements on purpose to compare it to the wintersown poppies. I looking forward to seeing the first set of seedlings, which won't be anytime soon since we're getting 3 in. of snow per hour now and tomorrow, sleet and freezing rain.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

January 9, 2011
9:01 PM

Post #8301718

Place in morning sun?
Cem9165
Duluth, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 9, 2011
9:15 PM

Post #8301731

On my back deck, gets some afternoon sun.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 10, 2011
4:44 AM

Post #8301908

my exposure is the same... afternoon sun.
nohren4
Cowden, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 10, 2011
12:49 PM

Post #8302857

So would you say afternoon sun works better, or it really doesnt matter as long as they get some sun?

tcs1366

tcs1366
Itasca,IL&Lk Delton, WI
(Zone 5a)

January 10, 2011
1:06 PM

Post #8302894

some peeps keep theirs in full shade.

my back yard is western exp. so that is my best choice since my yard is fenced.

in the spring, sometimes that sun gets hot and really dries out the containers... that is the only issue I have with afternoon sun.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

January 10, 2011
1:54 PM

Post #8302987

I will be setting up on the east side of the house.So mine will be in morning sun .Afternoon shade,which is very good for me and a convenient area.This will work well for me.Id better go get some soil an get going

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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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