Does anyone winter sow in GA? If so, or should that be sow, LOL, what's you're experience been? I'm in zone 7b although the DG map says zone 8, and we've had a very cold winter so far. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks, Annette
Wintersowing in Georgia
Annette, isn't there is a winter sowing forum? I grow mostly vegetables and am a four season gardener. We are currently growing collards, red and green cabbages, mustards, rutabagas, kale, chard, garlic and arugula. We winter sow some flower seed like violas which I'm getting ready to put out. I broadcast some herb seed that needs light to germinate after we till in late winter. If you have a garden that is ready to receive seed early you can sow anytime after the time the plant would have normally set seed. If you have piles of leaves on your seed beds, which is often the case here, and is beneficial to your plants later on, you'll have a problem germinating the seed. So/sow the question is where and what do you grow?
I have seeds for perennials and annuals that I wanted to winter sow. I have been reading about winter sowing on that forum and have also been to the winter sowing website, I just wanted some input from anyone who's done this GA. Sowing seed directly in my yard is a banquet for the birds. The seeds that were sown in the yard last Spring were all eaten, and unless it's an actual plant, I'll never see them grow. I have seed for 25 varieties of flowering plants that I've collected this year, some of them heirloom seeds, and would rather put out live plants than seeds.
Could you share exactly what you grow? Birds are not the only creatures who walk off with seeds. Even ants can shop your garden and critters can not be blamed for 100% lack of germination. I too grow heirloom and other open pollinated flowers and vegetables, much of it saved and traded over many years. Knowing how to store (like if chill time is needed, for how long and what temps are required for specific seed) and when to sow are all important factors.
I've got seeds for poppies, delphiniums, hollyock, catmint, Italian alkanet, wild flax, Canterbury bells, Shasta daisies, gas plant, lupines, fox gloves, butterfly weed, echinacea, larkspur, nasturtium, sweet peas, bells of Ireland, cosmos, convolvulus, zinnias, Chinese forget me not, Indian cress, and cypress vines. Besides the birds, I also have squirrels, chipmunks and rabbit that love to feast on the seeds and plants. The perennials will be sown first and later this Spring the annuals.
Many of these seeds, including hollyhocks and delphiniums should have been planted in Fall and wintered through as young plants. You can also plant in Spring but it will delay flowering for an additional year and the plants will be more difficult to establish and get hardy before the heat sets in. In other words, they tolerate the cold, once established, better than the heat. You may want to hold that seed until next Fall. Echinacea can be sown in very early Spring. Beware, finches do like the seed. Nasturtiums, sweet peas and cress can be started in ground in early Spring as can the annuals, cosmos and zinnias. The former will need the cool weather to do well and the later will come up when the temps are right for them. I plant cosmos and zinnias every year but they also reseed. Cypress vines require hot weather and can be planted in late Spring or started indoors in a container that can be planted directly. They do not like their roots disturbed. They will not really grow well until soil temps warm so you can wait on those for late Spring. Otherwise they just sit and languish in the cool wet Spring weather. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the info Laurel, I'll put it to good use. Annette
I think I started a little late, mid February, but I tried cleome, purple cone flower, and forget-me-not. The cleome has germinated. The forget-me-not is pretty old, so I am not sure how it will do. Actually, I have still been putting seeds in the milk jugs, did some yesterday. This is my first try at winter sowing. I am doing alot of experimenting.
You'll be fine. I winter sowed over 20 containers and most of them have germinated. I did some Agastache in late February and they germinated in a week. I'll definitely do this again next year. How old are the seeds and how cold does it get in Guyton, GA? Do some of your seeds need stratification? Our cold weather is not over yet even though we've had a warm spell.
That is good to know! Does agastache bloom it's first year? I do alot of butterfly and hummingbird gardening. It would probably be a great asset to my garden and I saw some seeds the other day. I am not sure how old the forget-me-not seed is, my SIL gave it to me. I went ahead and bought some more to try. Guyton is only about 35 miles northwest of Savannah, so we rarely get very cold weather, well at least until this year. I did stratify some seed last year. It was either joe pye weed or milkweed, can't remember which. I had so-so germination with that.
I will wintersow next year too. I start plants under lights too, but it sure has been easier to just stick those seeds in milk jugs and check them every few days. It seems a sure way to get enough plants to do mass planting without breaking the bank and taking up every spare bit of space in the house.
I'm also loving the cost savings with ws. IDK if the Agastache will bloom the first year, the seed packet didn't say one way or the other. I assume if it doesn't say biennial that it should bloom this year. I believe my butterfly weed has germinated as well. I'll check when I'm back home next week.