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Winter Sowing: Crazy Warm Solstice!

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ladyschweig
Culpeper, VA
(Zone 7a)

December 21, 2011
6:31 PM

Post #8938666

Wow... it is about 58 degrees outside, at about 9:30 pm. I've been real slow organizing to WS and even slower to find more seeds. I just don't feel too bad about it right now because I don't think this region has had a cold enough snap to make WS a good idea. I'm afraid my seeds would sprout too soon!

Any other Mid-Atlantic WSers out there holding off for a bit?

tcs1366

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

December 21, 2011
6:36 PM

Post #8938675

what is your February normally like??

I probably wont get started til the end of Feb this year... which is still a decent time for me, in my zone.
ladyschweig
Culpeper, VA
(Zone 7a)

December 22, 2011
4:32 AM

Post #8939071

February is usually ice storms and weird warm spells. It can really vary. I think my tactic is to poke a lot of holes in milk jugs, label them with paint Sharpies, and wait...

tcs1366

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

December 22, 2011
5:39 AM

Post #8939105

I would probably do my perennials in Jan. just stick'em outside and forget them until the temps start warming up.
do your annuals a lil later -- March maybe?

as for seeds... Have you found your way to the seed Trading forum?
Folks will do even trades or send seeds for postage.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

January 3, 2012
1:29 PM

Post #8953055

OK, it was over 60 degrees here, so is it too early to be starting or sowing seeds? Some of the sweet peas that I sowed a couple of weeks ago are coming up already. The seeds were quite old and I thought too old for trading so why not just put them in the ground and see what happens...

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

January 28, 2012
8:31 PM

Post #8986141

Lady - yes I am concerned as well. Particularly those seeds that need cold stratification for germination. If today was 60 degrees and February 1st forecast to be 70 degrees, I can't believe that any seed that requires cold stratification to germinate will get what it needs. My understanding is that 3 months at 40 degrees is what is required.

I decided today that I would have to figure out quick what needs that kind of treatment and store them in the refrigerator in moist sand instead of winter sowing perennials.

Annuals are different altogether. I am not going to do anything differently for those plants and should pay particular attention to average germination times in planning your starts. As April 15 is typically the time we tell people it's safe to put things out without threat of frost, I would probably start annuals in February or March at the latest.

Glad for your thread - it's the very question I came looking for.

A.
ladyschweig
Culpeper, VA
(Zone 7a)

January 29, 2012
4:42 AM

Post #8986277

Amanda,
I still haven't started anything yet! I do have seed packs in my fridge and I even have some seeds in ice-cubes (from last year). I tried freezing sweet pea seeds and morning glory seeds last year to help with stratification and it worked really well, particularly with the sweet peas and they were five year old seeds. I plan on treating my annuals the same, as you said. It is just such a strange "winter". We have had a scattered handful of nights below freezing. The days have been in the mid and upper sixties more often than not. It has been like a perpetual April. I have a patch of dandelion near my mailbox that has been blooming for 3 weeks.

On the bright side of things I never lifted some exhibition mums this fall and I can still see little shoots of green. Looks like I may not need a replacement order!
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

January 29, 2012
1:18 PM

Post #8986804

lady ~ I did not do anything to the old sweet pea seeds. I did not soak or nick them, just put them in the ground. I think they were from 2003 and 2004. I put a lot of them in there and I did hold some back as well to sow later.

So I did not do a germination test or "Deno" to see how many were actually viable. I just did not want to throw them away if I could get some plants out of them. Now I will have to thin them...(BIG GRIN) :-)

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

January 29, 2012
2:21 PM

Post #8986884

Have you tried to use the hydrogen peroxide mixture to help germinate your old seed? I'll dig around and see if I can find the thread. :)

roserairie
Chicago, IL
(Zone 5b)

January 30, 2012
6:07 AM

Post #8987739

I had such trouble with morning glories. I direct sowed them and got nothing. I did presoak and then planted them and they grew. They reseeded and grew so they must be a good seed to wintersow?
daisy68
Spencer, WV

February 1, 2012
7:13 PM

Post #8991437

YIKES! This is my first year winter sowing (I'm Zone 6) and I have seeds that are sprouting! I don't know if I should trust they know what they are doing, bring them in to put under lights, or call it a loss and plant again in a few weeks when "real winter" finally shows up! I just hate to lose the ones I have already planted. I am ATTACHED to them...Any advice from more experienced winter sowers?

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

February 1, 2012
7:18 PM

Post #8991442

I put mine in the freezer temporarily.
ladyschweig
Culpeper, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 2, 2012
4:44 AM

Post #8991729

Daisy-
This would be my second year winter sowing... had I started yet. This crazy weather has me so confused. It was 73 here yesterday. I believe, like you, we will get a "real winter" that will kill off anything I start right now!

My one solace is that I haven't spent that much on seeds, so if I do start and loose some it won't be too much of a pinch. Of course, there will be all those holes in my garden!

tcs1366

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

February 3, 2012
5:31 PM

Post #8993872

I have only sown 1 milk jug... it's 4 types of penstemons... i put them in the garage when i left [they are supposed to be in the dark for 5 weeks]
hope it's cold enough. I"m on vacation, so i havent checked them. hope they don't germinate.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

February 3, 2012
6:22 PM

Post #8993906

Who knows if winter will really arrive with a vengeance or not come at all? Very strange...usually we have snow on the ground this time of year.
lonejack
Longview, WA
(Zone 8b)

February 4, 2012
8:22 AM

Post #8994366

I am sewing 5 milk jugs today. I am also going to prepare a place to put the plants once they
sprout if the weather stays warm and they need to be transplanted. I am going to build one
of a, "Topsyturvy," planter as a wintersew so all I have to do is thin the plants where they are
and let them grow. My, "Topsyturvy," planter uses three 5 gal. buckets stacked on the top ov one
another. I'll send pictures.
Weather in the 50s here in Western Washington, although last night it got pretty cold, 28 degrees.
The expteded forcast looks like in the mid 40s at night; with mid 50s during the day. We still have to
be careful and not exspect our plants to survive outside yet.
Paul.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

February 4, 2012
9:07 AM

Post #8994400

I think sowing in my milk jugs and putting them in the basement where it stays between 40 and 50 in the "winter" would be a good start and maybe when it gets COLD out (I should say "IF") I can move them upstairs and outside.

I went to a meeting of the American Society of Foresters a few weeks ago and the "slogan" or theme of the conference was "Migrate, Adapt or Die." Sounds like good advice for winter sowers also. ;)

A.

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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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