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Winter Sowing: Have any of you" flipped your tops" yet?

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Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 22, 2012
3:04 PM

Post #9053134

Wintersowing Milk jug tops, that is! The morning started out so foggy, cloudy and the afternoon turned sunny and beautiful and at a few minutes till 6 pm, it is 76-80 degrees; depending on which outdoor thermometer you look at, on which side of the house..Lowest last night was aboug 56-60 degrees. I opened up some of the WS milk jug tops yesterday or was it this morning? When I came home from my luncheon, I knew I needed to open up some more tops on the WS milk jugs..Airing them out and watching to make sure they are not in direct sunlight and their soil is kept moist.

What about your wintersowing containers? I will take one of my lupine seedlings and plant it in a larger pot/container to grow before I plant it out. Need to dig up the bronze mums and make many smaller plants out of it. Some I will plant here, some I will plant up for the May plant sale for our garden club. Bee balm the same as it has spread a lot over the winter months..snapdragons too. Larkspurs are included in this group but need to know exactly how to divide or thin them out. A few have bloomed but most haven't because they reseeded over the late Fall and early winter.

How can you tell if the soil has warmed up enough to take a chance to plant early if you don't have a soil thermometer? Do they sell such at Home Depot's garden center?

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

March 25, 2012
6:19 AM

Post #9056107

Mine are in flats, and I flipped my tops last week. My little seedlings are flashing me every time I go out to check on them :)

If you're worried about planting too early, pot your seedlings up for awhile into larger pots. I don't check soil temperature with a thermometer, I just turn over a hand-spade of soil and feel if it's warm, or if it's still cold and wet.
garfieldkae
Flippin, AR
(Zone 7a)

March 25, 2012
11:48 AM

Post #9056454

I wintersowed a bunch of different squashs, they are huge. I've got them in two litter pop bottles. If it does get really cold, there is no way I'll get the top back on them, I'll have to bring them in.

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 26, 2012
3:24 AM

Post #9057131

Oh yes, I've flipped my top(s)!! We've had some days in the low 80's in my neck o' the woods, so I didn't want the little babies to roast! I've also been hand-watering some of them as well. I think this morning, or when I get home from work, they're gonna have to have their tops closed again 'cause I hear our temps are going back down again this week. Sheeesh!!

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

March 26, 2012
5:09 AM

Post #9057191

It's gonna be 28 degrees tonight, so I'm going to cover my flats.
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 26, 2012
6:24 AM

Post #9057289

Why not bottom water them? Sit that milk jug/container in a pan of water and it will soak right up to the potting mix through the drainage holes. When you see the soil is wet enough, remove and that's it. I will be moving my seedlings into the garage tonight into the back of the truck..I moved the flat of black-eye susans from under the forsythia bush to another location, hoping to see germination soon.

Perennials are popping through the soil every day. It is exciting to see what all you have coming back from last year. Just spied my bleeding heart coming out of dormancy and had to make a new zinc plant ID tag for it because seems the other fell apart, got stepped on or disappeared.. The pink creeping phlox that I divided last year and replanted in the sunroom flowerbed started blooming last week, so I know that's a good place for them. Will check with the garden center to see if my other creeping phlox that I ordered has come in yet.
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 26, 2012
7:17 PM

Post #9058439

Weathermen predict a possible dive in temperatures tonight here, a possible freeze. I have taped my milk jugs back up and put them out in the cold cruel world..back in their little greenhouse effect, what they were used to. I have kept the tops off for almost a week and some of them I really had to work to get their foliage back in the milk jug so I could tape it back on. I bought my alyssum that germinated in just 4 days inside the living room because I have no cover for it. They were planted in 3 in. nursery pots..Also a tray of my others that I had sown in 4 in. nursery pots. Today I purchased a flat of Emerald Blue creeping phlox..that is inside the living room too. Tomorrow afternoon they all go back outside when I get home.

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 27, 2012
3:16 AM

Post #9058721

OH RATS, I forgot to re-cover all my un-covered babies last evening!!! I hope the frost from last night didn't hurt anyone!! =( I'll peek at 'em when it's a bit lighter out. < =/
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

March 27, 2012
3:41 AM

Post #9058729

hey Betty, sorry I havent.. emailed you lately...Busy ..busy

I popped the tops 10 days ago or so ,OMG all my jugs were dry...I watered all is fine now..I have germination,and growth,I had germination a few days after I watered them...Geesh...Tops went back down last night ,blankets covering clematis,hydrangas..

I need to get some other things sowed...

Larkspur,I just moved some fingers crossed...I have millions of them...YAY...
Dig the smaller ones,I dig a hunk of soil with them,as to not disturb the roots as little as possible..The earlier the better..

I saw blooms on my bleeding heart already...There are so many things Leaping up...did I say LEAPING...holy moly...
kiseta
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)

March 27, 2012
4:33 AM

Post #9058754

Huggergirl, I have opened my tops a week ago, I sowed to many larkspur in a jar, so when I try to plant them in ground, I have to plant about 20 together to grab some soil with it. I still have some unplanted in jars, also some seeds to, How tall should I let them grow before I plant them in ground? Seams like the ones that are planted in part shade are doing better then the ones in full sun. Cant' wait to see them bloom. Thanks. Etelka
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 27, 2012
4:35 PM

Post #9059631

Think I'll go out and throw a cardboard box over the new creeping phlox to be on the safe side that is if it fits over it or bring them back inside for the night. Same temps expected tonight.
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 28, 2012
3:03 AM

Post #9060021

Upon awakening, I went to driveway to pick up newspaper, and it's not feeling anything like the temps they predicted last night. I left the creeping phlox out and placed a cardboard box over them for the night temps that were predicted; I just removed it.

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

March 28, 2012
5:37 AM

Post #9060101

I covered a couple of things last night, but it was like...49 degrees and not 38. I did have some damage from Monday night on a Brunnera and a Persicaria "Red Dragon". I'm a little worried about the Brunnera, but nothing on earth can kill a persicaria.
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 29, 2012
3:10 PM

Post #9062275

Would you believe that what got hit was the hydrangea and mums? I can prune the mums back and I wanted to divide those in a pot anyhow..and replant them. I need to check to see what the temperature is going to be tonight. It's been a bit breezy today, you needed a jacket on.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

March 30, 2012
5:20 AM

Post #9062877

I would have coverd the HYdrangas...I have blankets ready for mine..LOL
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 30, 2012
5:41 AM

Post #9062898

Tam, are these the lightweight blankets especially for use of covering plants or bed linens?
I would think bed linens would be too heavy and would break the plants. I saw some of that white plant fabric for that purpose in Gardener's supply catalog. Hoping the weather is warmer next week so I can do some transplanting and dividing. Wished you lived close so you could have some of my raspberry wine monarda. It was beautiful last summer but boy has it spread over the winter.

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

March 30, 2012
6:18 AM

Post #9062937

I use those super-cheap dollar store fleece blankets. They're always some monkey-ugly plaid, but I don't care if they're inexpensive and functional.
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 31, 2012
4:22 PM

Post #9064690

It's supposed to go down to 42 degrees again. I'm getting frustrated with this on/off weather and nothing we can do about it. Flip the tops, go out and tape them back up at night, open the next morning..I'm ready to throw in the towel..Patience is not one of my better virtues..Next year I should only need annuals to fill in..I'll do less next year or go buy them at garden center.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2012
12:35 PM

Post #9068345

Betty ,Thats what I used were sheets ...Not too heavy,I know better...LOL..

I took the tape off my jugs,got to be a pain in the butt...trying to water,they seem to stay put ,even in the wind...

sooo super busy right now...UGH...

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

April 3, 2012
11:35 PM

Post #9069048

All of the top-flipping makes me glad that I use flats. 8 lids. lol
CLScott
Calgary
Canada

April 4, 2012
12:13 AM

Post #9069059

When I WS, I place 6 jugs in a clear plastic (or almost clear)
box. The flip lid kind work really well. Watering is then from the bottom of the jugs.
On warm days flip the box lid open.
If cold is threatening----close the box.

Thumbnail by CLScott
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

April 4, 2012
2:50 AM

Post #9069088

Now that's pretty handy.

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 4, 2012
3:00 AM

Post #9069092

Yeah, that's REALLY handy CLScott!!! How many of those "boxes" do you have? Do you put holes in the bottoms of those as well as your jugs, for drainage? When you water them into the boxes, how long does the water hang around in there? How long have you been doing it this way, and how have your successes been? (can I think of any more questions to ask you?) < =D This is a REALLY cool idea, very neat and tidy, which I like a LOT.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 4, 2012
5:18 AM

Post #9069162

CLScott wrote:When I WS, I place 6 jugs in a clear plastic (or almost clear)
box. The flip lid kind work really well. Watering is then from the bottom of the jugs.
On warm days flip the box lid open.
If cold is threatening----close the box.


This Is an Excellent IDEA...OH Ya...yes flipping tops is killing my already bad back...how many clear tubs will I need to house 50-60 jugs ...LOL...Im thinking thats the way to go...

PS ...those big clear tubs make a Super great Cat litter box...We cut a hole in the end,or notch...My Big boy cat,was peeing over the short sided cat box...His feet were in the box ,just he would back over it...LOL...Now he cant back over the edge...ive got several people using them now,also they cant throw litter out of the box...Mucho Better
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 4, 2012
11:31 AM

Post #9069711

Just for grins I figured I would post a picture of our zones here in Anchorage, Alaska. A Picture is worth a thousand words. I am in a zone 4 according to this but I have lots of zone 5 flowers. the other picture is out my family room window Dec 5th

Thumbnail by Oberon46   Thumbnail by Oberon46
Click an image for an enlarged view.

CLScott
Calgary
Canada

April 5, 2012
12:10 AM

Post #9070381

I do not put holes in the big boxes.
I keep some water in the bottom,but because it is freezing at night,---
I have added some soluble fertilizer as an "antifreeze".
This is the second year that I have done it this way.
If it warms up weather wise---then I must open the boxes or the stuff will fry!
Caroline

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 5, 2012
3:06 AM

Post #9070418

Mary, those were some really cool pics you shared!!! Garsh, will your snow EVER go away!?!?!

Caroline, thank you, I am going to HAVE to try this next year!!! I love it when brilliant people share what they do with their plantings, there's just so much to learn all the time!
(though I'm sure most of you don't have NEARLY as much to learn as I do!) =) So, what sort of (or, which, specifically) soluble fertilizer do you use? (told ya I've got a LOT to learn!) ;)

New birthday wish-list for DH: 15 clear or semi-clear LARGE tubs. < =)
CLScott
Calgary
Canada

April 5, 2012
8:22 AM

Post #9070664

Just Miracle Gro.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2012
8:55 AM

Post #9070697

It's going Speedie. Faster and faster. I have started to shovel the mountain in the front yard into the driveway. It will melt faster laying on the asphalt

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2012
5:09 AM

Post #9071606

Thank you Caroline, I can do that! =)

Mary, will there be car-parking problems with you shoveling the snow INTO the driveway? Most people shovel snow OUT OF the driveway, heeheeheee. ;)
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2012
9:22 AM

Post #9071887

Actually I just finished using an ice chipper a week ago to clean out our drive from all the snow that accumulated despite Damien's all but daily showblowing and shoveling. Now that it is nice and clean and BLACK I start bit by bit hauling snow from where he blew it (uh, yeah -- doesn't make much sense does it) back into the driveway. Just enough to get it out melting on that nice warm black asphalt not enough to block it -- it is really long. He has little choice about where the snow gets blown. And I only clear paths to my two garden beds. I also start dumping snow back on the walkway to the front door to clear that side of the bed along the sidewalk. Rediculous shoveling the same snow twice. Heavy sigh...
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2012
1:32 PM

Post #9073260

Okay, the nicotiana was a false alarm but today for sure my breadseed poppies, sown and put out 3-14 have little sprouts. I am thrilled and panic'd at the same time. I don't want to mess them up. they are on the second shelf from the top of the portable greenhouse so got a bit more sun and warmth than say the poppies on the bottom shelf. they will be easy to put into pots as they are in a 70 cell 'pop out' setup. I guess I just leave them there til they get some bigger. I check them each day for moisture. While it snowed again today the temp is 38F out back and about 50 in the greenhouse. Even clouded over the plastic cover keeps in and generates heat. there are 5 shelves. I also have a cold frame that sits on the deck where I intend to put the plants as I pot them up til I am sure we have seen the end of snow. I am really tickled to death to see it working this year. Course, the proof is getting them into the ground and growing.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 8, 2012
8:11 PM

Post #9074840

It looks like the scabiosa seed has germinated. I took the lids off that jug as well as the nicotiana. I really think it is germinating also. Plus the poppies from OSPS that is great. I am surprised that those poppies germinated before the ones I planted in flats in February. Course they are on the bottom shelf which is the coldest shelf and the ones that germinated are near the top.

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

April 9, 2012
6:08 AM

Post #9075149

Did you get your ROS seed, and is it sprouting? I still have sprouts...
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 9, 2012
10:24 AM

Post #9075584

Oh, Celene. I could not for the life of me remember who was sending them. Please forgive me. Yes!! Today I saw the first sprout. I have them under close light and on a heating pad. As soon as they look to be sprouted out I will transfer each sprout to it's own little pot. Thank you so very much. I really really appreciate the seeds.Mary

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

April 9, 2012
5:14 PM

Post #9076160

Woo hoo! I'm so glad they're sprouting. The "mama" bush is dug out permanently for egregious reseeding, lol.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

April 9, 2012
5:28 PM

Post #9076184

Poor mama bush... but I am so happy with my little sprout

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 11, 2012
2:20 AM

Post #9077980

Congratulations on your little sprout, Mary!! =)

Celene, I hope your Mamma Bush rests in peace. ;)

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

April 11, 2012
5:41 AM

Post #9078076

Mama bush is residing in someone else's yard. Craigslist curb alert! lol

Anyone else germinated Orlaya? They make me feel like a failure...
soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 21, 2012
8:39 PM

Post #9092330

Celene - you're not the only one with problems with Orlaya. I direct sowed several batches of Orlaya last year and nothing came up. I germinated more inside this last fall, and was finally successful. They were big enough to put into the ground a few weeks ago. I also bought plants in the past and they died. So, after all those failures, I am happy to finally have some up. A couple is starting to flower.



This message was edited Apr 22, 2012 9:46 AM

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

April 22, 2012
6:28 AM

Post #9092579

I broke down and ordered some from Annie's Annuals, I hope they reseed. How long did it take for your Orlaya to germinate? Did you use bottom heat, etc? TIA!

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Other Winter Sowing Threads you might be interested in:

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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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