Is it ok if tender annual seeds freeze? I know some are fine, like Cleome, Nicotiana, Verbena Bonariensis , because they self-sow from year to year. But what about Cosmos and the others that don't? Is it better o wait to do those?
There were three articles on WS I read the other day somewhere in DG that said that you shouldn't WS tender annuals, I think. Hardy and half hardy were both ok. I'll try to find it again and put in the link.
Just a few things about the annuals you'd mentioned JVW. If you look at any flower's native habitat, that should give you a good idea of whether or not they will do well winter sown. Take Salpiglosis for example. Their native region is in the Andes. Those mountains get COLD in the winter time, and lots of snow. Salpiglosis self-seed also, so there you have their natural habit and habitat together: self-seeding followed by cold and snow. Perfect for winter sowing, in my humble little opinion.
Now let's look at some Cosmos. Most varieties of Cosmos occur naturally in meadow lands... yes, it is true that these are meadow lands of more southern regions like Mexico and Paraguay, but meadow lands indicate COLD. Cosmos also self-sow abundantly. These two factors together indicate success with winter sowing Cosmos. (my own personal successes also indicate to me, at least, that I will winter sow them again and again). ;)
Limonium... that one is a bit trickier. They are often grown in the fall and winter in western Europe, both indoors and out, by growers, and they also self-seed, so my guess would be YES, they are ok for winter sowing. (this is a guess, however). Natively they are "Mediterranean", but I'm really not sure specifically WHERE in the Med. they originate from. They can tolerate wetlands and dry. I figure, if commercial growers grow them outdoors in the winter time, why the heck not? =)
Now, about those Cosmos... heehee
Here are a couple pics of my own. I winter sowed these the second week of December of 2009, the year my area had that MASSIVE snow storm Dec/Jan and we had feet and feet of snow. These pics were taken in April 2010.
Wow, thanks speediebean! Good info. I guess I need to do more research where my plants originate from. Cool pics! Cosmos in April, that would be exciting!
At this point I have realized I am in way over my head with seeds and WSing. I have already done 68 jugs and I have well over 100 packs of seeds I still wanted to do. Now, I am crazy and I love to work hard in my gardens. But in reality this is even too much for me. So now I have to go through all the seeds and make some decisions on what will work for direct sowing. Cosmos is a great candidate!
Cosmos are SUPER easy to direct sow. < =D I still get "volunteers" on the other side of the fence in my neighbor's yard from that first planting... heh heh. ;)
Often the name gives a good indication of their native region (eg: Alaska Shasta Daisy), or directions on the package will indicate if they can be WS'n. (eg: needs stratification, store in refrigerator for xx days prior to sowing, nick seeds before sowing).