this year I am finally going to do some wintersowing.I do drink milk, but do not drink soda or juice or bottled water. However in recent years most dairies have switched to opaque white plastic jugs, because clear glass or plastic lets in UV light and it destroys the vitamin A and changes the flavor. Most of the photos you all post are of the older more translucent plastic. Has anyone noticed a problem with the new ones?
Mine break or fall apart when they freeze .. Have to find a sealer for them , wrapping the bottom with duct tape is all right , but then were back to the top and light ,
Only my experience , many still like milk jugs ..
Juhur-I am in a very mild climate, so the milk jugs may be more sturdy here. I had planned to use the closing method of leaving the top attached at the handle, then making two little holes and closing with a twisty tie in the front. I planned to make holes in the bottom, and leave the lid off, thus letting some rain in but protecting the seeds somewhat.
Blomma- I have looked before (with great interest and admiration) at your setup, and may use it for stratification, but part of what attracted me to the milkjug wintersowing concept was letting the rain wash through to help wash out germination inhibitors, and allowing the natural cold do it's thing, without then having to replant the sprouted seeds. Your setup looks better protected from rodents and slugs though. I may try both.
cytf-I love snapdragons-they are mostly perennial for me, and self sow a bit too. I have some yellow ones blooming now. I have some snapdragon seeds i plan to winter sow this year. I am starting to save my milk jugs. Somebody recommended filling the jug with hot water for a few minutes to help peel off the label and it works well.
Maybe so Blomma, only because I haven't settled into a specialty yet or my inexperience is overshadowed by enthusiasm. I'll need a lot more endurance to catch up to you. Do you estimate the outer containers will last two or three seasons?
Blomma... how do your seedlings get enough light in there? ... when you start seeing green do you just unstack them?? I am using jugs this time... but I have lotsa shoe boxes. Do you drill holes in the bottoms? I like the neat and tidy look.. and I think the no-tape is a bonus.
Once the seeds spout, they will be placed on the east side of my garage for morning sun.
1] iris seeds sprouting in April
2] Those that are large enough will go into a 3" foam coffee cup until safe to plant out. Here they are getting acclimated to fresh air.
Yes I make holes at the bottom but with a red hot nail. I found drilling tend to break hard plastic.
I have use the cooking oil gallon jugs, they seem a little bit thicker . For the first time this year I am trying a 64 oz cranberry juice bottle because I need an extra container, and I have milk jugs for the third yea..Also I have a large plastic bottle of nuts I bought from Sams and I put plastics wrap over it , made holes in the plastic and put a large rubber band around it.
OOhhh. I like the milk crate idea to corral the jugs. I have 3-4 of them in my basement.. I was thinking about poking holes in my bins (like blomma did) to corral the jugs... but this is better. (At least for some of them) I did planting yesterday and I'm up to 30. YIKES>... :-))
I have access to unlimited water jugs...So that is what I use...I sure like the compact idea of the stackable containers tho...
I have never had an issue with opaque jugs ever...I don't save mine because I end up cutting off the lids as they seedlings grow...but I wash and recycle them.
I set out 50 jugs ran out of jugs boo hiss...the dh always asking me can I stop saving them now? NOOOO...LOL
Im hoping I didn't set mine out too late...is there such a thing ? all my seeds were purchased so Im not really worried about stratification as these should already be stratified...I would think ?...anyway...Here is to hoping 50 jugs do fine...
you are welcome. If they have been out in the cold with moisture, yes, then they will be stratified. and ready to sprout with warm temp.
My iris seeds have been outside in bins all winter on the north side of my house. End of this month, or ealy April I will begin to bring them into the house for them to sprout. Iris seeds will sprout in temp of 50 to 70F
I have never had them so I can't advise you. However, I found this information on the web.
Crush Borer Eggs
Those telltale brown streaks in the iris leaves are created when borer eggs are laid inside the leaf. Crush the eggs and naturally prevent the next generation of destructive borers from being hatched. To crush the eggs, start at the top of the brown streak and pinch your way down the leaf, crushing the eggs between thumb and index finger as you go.
Into the Rhizome
If the brown streak continues down into the rhizome, dig up the rhizome and inspect it for exit holes. Use a sharp knife or shears and cut away any damaged parts of the rhizome. Mix up a weak bleach solution of one part bleach and nine parts water in a small recycled butter bowl and place the rhizome (after cutting away damaged) into the bleach water solution. Let rhizome soak for five minutes to prevent soft rot and to drown any borer larvae. Rinse rhizome under cool running water and place on newspaper to dry overnight before replanting.
Make sure you also remove all dead leaves in the fall and trim back leaves to 6".
Hope the above helps.
Mipii, You are welcome. I will bring some of mine in this week for early sprouting.
I have had them - they tend to come with overwatering. It maybe caused by our irrigation system, which of course waters everything. Was just reading something about this and I believe it stated they need less water after blooming. Just like houseplants you can't really water on a schedule because different plants have individual needs. One thing that helps is to divide them every 2-3 years and remove any traces of softening and discoloring on the tubers. I wasn't able to divide any last year, and the rotting really was noticeable. I may ned to re-think the drip hoses and timers, or at the least re-locate the iris to place where they can be watered less.
I have several varieties and they are planted all over the garden. Only picture i could locate today - some cut iris from last spring.
Marty you are correct about dividing them every 2years . I planted mine 7 years ago and last August I divided them and found some of the holes and the browning of the tubers . I cleaned them is a mild bleach solution and made sure I discard the damaged tubers in the garbage .What made me divide them it that I noticed that my peach one did not bloom at all and my yellow one only had one bloom.
Robin, thank you I printed it off...I'm thinking it`s water. I water ,and I had been thinking they get too much water...it took years for them to show up...I always cut them back clean up ,dig and thin, use bleach...I still have some Iris just not the huge ones...Id bet my neighbor still has some...I will acquire more, I wont give up...Maybe we better find the Iris thread...LOL
I'm going to set out more jugs today ...I ordered more seed ...from Botanical Interests. I love them...great prices on seed a lot of Heirloom I love the selection of Different seed over ordinary same old same old... I put them in my favorites..shipping was high :[ but if they germinate really well. I can be ok with high shipping...
Robin ; ] I`m hoping I have good germination Ill use them again...love the seed packets sooo pretty...They are GMO free seed,,which is nice...I didn't get any more jugs seeded ..darn,I will today later...woke up to Horrible wind last night , I kept wondering if my jugs were blowing around ,we kinda hap hazardly set my jugs outside the screened porch so they got sun...I did not tape my jugs shut this year...and they stayed put on the east side of the house...I rebent the hinge back the opposite direction after I seeded the jugs and they closed nice an tight and I thought hmmm...No messing with tape would be really nice...You just need to remember when you pick them up do so from the bottom 1/2.. LOL..we will see if this pans out well..a little less work and helpful for watering them..
Im missing my light set up this year ... taking a trip out to Denver soon and have no one to trust enough to care for seedlings..and a lot of them...so I opted not to set up..missing it...I would grow 20 flats...start my begonias and caladiums...well well...Im so sad...and it is SNOWING again...
Some annuals and vegetables can be grown in a short time.
Many only require a few weeks of indoor growing.
You can adapt your gardening to the time you have to start seedlings
by choosing different plants.
I thought it was to late to use jugs now? I did start some beets in jugs last year but was late getting them into bed and they were so overgrown - hard to thin for spacing. I always seem to have trouble with peas germinating? Has anyone started them in jugs? I also have about half of my cold frame empty and would like to start something out there; any suggestions from your experience?
I have always direct sown too but have several years where due to weather - too wet/cold, and too warm. I did not get any germination - this is even with using innoculent. So I was hoping to be able to pre start them where I could control for conditions and then transplant. But I have not heard of anyone doing this before. Maybe I would be better off hilling the row a bit and covering as needed?
Evelyn, Oh thanks - it's good to know that it can be done. I may try both - hilling some in case it's very rainy and starting some in cell packs. Since it's gotten sunny and warmer I have had to start opening my cold frame in the daytime - the spinach is going well, but it does not need warmth! Some did not sprout so I will sew some new...better not to have it all the same age, as I like to pick and use fresh.
It is most often recommended that lupine be sowed either in the ground, or if starting early, in peat pots. However, I have not been successful at peat pots. That is when I switched to cell packs with better results. Just be sure to watch the roots and then either plant them in the ground, or transfer (carefully) to gallon size pots. Handle with care, when tranferring them or transplanting them, as the radicles or roots can get damaged easily.
Of all these seeds, I only got a few Pines, which were planted in the soda bottle, and 3 Dierama, in opaque milk jug. Kind of a bust! I will try again next winter though. I have a cleaning lady who uses lots of vinegar, and she is saving me the jugs. They seem sturdier and not opaque!
p.s. I know I can't really keep Dierama here, having tried 3 times-anyone want them?
I'm so sorry MLM, I'm not getting much better results using the container method. It's probably due to the harsh winter we had (bad timing for a newbie). I love Dierama , so wish I could take it but its a zone 8 plant and I'm a zone 6...drat!
Wishing us both much better luck with next spring results.
Yes my winter sow cans in Back , 12 of them not a plant , two types of plants sprouted , then died ..
Poppies , and Coneflowers , in the wintersown sprouters , is all I have from winter sow .
Got some Great Herbs (weeds) all around the yard though ...
Sad to know you've had tough luck too but, not as sad as I was 'cause I'm in good company. Knowing things were a bust for seasoned WS'ers makes me think there's still hope for me. Just thought I better splain myself rather than let you think I was happy about your poo. lol.
LOL ,, It all goes good in the Garden , eventually , I will recover ,you will recover , all here will recover ,, and another season will happen .
I got three Bela Lugosi Daylily crosses also ,, but that's it ,, three successes and about 17 fails ,, Grrrrr goes with that !!!
Marty, Mipii -thanks for the commiseration, but I am not a seasoned winter sower, this was my first try. But you are right, I actually feel slightly less bad knowing juhur and Marty had problems this year too. I will try again!
juhur-You never know, one of the three might be just what you are hoping for, and then you could have fun finding a 'horror-ible' name!
And what would we do if all our seedlings succeeded? i don't have time or space for that many plants. And I am terrible at thinning things. I pull out my radish seedlings that are too close and stick them in a new finger made hole immediately. Sometimes it even works! HeHe.
I had the same problems too .The basil seeds only gave me 3 plants , got lots of pansies , the petunias and the cardinal flower still very small , the Delphi and the cockscomb still need to get a bit taller and stronger to be transplanted . To my great surprise I got one white hibiscus and two white swan coneflower to germinate but still not big enough to be transplanted. so I guess I can thank my lucky stars . Who said WS is was as easy as kissing hands.LOL
OK, I think I will go with "summer sowing" as I got so really nice plants from those sown last August...pansies, foxglove (loads), daisies, hollyhocks. Some other seeds did not germinate, so I will try so more this coming summer.
I covered them with a "close weave" black nursery flat. That seemed to do the trick as previously I could not imagine sowing anything in summer and having them germinate or survive after they did.
That's what I thought...but it worked! I read that summer was the best time to sow certain plants, especially pansies. I could not imagine them surviving, especially with me.
The foxgloves are now large and ready to plant, so I had better get out there. I have already planted some. They are in full sun for most of the day. I will place them in the shadier parts of the gardens.
Reading this thread now that has alot of great info...I am new at WS'ing and will try it first hand this winter. Saving milk bottles, but very interested in Blomma's shoe box and other square/rectangle
Blomma, and others who use this type of method (vs. open milk jugs to let in snow/moisture) do the shoe box tops have to be TIGHT (airtight) fitting? And if you use the square shoe boxes inside the large tub/container, do you still put holes in the bottoms of the shoe boxes and the large bin? I'm confused about that.
THANKS in advance to all you expert WS-ers!
when i used tubs/show boxes, i drilled holes in the lids. you do need moisture, even though it is winter. so -- holes in tops and bottoms. BUT -- that being said, I did not have as good of luck with my seedlings/seeds as I do with milk jugs. [my new favorite is the gallon jugs for vinegar. they are much stronger]
Thanks tcs. How many years have you winter-sown? Two? Milk jugs work for me as long as i can save enough..
But if you put the cover on the large bin with shoe boxes inside, are there also holds in the large bin top? (It appears that way?)
I have used gallon vinegar jugs too and they worked fine me,they are much sturdier .I have also used the large sour cream and yogurt containers and cut a circle in the lid and put clear produce bags over the container and I put on the lids and then pierce the plastic for ventilation. You you look back on one of my past post in Jan 2014 I placed the milk jugs in milk crates so they can stay steady and not be blown away
Hi all, I've been having fun reading this thread also! :)
I took a lot of your guys' advice last winter and had good germination using a combination of milk jugs and 2 liter soda bottles. The latter worked great for plants with taproots so as not to disturb them too much when transplanting. This year I think I'll use them again.. I really like the idea of corralling the milk jugs in milk crates (duh, why didn't I think of that??), and I'll be asking my local convenience store for some of their plastic flats that are pre-molded to hold 6-8 2 liter bottles, so they can be "held together" too.
Last year I had an empty raised bed on the north side of my house, gets a little morning sun in the winter, but after that mostly shade, I set all the jugs in there to protect them from too much wind/sun and it worked out, but I have things growing in there this winter, so the crates and flats will be perfect!
Stillplays, Love your name! :o)
So am curious what you filled up your shady garden area with this year?
Thanks for sharing your experience of wintersowing. One of the instructional write ups
had a long flat plastic container (bigger than one of the BIG bins Blomma used), but shorter
to keep the milk cartons in, so I was going to mimic that. But if I come across some inexpensive milk crates, thats a super option too.
Which plants did you do in soda bottles? I guess I better read up on plants with long taproots!
The 6x6 raised bed that housed my wintersow jugs last winter is home to my winter veggies this time around.. Romanesco broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chinese cabbage and Swiss chard. It should get (hopefully) juuuust enough sun for those to do well this winter.
I like the sound of the long shallow container to hold the jugs.. Sounds streamlined, and I need to keep it neat and tidy since we share the property with my inlaws :))
It's dark out now or I'd go check (yes I do STILL HAVE some plants in their wintersow jugs! - don't judge! LOL), but I remember sowing all my milkweeds, dogwood tree, beautyberry, columbine, sesbania, mountain laurel tree all in 2 liter bottles due to taproots. Good luck!!
Nope, some never got planted since I was swamped with other stuff this year, but most of it made it into various pots and flowerbeds. I'll be honest, a few died also.. The beautyberry actually came up recently, like within the last 6 weeks. I still have all my unsprouted jugs hiding in the shade, hoping a few may sprout during round 2 :))
SPWD- I too have some jugs tucked under a shrub, in case they wanted a double dormancy. You never know...
Now I can't quite decide what to do with my baby Sourwood trees that sprouted late this spring. I potted them up late summer. Now what? I am thinking of putting the flat (of very deep units about 2" diameter) out in the open for winter, but mounding mulch around it. Or maybe my cold frame? But these are mountain dwelling trees, so maybe they do not want that degree of protection. Decisions, decisions...
Meanwhile, I am collecting vinegar jugs my cleaning lady has saved for me, for this winter.
Well, I just always disliked my DG name. When I joined, I didn't know the log-in name I gave would be my "handle", and figured there would be somewhere later in the sign-up process to choose some oustandingly perfect nickname for myself. Later, I asked if I could change it to "PineNut" but was turned down because once back in 2007 there had been a "pine nut" and maybe they would come back. so the other day I spent an hour or so looking in the index of botany and garden books. Most of my first choices were already taken, or seemed too long and hard to shorten. (see my thread in Trees and Shrubs forum). This time they said yes, so now I am Pistil (not pistol, although I like the double meaning!). This seems better, however I didn't know all my old threads would have the name change put on them, so I thought I better alert folks on the forums I hang out in. But if you want to call me mlm or mimi that works too.
Dangit, no grandkids. I called my grandmothers "Gramma" and "Gramma Lula". Lula was my Grandad's second wife, so I was not related to her by blood. But I did not know that and always considered her my grandmother too. This was my first lesson that we get family members in many ways, and we are not necessarily related by blood to our family members.