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Winter Sowing: Growing coke bottles

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poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


March 12, 2002
10:23 PM

Post #24799

These are my winter seedling containers. I had great success last year with them so that's what I'm using this year. I cut the bottle in half, punch holes in the bottom, and put a few slits in the top half for ventilation. After I plant my seeds and water them, I put the top back on and pack the bottles into cardboard boxes. Then out they go into the back yard to face the cold. As things begin to sprout I'll remove the bottle caps so they don't over heat. Works like a charm. I had more seedlings last year than I could fit into my garden.

Thumbnail by poppysue
Click the image for an enlarged view.

midwestsnowbird

March 12, 2002
10:31 PM

Post #225799

what a neat idea. i think I will try it :~)
midwestsnowbird

March 12, 2002
10:32 PM

Post #225801

what a neat idea. i think I will try it :~)
Joan
Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a)



March 12, 2002
10:34 PM

Post #225803

I've been using those little covered containers you get cherry tomatoes in at the grocery store too. I wish I wouldn't have been throwing out all the coke bottles now. LOL!
vic

March 13, 2002
1:54 AM

Post #225878

When all the kids were home we went through that size bottle a lot but don't even buy them anymore unless kids are coming home or lots of company. But..we do drink lots of juice from plastic bottles just like this only a bit smaller and I've been doing the same thing. I think it's great too.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

March 13, 2002
11:32 AM

Post #226038

What a wonderful idea. That would keep my seeds from washing out. I tried the winter sowing and the rain washed some of the seeds out and like TiG, I too have squirrels that dig in stuff.
tiG
Newnan, GA
(Zone 8a)

March 13, 2002
12:55 PM

Post #226083

these are also great for pots, I have brugs that needed a pot to get them to spring outside. these work great without the top for that.
Elena
Middle, TN
(Zone 6b)

March 13, 2002
12:59 PM

Post #226086

Poppysue, Did you start them out in a sterile potting medium or with regular potting soil? I want to try this as I have been saving my cold drink bottles to use the bottom cut off part for potting up new plants. I have bunches of them.
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


March 13, 2002
1:00 PM

Post #226087

tiG - I think I'll do that. I have some brugs in paper cups & it's not working out too good. We have tons of coke bottles - DH is an addict! They're recyclable here so I always save them to take to the redemption center. Think I'll cut a bunch up today.
tiG
Newnan, GA
(Zone 8a)

March 13, 2002
3:07 PM

Post #226140

Elena, for the ones I winter sowed, I used cheap potting soil, and it's NOT sterile:) worked fine.
MaVieRose
High Desert, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 13, 2002
4:30 PM

Post #226163

i have always used those soda bottles, if memory serves me right... i first posted that in the thread of propagating Confederate jasmine thread.

i cut the upper 1/4 off the top using a blade cutter, then trimming off with a pair of scissors to smoothen the edges. using a portable drill, puncture holes on the bottom. wash the bottle with bleach and diswashing soap to sterilized the bottle. fill the bottom part with styro foam 'peanuts' - to prevent water log.

i make my own starter soil by premixing equal amount of perlite and peat moss with a teaspoon of superphosphate - enchances root and plant growth. premoist the potting medium prior to planting the seed or cutting. it has always worked wonders for me all the time.

seeds i often soaked in luke warm water for 3 consecutive days, changing water each day. w/in 3- 5 days, most seeds emerge as seedlings. don't forget to place the top on. after the seedlings emerge, take off the top cover.*smaller seeds i plant straight on the potting medium. depending on the seed's requirement for light: some i cover with starter soil, others i simply place on the top of the soil.

the cuttings, i plant with out the top to cover. w/in a few weeks new leaves emerge.

i do not have a green house, never had those special lights to grow. i am solely dependent using the plastic bottles as propagating medium. i simply place the bottles on the southwest window ledge for light... ma vie
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


March 13, 2002
4:53 PM

Post #226171

You guys are all so clever! One suggestion: If you want to add holes to the bottom of a plastic container without splitting it, try a hot nail! I hold a 16 penny nail over the burner of my kitchen range (holding it with a pair of plyers!), then turn over the container and burn the holes in. It's fast and easy, and it doesn't split brittle plastic products.
MaVieRose
High Desert, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 13, 2002
5:58 PM

Post #226198

WZ... u are right. u can also heat the end of an ice pick to puncture holes. i prefer the portable drill, cause it is easier for me that way. i collect the plastic bottles, cut, steriled in bunches. not one at a time. easier to stock them up and ready for use in the event it is needed. there is a lady around the neighborhood who collects the plastic bottle for me, and bring them in exchange of duplicate & easy plants for her to grow. she knew i do not drink soda pop, and knew i use these plastic containers all the time as regular pots for duplicate stock.

so far, i have never crack a plastic bottle yet! ma vie
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


March 13, 2002
10:50 PM

Post #226353

Thanks, MaVieRose. Maybe I'll borrow my DH's drill next time!
MaVieRose
High Desert, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 13, 2002
11:04 PM

Post #226356

u're very welcome Weezingreens :)! i used the drill cause of the carphal tunnel syndrome i suffer with. makes the job easier to accomplish... ma vie
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


March 14, 2002
1:32 AM

Post #226414

Ah, yes, the electric drill was a real step forward for womankind! It makes everything easier, and men just a little less necessary!
MaVieRose
High Desert, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2002
2:36 AM

Post #226448

Weezingreens... we sure don't want to offend the men. i do not know how much younger u are than i am. being an old lady as i, i still need a helping hand around lifting those heavy containers or pots. or even transporting those bulky garden supplies i have to keep stock at hand... ma vie
farmgirl21
Hempstead, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 14, 2002
4:13 AM

Post #226501

i too use the coke bottles and everything else i can get my hands on. lol. and keeping a man around is a must. can't get along without those: muscles? :)
MaVieRose
High Desert, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2002
4:24 AM

Post #226504

:)!!! u go girl LOL!
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


March 14, 2002
5:42 AM

Post #226514

I sure didn't want to insinuate that men are unnecessary. I depend on my DH for lots of things, and he always helps me with my garden projects. I guess I worded it wrong.. what I mean is that it's nice to do things for myself without having to ask him to put a screw in the wall to hang a picture when he's busy with something else.

I'm 55, MaVie Rose and that seems pretty old sometimes when I'm on my hands and knees digging in the garden, then try to get back up! I don't know if you've lived more years than me, but I can tell by your postings that you are young at heart and your mind is as sharp as a tack. You've always got a helpful link to a website or good advice to share!
MaVieRose
High Desert, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2002
6:44 AM

Post #226519

Weezingreens... am 58, a few years ahead of u ;). as Aimée, use to say... we are not old, but wiser LOL! i do prefer to post web sites for fear of missing some vital information. if not mistaken, sharing web sites is far better, the reader can always bookmarked for future references. i try to post the best site/s i can find, if possible. i like to help the best way i can. being born under the astrological sign of virgo, i guess i am focus on details - vital details that need to be known.

having been born and raised in the Philippines, i've been blessed to touched and wear lovely & fragrant tropical flowers or plants. i've been gardening most of my life. here in the US, it has been nearly 40 yrs.- totally different garden technique from the orient. it is sad to admit, before then, i have never find interest in botanical names until recently. way back then, i was content to know the common name of plants that are resident to Philippines climate cause i never knew i was going to be transplanted to the US. when i came here, i had hardship finding plants i had been familiar with... then the botanical names became mandatory for me to learn. i am glad cause the transistion, allowed me to acquire plants i've been familiar with.

it is always good to share information, from my point of view, it makes one's task less burdensome for other. in the process of sharing information, i also learn a lot too.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


March 14, 2002
4:18 PM

Post #226617

Oh, MaVieRose, how right you are. I know I have visited the sites you've linked, and many of them are earmarked in my favorites now. I'm amazed that you always know where to look for information. That is truly what knowledge is all about.. knowing where to look for the answers, since none of us can keep all the information we need in our heads!

I envy your history with tropical plants. I can see now why you do so well with the plants you show us in photos. I, too, experienced a drastic change in growing techniques when I moved to Alaska almost 30 years ago. I came from the midwest where the summers were hot and the winters quite cold. We could grow so many things down there that I cannot grow up here...at least, not without a great deal of effort!

As you know, I'm sure, there is a trade-off when you move to a different climate. In my case, I could no longer grow tomatoes, cucumbers, or sweet corn in my garden, but other vegetables that I used to have to grow in the cooler part of the summer only, are were fine all summer here. Now I can grow wonderful lettuce, Swiss chard, celery, peas, all summer long. Violas don't bake in the sun, my bleeding heart never dies back.

Another benefit up here is the lack of harmful bugs, fungi, etc, that plague the warmer climes. We get a few cut worms, root maggots, thrips, and of course lots of slugs, but they aren't those big banana slugs the West Coast deals with! I think we also get more vibrant colors in some of our blooms, perhaps due to the cool soil, the long days, or the kinder sun. In the two or three months we have to work with, it is Eden here.

I, too, am learning about the botanical names. It really becomes necessary as I branch out in my seed starting. This spring I started at least 6 kinds of primula, and different varieties of some of those. Without the botanical names, it could be very confusing later on. I've learned a lot here in Dave's Garden, and helping with the database is really good for me to learn more.

There are a couple other aspects of gardening I really want to learn about, should you see sites as you surf the net. One is pollination. I collect lots of seeds, but I'm never quite sure what can cross and what cannot. I guess I really need a sex education class in plants!...(not the carrots!)

The other is the life expectancy of perennials and the life cycle of biennials. This has always been a mystery to me. As I get older, I had to face the fact that I won't be here forever, so I've also begun to ask how old I can expect a plant to get? When should I start grooming a successor. I've never heard anyone say, "My columbine passed away this winter of natural causes...just slipped away in her sleep." They always say it winter killed. Don't some of these old gals just keel over from old age?

Thanks to friends in the garden, I know how to hyperlink now, so I'm going to follow your example and add a few in future postings. Thanks for sharing a bit of your history with me.
MaVieRose
High Desert, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2002
5:21 PM

Post #226648

u've mention a too broad subject: pollination, need to narrow it down. here, see for urself what i mean http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&q=flower pollination ... too much to look into, but i hope u can find what u really want. see, the time element i have to spend to specifically find the 'right place'? if u don't find what u need. let me know and i will look it up for u. right now need to do some 'work' around the house, least i get in trouble. ma vie
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


March 14, 2002
5:33 PM

Post #226652

You know, you are right, MaVieRose. It is much too broad a query. At this point, I think I'm mostly concerned with cross-pollination...what crosses with what. How I can avoid it, how I can encourage it. Any suggestions on where to look for the life-expectancy of plants?

These questions are certainly not an immediate need. I just meant to keep them in mind, and if something related pops up, and you recall I asked, you could let me know. I,too, need to get to work around my house. It is morning here, and I have already been out to my shed to mist all my seedlings, but still have a basement full to do! I'm sitting here in my nightgown typing away when I should be fixing my breakfast and cleaning house! It's hard to leave the Garden!
MaVieRose
High Desert, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2002
8:55 PM

Post #226726

there u go again with ur broad subject. here is what i can come up with as far as vegetable & herb are concerned... http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/plantsci/hortcrop/h912w.htm

sorry Poppie sue didn't mean to get off track here... just trying to help the best i can.

WZ... maybe we should start another thread. email me the new thread u begin, okay????
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


March 14, 2002
8:59 PM

Post #226730

Sure thing, MaVieRose.
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


March 14, 2002
9:10 PM

Post #226733

I don't mind. You gals can highjack my thread anytime ;-)
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


March 14, 2002
9:23 PM

Post #226734

She's right, poppysue..forgot where I was. Thanks for the hospitality and be assured I may highjack, but I don't plan to blow myself up while I'm here!
MaVieRose
High Desert, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2002
10:42 PM

Post #226756

there was no intensions at all to hijack ur thread poppiesue. senior moments often get me into trouble, but once reality evolves, i am back to track again. LOL! the yearning to give a helping hand beget the best of me.

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


March 22, 2002
11:26 AM

Post #230519

Sue, how tall are the boxes you put them in? I guess the cardboard provides some insulation for the soil (root zone?) Great idea - next winter I'll try it. So far I've just been using regular cell packs in flats with lids - four flats at a time on our picnic table, then rotate them back into the GH after 4-6 weeks (I know that's not "REAL" winter sowing, but it's a start, LOL.)
Elena
Middle, TN
(Zone 6b)

March 22, 2002
11:39 AM

Post #230523

MaVie! Question for you. When you mix your potting med. for starting seeds and cuttings you said to use a tsp. of super phosphate. I was wondering how much of the peat and perlite you used when you added the teaspoon. In other words, what balance of the three.
Evert
Helsinki
Finland
(Zone 4b)


March 22, 2002
1:31 PM

Post #230579

Do coke bottles look like that there? Here they are made of hard plastic (we have a recycle system with bottles, very neat), how much is there in one bottle? I wish we'd have 2 litre bottles, right now the 1,5 l is biggest one. And one of cheapest costs about 1,60 € (about 1,45 USD).
MaVieRose
High Desert, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 22, 2002
3:06 PM

Post #230619

Elena,

when using 12 oz. coffee can as a measuring cup; use equal amounts of peat & perlite; 1 tsp of superposphate*.add enough water to moisten the mixture [just moist, not saggy or watery] mix thoroughly till well blended. remember to use premoisted soil when planting.

superposphate, where i am situated is only available in nurseries, Home Depot or Walmart does not sell them.

Sis

March 22, 2002
5:21 PM

Post #230679

Evert ours are 2 liters 67.6 FL OZ(2 qt.3.6FL OZ).
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


March 22, 2002
8:53 PM

Post #230792

Terry those are 2 litre bottles. I put them in boxes just to keep the wind from blowing them around. The tops of the bottles are still exposed. Last year I buried them in the snow but this year we didn't have any. We've had plenty of cold weather though.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


March 22, 2002
8:56 PM

Post #230796

What a great idea, Poppysue. Snow is a great insulator, as well as the box to keep the chill of the snow off the containers. You're always thinkin'!
Elena
Middle, TN
(Zone 6b)

March 22, 2002
11:53 PM

Post #230910

Ma Vie...Thanks you so very much for the information. I am putting that in my notebook and will be using it right away. I am getting ready to start all kinds of seeds so the timing was perfect.
MaVieRose
High Desert, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 23, 2002
12:24 AM

Post #230932

u're very welcome Elena :D! it's alway good to share.
joydie1
Hamilton
Canada

March 27, 2002
3:23 PM

Post #233165

The sterilized pop bottle method is great for any type of cutting, especially roses.
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


March 27, 2002
3:31 PM

Post #233174

I just took some cuttings today - weigela, honysuckle, and thyme. I cut a tall bottom & a tall top from 2 different bottles to make them big enough. I hope they root! I put them outside on my porch so I can keep an eye on them.
golddog
Western, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 24, 2003
4:21 AM

Post #455827

Just bumping this thread for anyone that hasn't read it and wants to winter sow. I can't wait to get started.
BittysGarden

(Zone 7a)

January 24, 2003
4:37 AM

Post #455833

You can also use containers like
what cool whip comes in. Just poke
holes in the bottom and cut out a
large circle in the lid. Put
plastic wrap or some kind of
clear plactic over the container
and replace the lid. The lid will
hold the plastic in place. Poke
some small holes in the plastic.
This works good,right along
with the coke bottles.
sbarr
Albany (again), NY
(Zone 5b)

January 24, 2003
11:11 AM

Post #455894

Question here - as usual, I am way behind everyone else.

We have way too many cans here, not enough bottles. What about (and they're usually only a few dollars) - using the semi-clear plastic containers and bins that are sold. Not the rubbermaid, those are colored plastic, but the clear ones? Could those be half filled, seeds planted, then put out in the yard?

like this, but cheaper:

http://store.yahoo.com/organizeeverything1/sweatstorbox.html

This message was edited Friday, Jan 24th 7:24 AM
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


January 24, 2003
12:42 PM

Post #455942

Sandra - those will work fine. I used some the size of a shoe box last year, with drainage holes drilled in the bottom. The bigger ones you could set smaller pots inside. You can use just about anything that will hold soil. I've used the alluminum cake tins that have a pop on dome cover. I've also stuck some regular planting flats inside a clear trash bag.

There was another thread around with some discusion about planting your pots and using a top layer of grit or pea gravel to keep the soil in place and seeds from getting washed away. I'll see if I can find it.

Ahhh ... here it is http://davesgarden.com/t/370302/

This message was edited Friday, Jan 24th 8:48 AM
Aotearoa
New York City, NY
(Zone 6b)

January 29, 2003
5:40 AM

Post #459675

There are so many GREAT ideas in this thread.

Absolutely terrific.

Certainly this belongs in the FAQ forum.

I learn stuff here every day. Thanks to you all.

Adam.
Alyssum
Cortlandt Manor, NY
(Zone 6a)

January 29, 2003
10:45 PM

Post #460017

I love this idea -- made a papa version of poppysue's using a large gallon Dannon Water Bottle (a nice clear plastic) and used it to put my small paper pots in!! Works like a charm in keeping them from drying out so fast -- and helps keep them from flopping around as much. Thanks!
76summerwind
cape may court house, NJ
(Zone 6a)

February 2, 2003
4:25 AM

Post #461527


Poppysue:
Great idea.. using coke bottles.
Plenty of those around and cheap!!!
Guess you could do the same thing with milk containers.
Do you do this with all seeds?
A little confused as I know you get some brutal weather.

Could I do that now in south jersey?
Forgive my ignorence, it goes with the holes in the head

sandy
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 2, 2003
7:37 AM

Post #461586

Sandy: Never feel bad about asking questions around here. Everytime someone asks a "stupid question", the rest of us all gather around to hear the answer, too! Some of our best threads are like that. Everybody benefits when someone is assertive enough to ask a basic question...

Now having said all that, I'm not equipped to answer your question because I'm new to winter gardening! Poppysue or someone will pop in here soon and help you out.
eyesoftexas
Toadsuck, TX
(Zone 7a)

February 5, 2003
3:39 PM

Post #463077

Oh I love questions...whoever learned anything without having to ask a question...there my friend is the beginning of knowledge!!

"eyes"
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


February 5, 2003
4:53 PM

Post #463113

Sandy, I don't do this with all seeds. Some of the annuals need a longer growing season so I start them indoors. I start tropicals indoors too. I do this with many of the hardy perennials and annuals. I just planted a ton of them yesterday ans stuck them outside in the back yard.
Hibiscus
Lima, OH
(Zone 5a)

February 5, 2003
6:59 PM

Post #463163

I planted Acer Pallatum, vibrant pink/red phlox, blue Rose of Sharon, putting outside in coldframe, temps. in teens and 20's here. First time for me to try this, sure hope they "take".
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


February 7, 2003
12:59 PM

Post #464260

I did Japanese maples one year Gloria... it worked for them. They germinated in the spring.
Alyssum
Cortlandt Manor, NY
(Zone 6a)

February 7, 2003
7:02 PM

Post #464465

Poppysue - I adapted your idea to work with my paper pots and a water bottle! :)

Thumbnail by Alyssum
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sue_WA

Sue_WA
Seattle, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 8, 2003
3:29 AM

Post #464779

I have adapted your idea too! In the freeeeeeeeeezing garage:

Thumbnail by Sue_WA
Click the image for an enlarged view.

TARogers5
Kingston, OK
(Zone 7a)

February 8, 2003
8:46 PM

Post #465204

Poppysue got your seeds today and am ready to start planting. New to this so can I use this method for them. Would be easy to mark the bottles with perment marker as to what is planted. Do you soak the seed first and lay in on the soil. I want to do this whole thing right from seed to planting in the garden. Am I asking too much?? ♫ Ted ♫
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


February 8, 2003
8:53 PM

Post #465208

Ted - you mean the daylily seeds? They won't need any chilling. I soak mine in water until they plump up and look like they've absorbed moisture. Some seeds take just an overnite soaking. Others that are more shriveled take a few days. If the water gets scuzzy or you notice any rotting seeds, remove them, and change the water. Then I plant. I planted them in coke bottles (one cross per bottle), And I kept them inside under my lights. Some will sprout in just a few days... and others might take a few weeks.
TARogers5
Kingston, OK
(Zone 7a)

February 8, 2003
9:04 PM

Post #465212

Do you cover the seeds or just press them into the medium.
I have a PVC growlight stand I made. Once you see the seedling do you take the top off?
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


February 8, 2003
9:08 PM

Post #465219

Yes - cover them with a ¼ inch of soil or so. I leave the cover on for a while with the bottle cap off. Once it looks like most of them have germinated I remove the cover. It just helps keep the soil moist.
TARogers5
Kingston, OK
(Zone 7a)

February 8, 2003
9:12 PM

Post #465222

Thanks and what a nice selection. Very neat also. Ted ♫
76summerwind
cape may court house, NJ
(Zone 6a)

February 11, 2003
3:59 AM

Post #467029

Thank you all;
The only way to learn is to ask questions all of you are great getting back with answeres.

Sometime's I do feel like a "DUH!" I feel comfortable with all of you and I'm sure some day I'll hear,
"I don't believe you asked that?" That's when I'll know, I have learned a little...

sandy
TARogers5
Kingston, OK
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2003
1:25 PM

Post #467161

Someone tell me what the secret is in joining the two parts back together without a fight.
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


February 11, 2003
1:48 PM

Post #467170

LOl Ted! I sorta push in one side of the bottom to force the top over it. It will sometimes leave a gap between the two pieces but they're snug enough. You'll get the hang of it after a while.
tiG
Newnan, GA
(Zone 8a)

February 11, 2003
1:52 PM

Post #467172

sometimes I make a little slit in the cut end of the top, and slide it together a bit to fit in the bottom part
Hibiscus
Lima, OH
(Zone 5a)

February 11, 2003
3:53 PM

Post #467234

This is so interesting, wish I'd had you people 30 years
ago, when I was just learning and trying so...hard!

Thanks poppysue, sure hope the J. Maple grow, as I really want them.
Elena
Middle, TN
(Zone 6b)

February 11, 2003
4:01 PM

Post #467245

I don't cut mine all the way around but just leave a little bit to use as a hinge. It can be opened up fully or put down (either way). When you no longer need the cover, just cut it off.
TARogers5
Kingston, OK
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2003
9:41 PM

Post #467432

Been playing around with that old bottle. Found another way to do one. Cut off the top portion just where it starts to make a bell shape. Carefuly trim it so you can insert it edge wise and rotate it inside the bottom until it is where ever you want it. Makes a good tight fit. Cut off too much and it will fall in.
Osteole
Lamar, AR
(Zone 7a)

November 19, 2004
12:16 AM

Post #1153473

Once the seeds/seedlings have been placed in the bottles, lids on, and outside... Is there any maintenance like watering required??

Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 19, 2004
4:13 AM

Post #1153807

I'm glad you bumped this one back up, Osteole. I was looking for it the other day and couldn't find it. Let's hope Poppysue sees this and answers your question, because I'm interested, too.
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


November 19, 2004
9:30 AM

Post #1153918

Not really. I don't have to water until it warms up and I start to vent the bottles or take the tops off.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 19, 2004
4:15 PM

Post #1154390

I've been saving my large pretzel barrel plastic containers for the last year or so. DH keeps trying to throw them away. I think these would make great winter germinators. I don't think I'll get them going until later in the season, since our winters are so long...maybe after the holidays.
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


November 19, 2004
8:37 PM

Post #1154932

I start most on mine in Febuary.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 20, 2004
1:11 AM

Post #1155321

That sounds about right, Poppysue. I have noticed many of the germination requirements listed on the Tom Clothier site require a week or two of warm temps (indoors), followed by some freezing temps... outside in February, followed by refrigeration... March or April around here. I've just got to find that magic date to get the whole process moving.
jessamine
Fort Wayne, IN
(Zone 5a)

November 20, 2004
5:38 AM

Post #1155670

I use a soldering gun to burn holes in the plastic and attach a blade tip to the gun to cut the top. It is a lot easier on my hands. Jessamine
TammyTN
Greenback, TN

November 20, 2004
7:19 AM

Post #1155734

A few questions:
Poppysue, can I ask which annuals are better off sown under lights as opposed to the coke bottle method? What should Iook for on the seed pack to indicate this?

Which seeds sprout and are ready for plant out the quickest? I need a magic calendar, I'll never figure this all out!
handhelpers
Coopersburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 20, 2004
2:45 PM

Post #1156196

on one of the other winter sowing threads, someone posted this faq from the 'other site' - it has a wealth of information:
http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/wtrsow/
and specifically:
http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/wtrsow/2002072837032351.html

This message was edited Nov 20, 2004 10:46 AM
jessamine
Fort Wayne, IN
(Zone 5a)

November 21, 2004
7:15 AM

Post #1157513

I couldn't see the second link so this may be a repeat. Thompson and Morgan no longer have the original of this germination booklet in print but someone put it on the web. It is an invaluable addition to your references. http://www.backyardgardener.com/tm.html Jessamine
judycooksey
Pocahontas, TN
(Zone 7b)

November 21, 2004
12:07 PM

Post #1157599

handhelpers - I was able to access both links
sunnyskies
Eagle, ID
(Zone 6b)

November 21, 2004
5:39 PM

Post #1158076

Well this is an interesting thread. Please tell me if I am correct. You use the coke bottles to start the plants that you want to sow in the spring or summer and you start them around Feb-Mar. They are planted in the bottles and left outside until the weather warms enough for them to sprout? What do you do then? Aren't the seedlings too small to direct plant outside? Do you move them to larger containers and keep the same method up?
They would probably be very hardy that way because they would be used to the cold.
Have you tried petunias? They take such a long time to germinate and grow that it would be nice to have them outside instead of inside.

I was also wondering...when you cut the coke bottle in half and then put the top back on, doesn't it just fall off when bumped? What do you do to keep it from falling all around? Tape?

Thanks for the info!
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 21, 2004
6:53 PM

Post #1158230

sunnyskies, I'm sure Poppysue could answer you better than me, but here's what I think. The winter sown seeds will not germinate until they have adequate warmth to do that. By that time, your soil should be ready for transplants. If not, one can always transplant them into containers and cover them... such as a coldframe.

If you cut a pop bottle in half, you can cut slits along the lower edge of the top piece so as to allow it to fit over the bottom piece. It's a pretty tight fit, but I imagine some tape wouldn't hurt. I would fit the top over the bottom so that you don't get water building up along the seam.

I start most of my annuals, petunias included, indoors. As I mentioned before, the seeds wouldn't germinate until the temp of the soil in the bottle reached germination temp... 60's or 70's. I find the best seeds to winter sow are perennials that need special cold stratification. In warmer climates, annuals may do fine outside, but I'm not sure when you cold weather is over in Idaho.
Paridise
Bryson, QC
(Zone 4a)

November 21, 2004
7:19 PM

Post #1158287

Could, Javex bottles work as well? Or, should it be see- threw plastic? I was thinking of washing them real well and placing a garbage bag as linner.
thank-you Ingrid
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 21, 2004
9:34 PM

Post #1158523

Paridise, I'd strongly recommend clear bottles. You don't want a waterproof liner, since you'll need drainage at some point. Early in the spring, before the outdoor soil and air are very warm, the bottles will act as little greenhouses. You need the light.
Paridise
Bryson, QC
(Zone 4a)

November 22, 2004
3:25 AM

Post #1159138

Weezingreens
Thanks, I had that feeling-it would need light...
Ingrid
sunnyskies
Eagle, ID
(Zone 6b)

November 24, 2004
3:15 PM

Post #1163231

Weezingreens, thanks for getting back with me. Now I get the idea! And how smart can you get over the "seam" idea. I always have to learn the hard way, so this time I don't! I am so ready for the new seed catalogs. I want to start planting!
Idaho is a little tricky about the cold weather. It may warm up nice during the day, but the nights stay cold for a long time. Tender annuals aren't safe here until the middle of may and then you still have to watch the nights. Nice in the summer though, the temps stay around 60-65 at night. Thanks, again
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 24, 2004
4:12 PM

Post #1163332

I haven't tried the coke bottles as yet. I've got some big pretzel tubs I want to use this winter. I'm going to wait until around February, I think. My climate has issues, too, sunnyskies. Our winters are fairly mild with some cold weather thrown in here and there. It rains a good part of the early winter, so having covers on the winter sowing is important. I'm going to use some good sterile starter mix with vermiculite. I thought about water crystals, but if you get too many of those, it looks like jellow salad! LOL!
mkeilers
Monticello 4, IA
(Zone 4a)

November 28, 2004
4:04 PM

Post #1168577

sorry for cross pollinating :) - I just received the most wonderful package of poppy seeds from Nadi. How is the best way to propagate these (winter sowing in place, in bottles, in greenhouse or cold frame)? Thanks for all your advise and help! It's invaluable to me and forgive me when I repeat myself - sometimes between work and kids - I'm just a smidge forgetful!

Mindy
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 28, 2004
7:36 PM

Post #1168890

mkeilers, what type of poppies are they? I'm guessing somniferum, and if that is the case, you can try spreading some seeds this fall and letting them come up in the spring, or you can winter sow them, or you can start them indoors in the spring, or you can plant them outdoors in the spring. If you have much seed, you could sprinkle some out in an area you will not be disturbing in the spring, then plant a few indoors in case they don't come up. Somniferum will probably re-seed themselves for you if you pick a spot where you won't be turning the soil all the time. Probably the best info would come from someone with similar climate to yours.
KatyMac
So. Puget Sound, WA
(Zone 8b)

January 29, 2006
8:47 PM

Post #2009017

Bump! This thread is a treasure, so much information.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


January 29, 2006
10:11 PM

Post #2009189

Thanks, Katy! I was looking for this one the other day. Now you've found it for me!
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

February 8, 2006
6:19 PM

Post #2030958

poppysue: Don't those cardboard boxes just disintegrate when they get wet from rain and snow?

Karen
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

February 8, 2006
8:30 PM

Post #2031197

Karen, yes they do... but they'll last for 1 season! It gets windy enough here that I have to use something to corral my plastic containers. I also found that a cardboard box will hold water for just a little while before draining away, so you can splash water into the box with the hose and water your containers from the bottom (a good technique for warmer spring days when there hasn't been any rain for a bit).
merryma
Auburn, MA
(Zone 5b)

February 9, 2006
10:46 AM

Post #2032330

Ooh, I like that carboard box idea. I've used old plastic dish washing tubs, but then if you get a hard rain, you have floating container...not a good idea. The cardboard will drain all on its own. And then I can use it instead of newspaper under my mulch in the spring. Waste not, want not. :)
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

February 9, 2006
4:32 PM

Post #2032889

excellent idea!
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 10, 2006
12:18 AM

Post #2033753

Great recycling project, Critter!
soulgardenlove
Marietta, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 12, 2006
7:42 PM

Post #2040581

Weezin, have you done much wintersowing since this thread?

:)

Susan

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Other Winter Sowing Threads you might be interested in:

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