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When are you suppose to winter sow? I've never winter sown anything. Therefore I wanted to try my hand at it. So I planted my Edelweiss last week. The temps were suppose to be 38 degrees one night. I thought this was a good time to plant them. And let nature take it's course. Well every last one of those seeds have germinated. Will they live through the winter now? This is what I did last November thru April: http://www.victorialeshay.com/mygrowroom.html
Hey Kim- I posted a similar question under the general discussions forum. It is on page 3 of that forum I think. Got a very good response from Equilibrium if you want to read it. Apparenlty they discuss this under the Vegetable forum too.
Kim, there is a winter sowing forum on the other site that has some faqs on it. I believe it is after the winter solstice in December. I did it one year, but it seemed like a lot of trouble with watering things after they germinated. I had my stuff in containers. I think fall sowing of things would work in most cases.
Daylily seeds seem to work good when winter sown.
Kim, I have done WSing and it works. It makes healthier plants than to sow indoors and you don't have to worry about hardening them off. The biggest problem that I ran into when I did it was not letting them get burned when we have one of those unusually warm days, like 80 in March or late Feb. I did not have much problem with watering as Windy said, but be sure to put your containers close to the water source in case they do need it. The top makes condensation that keeps them damp, also rain and snow will go through the holes in the top. When it warms up in the spring and you take the tops off, then they will need to be watered often until you get them planted This is the link to the FAQ of Winter Sowing http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/wtrsow/
Winter sowing is something Mother Nature has done for years without our help. Just about any seed can be sown in the winter. The ideal time in the south is generally when temps are consistently cold, day and night. I sow mine in Jan or Feb usually. I prepare the soil before then. Then in mid winter, I scatter seeds where I want them to grow. With the spring showers and warm temps, they begin germinating and you can thin them when they're big enough to move.
Often I sow one type of seed in one spot and label it so I'll know what it is.
Seeds that germinate quickly (morning glories, castor beans, nasturtiums, etc) I do not winter sow. Instead, when spring comes, I just go poke them in the ground where I want them to grow. They germinate in days and begin growing.
On site winter sowing has been effective for me because I have huge gardens and no time to baby anything. This way, I don't have to thin or transplant until I'm ready. I don't have to worry about watering or babying the plants. Mother Nature takes care of them for me. Gardening the natural way is perfect for time-stressed and lazy gardeners--like me. LOL
I've done an experiment last fall/winter. I sewed seeds in a bed in the fall, then I planted about 15 different things in soda bottles for winter sowing. The seeds are showing in the beds, I have some of the winter bottles coming alive. The winter sucesses so far are Delphinium, Primrose, Purple Leafed Basil, Hollyhocks, and Russian Sage. I think I will do more next year, its nice having the things outside and out of the way.
I did winter sowing last year and had about 80% success rate. It really works well. I didn't do any this year because I was ill but I did about 100 containers and barely got all planted by the end of the summer.