Anyone started winter sowing yet?

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

Since our growing season starts pretty early, I started last night. I have never done winter sowing before, so we will see what happens! Last night I put out coleus, cosmos, purple coneflower, four o'clocks, cleome, celosia and touch me not. Tonight I put out dianthus (strawberry parfait and raspberry parfait), columbine (salmon/yellow and lemon), purple meadow rue and multicolor mini zinnias. I have a few others to try but I am going to stagger this a little bit. I'm trying not to get my hopes up- not that I think it doesn't work, but I doubt my own abilities. Ha!

So what have you put out yet? Or what are you planning?

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Well, I DID have a plan for winter sowing. Then last week my landlord told me he plans to rebuild the upstairs deck, wrapping around the corner now, and a 10 x 15 garden shed under it... right where I have all my bulbs, herbs, and sun-loving perennials. I had planned to sow some seeds there too, but why now?

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

Well that's not cool! Don't you love when landlords decide to start fixing things and bettering the property when it's NOT convenient for you... but God forbid you ASK them to do something. Then it never happens. So is he a gardener too or is that shed supposed to be for your benefit? Can you dig up your bulbs and stuff before he does that?

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Shed will be for both... he's a landscaper. I'm hoping he won't have the $ to build until late summer/early fall. By then my stuff will be up and I'll have an idea of the shade pattern to know where I can move them. I just fear that the shed will go in the only somewhat sunny spot available.

He's NOT a gardener, does just low maintainance landscape plants.

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)

I have sowed heirloom petunias and Rose of Sharon.

Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Hey, Jamie, how did you sow yours? In plastic bottles?

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

Hey Terrie. No, I used plastic meat containers, the cheap tin foil baking pans, and egg cartons. We drink Coke in cans so I don't normally have soda bottles and I buy milk in the cardboard so no milk jugs either. I know most people seem to prefer plastic bottles so I may start collecting them when I do this again next year. I just tried to use containers that weren't too shallow so the roots have room and don't dry out so fast.

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)

It is 68 degrees today and my Spring Fever is raging!!

I stuck some Heavenly Blue MG seeds in several places in my yard, and let nature take care of prepping the seeds.

Also dug up, divided and replanted cannas and re-located some Naked Ladies.

Moved a small rose bush to hopefully a better location.

Kingston, NY

did mostly annuals and poppies first time very excited does anyone know if you have to water or leave to nature thanks peggy

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)

blau,

If it was summer I would water, but not in winter- since most seeds are asleep anyway. JMO

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

If you winter sow I am pretty sure you are NOT supposed to water. Once you plop them outside you don't even look at them again until spring. I think some do end up drying out, but even then if you open them up and let them get some of that spring rain, those seeds will also germinate. In theory I think you just look at it like what happens when we do nothing. When plants self sow, they drop seeds all spring/summer, then just lay on the ground all fall/winter. We do nothing to them, yet they manage to germinate and grow! If you winter sow, you have added the "human" protection of a container so the seeds don't wash away. I have never done this before, so this is just my understanding of it.

Berrygirl- I had one naked lady come up and bloom like mad last fall. I had no clue what it was but got an ID on my other garden site. Now I have about 5 clumps in the same area where the single one was last year, but none of them bloomed!!! I heard they were resentful of being transplanted. Have you ever moved any before? Wonder why mine won't bloom this year...

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Yup! Started my winter sowing again this year. I moisten the soil and then "plant" in the seeds in the container. I have used clear plastic bottles (without the top), as well as, heavy duty plastic containers that we get Chinese take-out in. Remember to leave enough drainage holes in the bottom of your container. I've learned from winter sowing in past years to put the containers in pt. sun/pt. shade, so they don't dry out. Also, place them in an area where animals, young children, pets, stray balls won't run into them.

So far, I've sowed: Primula, Columbine, Penstemon, Dracocephalum, Lupine, Broccoli, Cauliflower & Spinach.

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)

Texas,
I first grew them this past year and they bloomed for me.
I have heard that they sometimes pitch a hissy fit and won't bloom after being disturbed.
Mine probably won't this year either...... :(
But the place they were in wasn't a place where I could best enjoy them, so that is the ONLY reason I moved them this year.


If I were you, I'd leave them in that spot another year and then see what happens. If they don't bloom I'd dig up and divide them.

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks berry- it was odd. We moved into this house in June 2002 and it was just like a jungle. It's an 80+ year old house and I think it was about that long since the yard was attended to! Anyway, fall of 2002 there was nothing (that I saw anyway). April 2003 we had a landscaper come help us clear out a bunch of stuff and do our "demolition" phase. Fall 2003 I had one small clump come up, then a whole bunch of flowers. Just the one, and I didn't plant it. You can kind of see in the picture that it even came up through TWO layers of weed mat. This fall there are 5 clumps all in a row and not one bloomed. Hmmmm. I will leave them alone though. They grew in a good place- right in a row down the front edge of my flower bed up against the sidewalk path. Here is a picture of it when it bloomed.

Shirley- my containers are in a part sun area behind my oleander and just in front of the privacy fence. I put holes in the bottom of the containers, put the whole container in a plastic grocery bag and tied it off, then slit holes in the top. I also ripped the part of the bag covering the bottom of the containers so water wouldn't sit in the bag and go back into the containers. I hope that works out for me. :)

Thumbnail by texasgarden
San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

texasgarden, re the naked lady bulb - if you now have 5 where 1 had been, chances are the one bulb produced new bulblets which need a year to develop enough to flower. The main bulb wouldn't have enough reserve energy to bloom. You're right just to leave them - a little water in a prolonged dry spell will help.

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks Yuska! This summer was so wet and mild that I don't think water was an issue- besides, they are at the front of a perennial bed so do get watered during the summer (even though I can't see them). :)

Kingston, NY

thanks everyone for all the info will keep you informed on my progress right now it is snowing so dont have to worry about watering here to winter sowing i do love it

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

texasgarden - I've also added Soil Moist polymer granules into the potting mix, which should help if there is less than average precipitation. I try to remember to check on the containers to make sure that condensation is forming on the inside of the plastic covers. I don't add extra water, unless there is no condensation and the soil looks & feels dry.

This message was edited Jan 5, 2005 12:33 PM

Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Jamie,
Looking at your picture, I'm thinking you have a spider lily instead of a naked lady. Check this out:
http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/2109/index.html

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

Shirley- I used half potting mix and half vermiculite in my containers. I hope that helps it retain moisture AND not rot the seeds. We'll see.

Terry- that's what I thought, but then someone told me that "spider lily" and "naked lady" is the same thing. I remember b/c DH said "I like naked lady better." Now that's the only plant name he remembers in the garden. Ha! But two people kind of got in a little argument over it on the NHGC website so I just said "sorry I asked" and got out of it. I will go back to calling it "that strange red flower" if y'all don't watch it. LOL! But you're right- it does look like the spider lily pictures.

Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Here is the link in PlantFinder for "naked ladies." You can click on either one of these matches and pull up more pics. Your picture is a little dark for me to tell for sure but it looks like the spider lilies my grandmother has grown forever. Whichever they are, they are so pretty!!

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

Yeah, I had looked them up on Plantfinder and didn't think the naked ladies looked like what I had. But on NHGC a few people posted what looked just like mine and some said spider lily, some said naked lady, some said they were the same thing, then all hell broke loose so I bowed out of it. Clearly I had no clue what I had so I didn't want to chime in with an opinion! They are pretty though- I look forward to seeing if the new ones bloom next year.

Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Gosh I am a ditz!! I see I didn't put the link in but I'm sure you've seen it anyway. LOL Be sure and take pictures for us when them bloom!

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I haven't looked at the PF but Elena sent me what she called "Naked Ladies" about 3 years ago. The bulbs were the size of my fist. The next year I got a bunch of spider lilies at the GARU and the bulbs were the size of a small hen's egg.

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

That's cool Terrie- I had looked at it. I had actually done a google search on them way back when I first asked to have the plant IDd on NHGC. Sometimes "naked lady" were the red, spiderly looking plant that I have. Sometimes they looked nothing like what I have. Just depends on what website I was on. When my whole row of them blooms I will update with a picture. Hey Darius- maybe we can get another arguement started here about it. Ha! Just kidding. :)

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)

Texas,
I was gonna post last night and tell you that yours looked nothing like mine as mine are pink and the blooms are diff. But I already knew that some folks interchange the common names, so no biggie with me.

There was a rather long and heated discuss on GW a while back about these beauties-LOL!!

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

No argument from me on this topic, LOL. Too many folks interchange the names. Probably NEVER be settled.

Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Well I am definitely not any authority on this. Just commented because of my grandmother's spider lilies! :-)

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)

Naked Lady, Surprise Lily, Resurrection Lily, Rain Lily, Spider Lily:
Whoever you are, we love you and think you're beautiful- LOL!!

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)

Texas,
BTW, I noticed your earlier reference to NHGC website. I am a member of NHGC and am sporadically on their website, under the same moniker.
If you're there hope to see ya around- LOL!!

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

Hey berry- I don't use that site much anymore. I find DG much more useful, probably b/c there are more members and features here. And all those same names were tossed around and argued there too! I agree- whatever you call 'em, they are gorgeous! I still like the first name I had for them "freaky strange red flower that blooms in the COLD and I didn't plant it but it sure is pretty." So I guess my favorite "real" name that you listed would be Surprise Lily b/c it sure was a surprise! I have the same user name on NHGC too.

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)

Texas,
I just got my latest issue of the NHGC mag yesterday and I really love it as it lists new plants for 2005- awesome!!

DROOL time!

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

Really? I got mine like 2 weeks ago! Yes, I did drool over those plants... and I have ordered some already. Lord help me when that credit card bill comes in at shipping time. LOL!

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)

Texas,
You Texans just HAVE to be first don't you- LOL!!!

So which plants did you order?

Credit card bill? WHAT bill?????

Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

What is NHGC?? You mean I'm missing a magazine to order from??? Oh, nooooo!!

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

Oh Terrie! You MUST join NHGC (National Home Gardening Club). The magazine alone is worth it- It's called "Gardening How-To" and I find it very useful. Lots of advice "real" people can use. I am pretty sure it's by invitation only. My best friend got me hooked up. I will email the editor and ask her to send the info to you so you can sign up if you would like. Just give me your address, unless you are in the Address Exchange.

Berrygirl- funny you should say that! Last time the editor posted on the message board and said they had just mailed out that issue. Mine was in my mailbox THE NEXT DAY!!! How is that possible?! Then this time I see chatter about various things from the current issue that had been out for a while and I hadn't gotten mine. I was just about to complain when mine showed up. Strange man. Texans do think they are the center of the Universe so we should get ours first. Ha! Just kidding!

I don't have my magazine with me so I'm not sure what of my orders was on the 2005 list, but I know I had already ordered some of it. Like the echinacea on the cover- I was just about to order that but found the Meadow Brite on sale so I got it instead. I mostly bought shade perinneals. I can tell ya exactly when I get my hands on that magazine again. Hope the dogs didn't get it. Ha!

Cape Cod, MA(Zone 7a)

I finally had time to read this whole thread- I have never sown seeds in the winter, but I plan to sow poppies, hopefully on top of the snow, if the weather cooperates.
Don't some seeds (zinnias come to mind, I'm not sure why) need bottom heat to germinate? I was under the impression that seeds that need to be cold stratified are ideal choices for winter sowing, but aren't other seeds better off sown in spring or summer? I'd appreciate someone's expertise on this.

Texas garden- just a thought on the naked ladies (or spider lillies...LOL) - If they have been in the ground a long time, and were there before you moved there, I might be tempted to dig them, divide them and amend their soil with some bone meal or whatever you prefer to use for bulbs- it may set them back a little in the short term but improve them a lot in the future. You could just do a couple of clumps this year and some next year so you would still (maybe) get some flowers.

I dug up some daffodils in my MIL's yard this past spring and they were all foliage and bloomed scantilly- and when I dug them, they were all jammed together so closely that the sides were all flat and the bulbs were tiny.

I'm glad to hear good things about the NHGC- I just got an invitation and I didn't know if it was worth doing! Thanks!
Cindy

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks Cindy- I don't think crowding is an issue with those naked ladies/spider lilies b/c I only had ONE plant that came up. It was pretty small and bloomed like crazy. The other ones are new this fall. I think they must naturalize by reseeding b/c they are growing in random places all over my neighborhood- alley ways, parkways, etc. But I do think I need to work some bone meal into the soil around them. Dafs and daylilies are bad about not blooming when they get crowded as are iris. So I think the same would be true of these guys.

NHGC warning- if you check the box saying you want them to send you books, caladars, etc., be prepared! You will get random things in the mail and it isn't real clear what it's for. It really sounds like a free gift, which they tell you will happen periodically if you are a member. Then a month later you get a bill for it. So you have to send it back or pay for it. You can opt to not have things sent to you if you want. Also, the product testing is exaggerated. It takes forever to get something to test and it's always lame- like gloves or sunscreen. Never a composter or greenhouse like they advertise! :) And the "free seeds" are the same common kinds over and over that you can barely give away to others. The main reason I am staying a member is b/c the magazine is so good!

My understanding of winter sowing is that pretty much anything that says it self sows, or reseeds, is a good candidate. I had a zinnia pop up in a flowerbed across the sidewalk from where I had originally planted them. They had died back pretty well, but this lone zinna was blooming it's heart out... in October. It was still warm here so I don't think they need cold first. I don't know about bottom heat either. My personal opinion is that we over think it and assume you have to jump through all these hoops when you don't. Mother Nature was doing this long before we started "helping" her and she doesn't use growlights, heat mats, timers, etc. So, I think if it normally self sows for you, it is good to do winter sowing with. I am by no means an expert- just my 2 cents. :) Of course when we try to grow things that aren't really natural to our zones and climates, we have to fake it. Hence my refridgerator full of spring blooming bulbs every fall!

Braselton, GA(Zone 7b)

Texas,
I agree with your advice both about NHGC and winter seed sewing.
Nature has been renewing her plants w/o our help and prob. laughs at us when we work so hard to artificially do what it does so easily.
I always fall or winter sew my annuals and have good success.

Dallas, TX(Zone 8a)

Honestly we probably go too far in our winter sowing efforts! We should just sprinkle the seeds around and leave them alone. I just try to think about what the plants do on their own. Flowers die and go to seed all season long- assuming you don't deadhead. So we could theoretically just sprinkle the seeds around any time the plants would have seed heads on them and doing the exact same thing! I do baby my datura and brugmansia seeds though. I'll admit it. They are sitting on a shelf under shop lights as we speak. Ha!

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