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I want to know exactly how many plants I'll have based on sowing X amount of seed and I want to have the plants ready t o plant at a certain time for planting, and with winter sowing you don't know what percentage of seed will germinate, nor when it will germinate, and whether late bad weather will kill the seedlings, which really are what we'd call "volunteers", so for me and everyone I know, winter sowing of tomato seeds and most other veggies is not a viable option.
This is the first year I've tried winter-sowing, and yes, I did try some tomatoes. It remains to be seen whether or not anything will come of it, and of course I'm going to plant my normal amount indoors for later transplant. I just thought it would be interesting to see what happened, sine every year I have plenty of volunteer tomatoes pop up in various locations (especially my compost pile!)
It's not controversial. The method has been accepted by the USDA National Agricultural Library. You already know that Carolyn.
That Trudi got her WS company that she formed accepted by an information exchange Library system and states she is CEO in same is not the issue for me.
Nature allows for seeds to drop to the ground in the Fall and germinate in the Spring; it isn't a new "method" at all.
I'm saying that it's a method that is controversial for **individuals** as regards tomatoes to deliberately sow tomato seeds like that, and as I clearly indicated above, as an individual. And as you also know from the many threads and posts at a different website that it is and has been controversial for many ot hers..
Folks should try it for themselves for tomatoes,and if it meets their needs, then fine.
But it isn't a method for all for the simple reason that we as individuals have different needs as regards how many varieties we grow, if we have rare seeds and can't afford to sow them that way b/c the germination percentage is never known for sure, witness the normal volunteer rate, b/c we live in different gardening zones, b/c some need to meet a certain deadline in when they set out plants and all the other issues that come into play for an ***individual***..
I'm definitely going to try WSing tomato seeds this year! I most likely will start them in early March (for my growing zone 7) and hopefully I'll have little seedlings that will be ready to plant in my veggie garden by the end of May, or earlier! A BIG PLUS is that they won't need to be hardened off...they already are!!!
I winter sowed tomatoes last year and had pretty good results. But...they were a little later than store bought. Eventually, they caught up, but by then it was too late...frosted. We did have an awfully cold, wet spring in New Enland, so I probably got them into the garden a little later than I should have. I think a lot depends on your zone. If you have a very short summer, it seems to be a little trickier. I'll definitely winter sow them again, but I'll probably start some inside just in case.
I had great success WSing tomatoes last year, which was my first attempt (at WSing tomatoes, not WSing in general). I sowed four different varieties, and had an excellent germination rate. I plan on trying again this year.
I winter sowed tomatos last winter also. I did one flat outside and one in the house. The winter sowed were smaller at planting time, but much huskier. Once planted they caught up in size and produced was high.
Needless to say I will winter sow my seed in outdoor flats again this year.