What about if we update the plant files with wintersow results? If everyone actually uses the same term then all you would have to do is ctrl+F the word to find all instances of it? Unless there is another way? What does everyone think? Then we could just check the database and see what zones had success?
Excellent suggestion, Anita! Since I already have some containers that have seeds germinating, I better make sure that the batteries are charged up in my digital camera! Plus, I'll have my list of sown seeds in my hands so I can match up the numbered container with my list to see what is growing!
HINT: Protecting your list in a plastic sleeve such as a report cover will keep it clean & dry.
I think this would be such a great idea!!! Since this is my first year w/s I have to look up just about every plant I want to sow. I don't want to assume anything. Since I'll also be planning on where to put the plants in my garden I'll be using PlantFiles to look up where best to place them. It sure would make life easier if all the info was there together for newbies like me!
What's this about the Ctrl+F?? I don't know about that. Thought I was privvy to all the shortcuts and tricks around here??
Please post any new info on this so we all know what to post where...and where to search for it too!
What about Winter Sowing - then we could enter a note that would say -
Winter Sowing results: planted seed Jan 2nd and plant germinated April 3rd.
We could add any other information that might be pertinant. Then all we have to do is search the notes. They are already noted with the zone.
Heathrjoy - when you open the Plant Files and find the plant you were interested in, hold down the Ctrl key [bottom left of your keyboard] and then press the F key. This will open a window that says find. You type the word you want to search for and click Find Next. You can try it on this page if you like. It is a Microsoft Windows feature and works in the internet explorer or any word document. You can also find it in the edit menu.
EXCELLENT IDEA, Critter! Please suggest to Dave or Terry to add a check box for Wintersown on Plant Files! There is plenty of room to add your comments at the bottom of each entry. Lets hear it for wintersown plants!!
There is a checkbox for winter sowing, under propagation methods:
Quoting:From seed; start outdoors mid-winter in covered containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
If you come across plants that are suitable for this propagation method, but don't have it marked,
a) if it says "unknown - tell us" you can list this technique (but also please do a bit of research to see if other techniques should be checked off at the same time);
b) if someone has beat you to the punch and checked off some techniques (but not this one), stay on the entry, but move up the page until you see the red "report an error" button. Click on that link, and use the text box to tell us what should be added (be sure you don't accidentally remove the URL the system places in your note - that's what lets our PlantFiles editors find their way back to the entry.)
I wonder, would it be possible to change the wording to include the term "Winter Sowing?" Maybe... "Winter Sowing: start seeds outdoors mid-winter in covered containers, coldframe, or unheated greenhouse" That would make it easier for people coming across this info in PF to search for more information on this technique.
Terry, thanks for the explanation on how to add checkbox items to older entries in PF. I'd been wondering about that!
Yes, I found that thread... and I've seen the term "winter sowing" in so many places now (including newspaper and magazine articles) that I can't imagine it being considered proprietary. Since it has become a commonly used term, I'm thinking that its inclusion in the wording would be useful... but I'm not trying to stir up trouble if that's not a dead issue.
Anita, adding notes about any way you've grown or propagated a plant is always valuable info for PF!
Winter Sowing is a Fair Use term and as such may be used as is with permission implied for educational purposes and/or non-profit only. Seeing WinterSown on a DG t-shirt would not be allowed, but it's okay to use an approved term for describing the method ala Trudi Davidoff.
If you're unsure you can look at the disclaimer on the Home Page of WinterSown.Org, where that info is clearly stated.
Quoting: From seed; start outdoors mid-winter in covered containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
the statement is confusing! Yes, containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse can be utilized in propogation, but coldframes & unheated greenhouse are not used in "wintersowing". Wintersowing as discussed on http://www.wintersown.org only use containers that are left out in the open to receive moisture from Mother Nature. Seeds that are germinated in a coldframe or unheated greenhouse are NOT subjected to the elements. People need to provide the moisture to these seeds.
1) The propagation techniques in PlantFiles are not intended to be a full definition of the technique, but simply a short, simple description. It allows users to narrow their search down to plants whose seeds are suitable for propagating by this technique.
Our propagation forum, this forum, and Garden Terms are where you'll find definitions, instructions and tips for various propagation techniques.
I would gently suggest that most people understand if they place seeds or seedlings in any type of shelter, they will need to ensure they receive adequate moisture. One could argue this same warning holds true for those who sow in exposed containers - if too many warm, sunny days pass without adequate moisture, those seeds are equally at risk.
2) Please also keep in mind the list of propagation techniques in PlantFiles is nearly as long as my arm. We have tried very hard to keep it no longer than arm's length; hence some of the techniques are paired together. I can change the wording on this one, but we need to keep it broad enough to include similar (but not exactly the same) conditions; i.e., coldframes and unheated greenhouses.
To insist on splitting this up will force us to add another technique (meaning Dave has to do some behind-the-scenes shuffling), but it also means that ALL plants currently marked with this technique will need to be revisited by a PF editor to determine if they need both checkboxes, or just one (and which one.)
You can't can't call sowing in a greenhouse or coldframe winter sowing--it doesn't float and it's not MY method, which is what people here are doing. I need accuracy, not confusion, or I cannot sanction or link to this site as I am responsible to the NAL for all info on my own site, including outlinks.
I think that adding the correct info would be helpful from the very beginning.
Terry - either one is fine. Trudi, not everyone is using your exact method. Some have been doing their own thing with a lot of success. We just thought it would help some of us to have the info there for our own purposes and perhaps for some guidelines for success.
Keep in mind the purpose of this checkbox - it exists for two reasons:
1) To allow users to use the Advanced Search and select plants that meet this criteria; and
2) To allow a reader to see the various propagation methods that are suitable for a particular plant they're reading about within PlantFiles.
It is not intended to be an all-encompassing explanation of any propagation technique.
Think of it like this: if you are searching for seeds that can be sown mid-winter (regardless of whether you are sowing them in containers, in a coldframe, or in an unheated greenhouse) this checkbox will let you search for a list of plants that are suitable to try. (You can further refine your search to perennials, shrubs, etc.; or by height, hardiness, bloom color, or any other criteria you deem important.)
Once you have a list of plants in hand, you can then proceed to select those you want to try sowing outdoors - in a container, or in some type of covered frame.
I think I understand why some people are worried about distinguishing "wintersowing" as a particular method (with certain characteristic advantages) from the general idea of starting seeds when it happens to be cold outside, which one typically does under the glass of a coldframe or greenhouse or even indoors under lights. I was confused at first, but I think it's beginnning to make more sense.
Shirley loves the idea of the wintersown seeds in harmony with nature, the relative "naturalness" of having them out there, in their element. Contrast this with the chores of checking plants in the covered coldframe or greenhouse, maybe every day, for moisture level, etc. It IS a different approach.
But ask: are there enough varieties that actually cannot be started in coldframe and greenhouse when weather is cold but which CAN be sown and left in the OPEN during winter? If so,then they deserve their own category. Otherwise they could be initially lumped into the general group of things you can start when it's cold, and designated as those that can be wintersown au naturel.
From various publications where I've come across the term, I've come to think of "winter sowing" as sowing seeds outside in the winter, under conditions slightly more protected than those used by mother nature... so I think of the "containers out there in the elements" method as one way of wintersowing, and I think of an unheated greenhouse or coldframe as a very similar approach except for the necessity of watering. I thought including the phrase "winter sowing" in the checkbox made sense, however, there's certainly no reason I can't continue to search for winter sowing possibilities using the current checkbox. "Start seeds in midwinter in covered containers" is pretty much what we're talking about on this forum.
I thought April's original post about adding your winter sowing results to PF entries was an excellent idea!
I'm not sure how this discussion became controversial, so I share Terry's bewilderment there.
At the risk of repeating myself, this is NOT a definition.
When you enter a plant, you have several checkboxes to choose from for describing how it can be propagated. Those relating to seeds are as follows:
Quoting:- From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
- From seed; start outdoors mid-winter in covered containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
- From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
- Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked
- From seed; sow indoors before last frost
- From seed; direct sow after last frost
- From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
- From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium
- Scarify seed before sowing
You can check as many or few as apply to the particular plant, but none is intended to fully describe a particular technique.
You could pick apart all of them for their lack of detail:
"germinate in a damp paper towel" doesn't give details on what to do after you put them in a paper towel - how to keep them from drying out, or whether the seeds should be kept warm or cool.
"Sow seeds indoors before last frost" doesn't specify whether the seeds should be kept exposed to light or covered, or how deep to plant them, or whether to use a warming mat or not.
There is no way to fully describe the technique within these checkboxes - they are deliberately general. They exist to assist a gardener in finding plants that are appropriate for a particular germination technique. It is then up to the gardener to read, study and learn enough about that technique to then know how to properly carry it out.
Quoting: From seed; start outdoors mid-winter in covered containers...
needs to be changed in order to not confuse the reader, which might then lead to incorrect assumptions about the process of wintersowing. This is what I would suggest, please consider changing the statement to read:
Quoting: From seed; start seeds outdoors anytime throughout the winter, in containers with vented lids...
I feel that there would be less confusion to the reader. Hopefully, the reader will wander over to this forum to have specific questions answered.
Wintersowing is a very natural process that has been taking place since the beginning of time. Mother Nature is providing seeds the sunshine & moisture necessary to germinate and grow into plants, unlike seeds grown in a coldframe or in an unheated greenhouse, which will not receive moisture without the benefit of watering by man. Yes, sometimes wintersown containers need to be watered if there has not been any precipitation or if very high temperatures cause the soil to dry out to rapidly. Then, man will have to assist by giving the containers extra moisture during that period of time. Otherwise, Mother Nature is providing everything that the seeds need in order to germinate.
In keeping with the other propagation methods, we need to keep it as concise as possible. Since winter sowing encompasses sowing anytime during the winter and in vented containers, can we shorten it to:
Quoting: From seed; winter sow in containers, in a coldframe or unheated greenhouse
Terry, I truly understand the need to be as concise as possible. However, the word "vented" is truly needed before the word containers. Without the containers having vented holes in them, no moisture could get into the container and it would not be able to drain properly. Could it please read,
Quoting: From seed; winter sow in vented containers...