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Winter Sowing: Temperatures Help!

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heathrjoy
Weedville, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 18, 2006
11:22 PM

Post #1985605

I can't believe that temps are the thing I'm worried about with w/s! Usually we are around 0*, or in the teens this time of year. This year we are hitting 40*! I haven't sown anything yet, this is my first year w/s. I don't know how big of a deal this is. Any suggestions? I'm just concerned the seeds would germ too fast then the sprouts would freeze in two weeks when it gets back to normal temps. But, if I wait too long to w/s will my plants be too far behind where I want them to be come spring? Help!
Heather
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

January 19, 2006
12:33 AM

Post #1985744

What are your temps at night? Remember - there are seeds silently hanging out in your yard right now - that you didn't plant, mother nature did.
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 19, 2006
1:24 AM

Post #1985846

Heather, don't stress over the daytime temps being in the 40's. My daytime temps have been in the 50's! However, the nightime temps will dip into the 20's to 30's. Also, the amount of sunlight during the Winter is much less than what we experience during the Summer. All these factors contribute to germination. Relax! You've got all Winter to sow your seeds!!
heathrjoy
Weedville, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 19, 2006
5:23 AM

Post #1986284

Thank you! *I'm taking a big sigh of relief now.* The earliest I've ever got to start my plants indoors was March and I just couldn't wait to get things started in Jan! I may actually have blooms at the same time the nurseries do...ha ha ha. :)

So, I'm going to Wal-Mart tomorrow to get some duct tape and cheap soil and get started.

Thanks again!
Heather
DigsGardening
Byron, GA

January 19, 2006
1:24 PM

Post #1986581

heathrjoy,
Use that duct tape sparingly. It is a struggle to get it off come spring without damaging your seedlings. Doesn't take much to secure the tops of your containers.
I already have had to fight the stuff to get at seedlings that needed to be transplanted. Wrapped it all around my milk jugs to keep the wind from blowing the tops off. Now I just wire the top to the bottom or just push the top down into the bottom until the seeds germinate.
Digs
heathrjoy
Weedville, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 19, 2006
7:50 PM

Post #1987186

Thanks for the tips Digs! It gets *very* windy here in the winter. I'll have to try some different ideas and see what works, but I'll be sure not to overdo it with the duct tape. I can always add more tape if I start out w/ too little, right?

I do have an unheated gh that I'd love to use as a coldframe for ws. The only problem is the slanted doors tend to freeze shut and it would be a big problem getting in to water them regularly. I'll have to have DH work on that this summer.
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

January 20, 2006
3:05 PM

Post #1988780

What about a cold frame? Heathrjoy?
heathrjoy
Weedville, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 20, 2006
3:21 PM

Post #1988813

That's another thing I want DH to work on this summer! LOL The unheated gh would work great, if I knew I'd be able to get into it to water whenever I needed to.

A fan burnt up in it last month and I was outside w/ a hammer and screwdriver beating and prying it open, chipping off ice so I could get into it to shut the fan off. I think the controls for the fan are going to have to be moved into the house this year too. Wow, did that smell! LOL

We only use the gh for 3 seasons...with good reason!! LOL
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

January 20, 2006
3:23 PM

Post #1988818

I would love a gh, but I really don't have the room in my yard for one. I don't want to lose planting beds.
heathrjoy
Weedville, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 20, 2006
3:33 PM

Post #1988834

Our is up against our foundation. I guess you would call it a lean to gh. DH built it out of plexi-glass and strips of wood. We have one shelf in it, the coated wire kind that you put in the closet...it holds a LOT of weight. It was easy to build and pretty cheap too, considering how much I'd spend on plants per year before I had it.

There's one window to our basement inside the gh. We took the glass out of it, boarded up one side and put a fan in the other. The fan is run on a thermometer, it pulls heat from the basement when it gets too cold. We usually have it set pretty low, but it works (unless it's December and someone forgot to shut it off!).

It's pretty simple, but it works. DH has been talking about building another, but we'll see. I don't think he'll have to if we start to ws.

It really doesn't take up that much room, you'd be surprised. I'll send you a pic if I get out there to take one...and it doesn't look too messy. LOL
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

January 20, 2006
3:47 PM

Post #1988866

yes, I'd be interested in seeing it.
heathrjoy
Weedville, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 20, 2006
3:51 PM

Post #1988870

Ok, it does look messy, but it's the middle of Jan, so I suppose that's excusable...I hope!!!

Thumbnail by heathrjoy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

heathrjoy
Weedville, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 20, 2006
3:56 PM

Post #1988882

Yuck, that looks awful! Somehow it doesn't look that bad in person. LOL Anyway, you get the idea.

Guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend if the weather holds up!
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

January 20, 2006
4:01 PM

Post #1988892

That is neat - it actually looks almost like some cold frames I've seen! Is it difficult to work in or do the front panes open too?
heathrjoy
Weedville, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 20, 2006
4:07 PM

Post #1988901

Just the top opens, but it's easy to step into if you need to. The shelf inside comes out also so you can arrange it to fit whatever size plants you have. My biggest problem...as you can see...is weeds growing inside. It just has a dirt bottom. I have used round-up and covered it with very fine mesh screen...they still come back. I guess this year I'll have to mulch it. I hate to use chemicals in the gh...makes me nervous. The woman who lived here before me (my MIL) had crown vetch all over the yard...and it's actually in the gh!! It LOVES it in there...and that's what you see entangled on the shelf. Grrrr.
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

January 20, 2006
4:28 PM

Post #1988932

What about landscaper fabric?
heathrjoy
Weedville, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 20, 2006
4:41 PM

Post #1988954

Honestly, I hate that stuff. DH loves it. We fight about it. LOL It may come to that tho, but I'll try a few other things first. This year it'll prolly be round up (the heavier-duty stuff), maybe even a soak instead of a spray...and really early in the year. Then dig up what I can. Then a mulch of dry grass or wood. Hopefully that'll be the end of it. Crown Vetch is just so darn hard to get rid of. I have a bank covered w/ it too. I think eventually I'm going to have to get one of those weed burners to kill off the bank...but that should be fun! :)
soulgardenlove
Marietta, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 23, 2006
6:14 PM

Post #1995327

Layers of newspapers will smother it and eventually decompose. :)

Susan

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Other Winter Sowing Threads you might be interested in:

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Winter Sowing Seed Swap .....part 2 alicewho 213 Mar 23, 2007 1:01 PM
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Milk jugs TurtleChi 99 Mar 19, 2007 12:20 PM
WS Poppies & transplant problems marie_ 100 May 11, 2011 4:44 PM
Database germination info bluespiral 6 Mar 5, 2008 12:23 PM


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