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Winter Sowing: Our new mantra..'Don't sow more than you can plant!'

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grampapa
Wheatfield, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 22, 2006
10:56 AM

Post #3018287

At Shirley1md's urging (well, begging LOL), I have started this thread. It's a reminder to everyone not to get too carried away. I'm sure we all have just OODLES of wonderful seeds. This is my first year to try wintersowing. I have yet to plant one seed and I have 111 entries in my seed inventory. I have bought seed that I just HAD to have from some of the wonderful sales I have come across. And, of course, the wonderfully generous folk at DG have been sending seeds to me from all over. The butterfly people have been particularly encouraging and have filled my mailbox.

Because it is just me and DH, I have my son collecting milk containers at work for me. DH tells people I have some kind of world wide seed ring going on ;0) But I realize it is all for naught if the plants don't actually get into the ground. What you don't want to do here is get yourself all stressed out and ruin your whole gardening season for yourself. This is supposed to be fun and an economical way to increase your plants. A LITTLE PLANNING GOES A LONG WAY.

Now, I will get down off the soapbox, blame Shirley one more time, and try to take my own advice. gram

p.s. I have heard at least one good suggestion for those extra plants...share with friends and neighbors!

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 22, 2006
1:24 PM

Post #3018596

There was a period last spring/summer when two or three plant orders had come at once and there was a vast no-man's land on the patio of tiny teeny plastic containers of plants and their spots weren't ready yet... Is there an international tribunal for crimes against flowers?

Anyway that was actual plants that I had paid for! But when I'm planning to WS, that's my worst nightmare. Except this time we hope they'll be in big enough containers that they'll be ok for a few days by themselves.

DON'T PLANT TOO MUCH! (I'm yelling at myself.)

xxx, Carrie
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 23, 2006
2:22 AM

Post #3020242

Yes, it's true...I'm a wintersowing enabler! Is there a 12 step program for this? I have more seeds than I could ever sow in a life time, let alone plant them all out before I reach 100 years old! Groan...so many seeds...so little time!

Gram: What a wonderful idea to enlist your son's help in supplying you with enough containers! You'll be able to thank all the employees where your son works by supplying them with 'extra' wintersown plants! You'll never see such grateful people!!

A 'world wide seed ring' you say. I think we are all co-conspirators!! :~)

Thanks so much for starting this thread. It's wonderful!!!

Carrie: I feel your pain...right in my wallet! This syndrome usually happens immediately in the Spring, continues throughout the Summer and into the Fall. It really escalates during the Winter when nurseries are having sales!! Talk about a lot of $$$ spent. Wintersowing may help solve some of those issues. Can't say for certain though, but it definitely is a lot cheaper!
grampapa
Wheatfield, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 23, 2006
11:11 AM

Post #3020611

It will help with the money issues. But how many of us can stand to see a plant sitting and just ignore it, or worse yet, just toss it? But you're right Shirley. I can send my extras to the folks who give me containers. And whether they are gardeners or not, they can always pass them along to someone. People LOVE free plants.

I tried growing African violets from seed once just for fun. wound up with about 50 plants...way TOO successful LOL there were only about 5 different varieties so I didn't want them all. sure made a lot of people happy. all it cost me was one packet of seeds, some styrofoam cups and a little potting soil.
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

December 23, 2006
11:27 AM

Post #3020637

Last year, my first, I sowed 80 containers, and all but a few thrived. Then I got seriously sick and had 3 major surgeries. I had planted out some babies, and my poor husband planted out the rest, while trying to care for me, work at the office, do laundry, grocery shopping, cooking ... We gave some away to friends and neighbors, all of whom have black thumbs, and they let the plants die.

This year I hope to be healthier and will plant WAY less. Fewer containers and fewer seeds per container.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Karen
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

December 23, 2006
12:57 PM

Post #3020741

I am working very hard to not over sow this year. It even gets hard to give the seedlings away, especially since my garden friends are getting into winter sowing themselves.

What I am going to do is plant a few from each package and trade/give away the extra seeds rather than having to find homes for the poor little homeless seedlings. This will get organized in the new year. I belong to a group that has a winter seed swap so that is a great place to bring the extras. The big problem is not coming home with more than I brought.

We could start WSA (winter sowers anonymous). I hope that doesn't stand for anything else.

Here is to helping each other think less.
grampapa
Wheatfield, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 23, 2006
2:52 PM

Post #3020927

Pauline, that should have been the name of this thread! W*S*A!!! We'll have to work on the 12 steps. the key is moderation and that is soooo HARD. Like all of you, I want every plant I see, and this looks like an easy way to get them all at a reasonable price. So with the $$$ barrier out of the way, we dive in. I spent the whole gardening season this year trying to juggle timing on plant orders and getting things into the ground and actually did pretty well. Considering the summer of '05 I could barely walk around the garden to look at it (I have fibromyalgia), planting anything at all is a triumph for me. I put in quite a few new perennials this year and 9 dwarf conifers. Even dragged home a pretty big potted kalmia and planted. DH didn't think I could, but I did. Felt good, too.

Some of the things I want to start (vitex, ceanothus, spicebush), I'm thinking may spend 2 or 3 years in pots until they are really big enough to place in the garden. So the sooner I start these the better, and no worry about planting, just maybe moving to a bigger pot.
rubyw
Crozet, VA

December 23, 2006
6:21 PM

Post #3021191

Hi Everyone - Hi Zen, good to see you here. This will be my first year of wintersowing. I have loads of seeds. I am like you all in that I want every plant that I see too. I am waiting for the holidays and a vacation to take place and then I will begin the wintersowing.

A while back I lucked out a a dollar store and was able to buy lasagna sized aluminum baking pans with clear lids. I have also been saving gallon milk jugs and any other good size clear containers. I was able to buy a hard plastic children's swimming pool for one dollar at a nearby second hand store. I got another pool from our freecycle group. All that I still need to get is more potting soil.

I hope that this thread will continue and that this forum will be able to answer the questions that I am sure to have when I get started. This past year was really my first year of "real" gardening. By real, I mean mainly the amount of plants that I planted. I have always had a least a few things growing wherever I have lived. Due to receiving some inheritance money last year, I was able for the first time in my life to go a bit wild.

I am happy to report that by about summer's end, my hubby had caught the gardening bug too. It is a good thing. He is the muscle of this team. ha-ha

I look forward to getting to know some of you better. Have a wonderful weekend.

Ruby
grampapa
Wheatfield, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 23, 2006
6:55 PM

Post #3021255

Hi, Ruby (Ruby was my mom's name...so many pretty plants named Ruby).

you're not fooling around...2 kiddie pools? and you've got hubby hooked too? doesn't get much better than that LOL Do you have a lot of room to garden? what kinds of seeds are you going to plant this year? we want to get to know you, too :0)

gram
rubyw
Crozet, VA

December 24, 2006
11:19 PM

Post #3023547

Hi Gram - I was named after my two grandmothers. Ruby from my dad's mom and Lee from my mom's side. Our home sits on 2 acres of land. Behind us my two son's own 7 acres that I deeded to them about 15 years ago. And even behind that my brother owns about 35 acres. We live on a hillside and the view out back shows a ridge of The Blue Ridge Mountains. Looking out front you see a couple of rolling hills. If my house was on my son's or brother's land I would have a view of the small town that we live near. On the 4th of July my brother gets to see 3 different locations fireworks. He has what they call a million dollar view.

I guess that 2 acres is a pretty large area to garden. My hubby has spent many hours this fall transplanting azaleas, day lillies, peonies, iris and probably more from his home place which is in the middle of being sold. Both of his parents were master gardeners and had quite a lovely garden many years back before age caught up with them.

As for the seeds that I plan to wintersow, I cannot recall at the moment. I do know that I went down the list of one company's offerings and ordered what seemed to be at least one package of each. Only a very few of their offerings did I choose not to purchase. When the holidays are over and I get started with the wintersowing I will try to post some of the seeds that I plan to use.

Last winter I used grow lights and started a few things inside. I tried coleus and had loads of them germinate. The only remaining one is thrilling me with it's current growth and beauty. It makes up for losing all the rest of them. I will try posting a pic of it sometime soon.

Thank you for the welcome to the group gram, I am glad to be here.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful day tomorrow.

Ruby
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

December 25, 2006
2:11 PM

Post #3024180

Gram and Shirley, thank you for this reminder thread :) I'm nothing if not an extremist! I am actually choosing "sites" in the yard, and only planting out seeds for that site per bulb crate container when it comes to the flowers (although I keep going, "oh, THIS would look good here too" when I already have the plant list made...lol!) Then I'm going to do my tomato plants in a separate planting.

Ruby, it sounds like you have a delightful planting ground, and lovely views and a hubby that shares your joy - what a winning combination! I've recently been admiring some of the gorgeous coleus available; were they easy to grow from seed? We look forward to hearing about your growing adventures as well :)

~Sunny
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

December 26, 2006
2:39 PM

Post #3025722

Ruby, I am named after my two grandmothers. Pauline from my dads mother and Mae from my mom's mother.
grampapa
Wheatfield, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 26, 2006
2:49 PM

Post #3025755

Hey, Ruby. My mom, Ruby, had a brother Leroy, who was called Lee. She also had a cousin Ruby, so I think it must be a family name, but I never knew who they were named for. I need to get a copy of the geneology. Was your Dad's family German? I ask because Ruby is not a very common name. gram

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 26, 2006
6:24 PM

Post #3026288

I'm named after one grandmother; my Mom's mother. She was named Caroline but changed it to Carolyn in when she was a rebellious teen! I'm really Carolyn but I've been Carrie since I was a few hours old.

Yeah, gotta burn/trash all the wrapping paper, reuse where possible, yadda yadda yadda, Anyone know if I can use a lovely clear plastic 2 gallon anti-freeze bottle (empty) to wintersow, if I wash it carefully with soap and lots of water?

xxxxx, Carrie
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

December 26, 2006
10:40 PM

Post #3026783

I don't know, but I personally wouldn't.
beaker_ch
Columbia Heights, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 27, 2006
2:48 AM

Post #3027258

I agree with Zen. Plastic comes in different grades and I don't think you'd want to introduce any chemicals into your soil that might harm the plants. Milk and soda containers are food grade plastic and, therefore, should be safe for use with your plants.
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 29, 2006
10:04 PM

Post #3034500

I agree beaker_ch. Food grade plastic is the safest thing to use.
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

December 30, 2006
12:55 PM

Post #3035892

Thanks for putting it in concrete terms.
grampapa
Wheatfield, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 30, 2006
5:37 PM

Post #3036630

Oh, Pauline, if you put it in concrete, I don't think it will grow at all LOL
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

December 30, 2006
11:19 PM

Post #3037397

Oh I hadn't thought of that, thanks. LOL

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 1, 2007
6:24 PM

Post #3042369

I'm baa-aa-aack. I was eyeing the lovely (empty, still lying around...) anti-freeze container again today. Ok ok, I won't use it. I don't eat anything grown in the dirt that came with the house; my neighborhood is too urban and everybody except us has a lawn service with those little flags that say don't let your kids or your pets or your veggies or in fact any life form cross this toxic grass. We're at the bottom of the street so we get the most water but also the most chemicals, I imagine. BTW, DH agreed with you-all from the start, I'm just craving more and more WS containers.

xxxxx, Carrie
Brent_In_NoVa
Sterling, VA
(Zone 6b)

January 3, 2007
7:00 PM

Post #3049651

It really boggles my mind when I see people that have 100's of containers going. Two years ago I sowed 25 containers and got sprouts in about 22 containers. I ended up with way more plants than I needed...but it was fun! Here are two phrases that I will try to follow...it is likely that I won't, but I will try:

"It is okay to sow lightly" I think to myself...the pack has 100 seeds...what if only 5% of them survive...I better sow them all! Then I end up with 90 seedlings.

"It is okay to compost seedlings" When I do have a container with 90 seedlings I have such a hard time "killing" the extras. I have to learn that I can only use 6-12 plants in my garden and that I will only be able to give away 12 plants so I need to donate the rest to my compost pile.

- Brent

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 3, 2007
10:37 PM

Post #3050456

Thanks, Brent, for a note of sobriety in all this New Year's giddiness. (Haven't sown a thing yet - too giddy in general.)

xxxxxx, Carrie
zenpotter
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4b)

January 4, 2007
10:59 AM

Post #3051845

In other words if we remember to sow lightly we won't have to compost nearly as many seedlings.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 4, 2007
10:48 PM

Post #3053707

Exactly, zp. Except, I haven't even washed out my empty containers nor cut them up nor put my sterile potting non-soil into them etc. etc. But I'm totally devoted to WSing? I did purchase a paint pen.

xxxx, Carrie
grampapa
Wheatfield, NY
(Zone 6a)

January 4, 2007
11:38 PM

Post #3053840

Lightly sow! it reminds me of that song that always teach children when they start taking instrument lessons of any kind 'Lightly Row' LOL.

Carrie, we're kindred spirits. I'm so devoted to WS, it has taken over my kitchen... containers, seeds, sterile potting mix, labels, everywhere you look. and every day I review my database. but I have yet to sow seed ONE. we'll get there ;0)

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 4, 2007
11:59 PM

Post #3053898

Gram, when I started piano lessons I played that same song but in my piano book it was called "Tuna Fish"!!???!
xxxxx, Carrie
grampapa
Wheatfield, NY
(Zone 6a)

January 5, 2007
12:29 AM

Post #3053977

Carrie, did it have words? that's a strange one!
rubyw
Crozet, VA

January 5, 2007
9:43 AM

Post #3054844

Hi All = Well, I see that I am in good company since no one else has wintersowed yet either. I will attempt to do so next week unless something unforeseen happens. Wintersowing and compostiing are two things that I didn't think I would get involved in when I first began reading these boards. I proved myself wrong again. I guess that it was some time in July when I bought a couple of half bushels of peaches and peeled them to freeze. I looked at the pile of peelings and just couldn't put them own the garbage disposal. That is when I decided to begin my compost. It was not too long after the peaches that I also prepared a pretty good amount of green peppers for the freezer. There was a lot of stems and such to add to the compost with these also.

A few weeks ago my hubby built a cinder block bin for me. It is a lot easier than the plastic trash can that I had been using. I am hoping that I will derive the same good feelings from winter sowing as I have with my compost bin.
Thank you to everyone on this board who is contributing to this discussion. I am learning some good tips.

I hope that every one will have a good weekend. We will be leaving Atlantic City in an hour or so. We have had a really good week here. We won't be going home broke thankfully though we did lose in the low hundreds. Losing in the low hundreds is very easily and quickly done. ha-ha.

The next tiime I post it will be from the comfort of my home. Take care all.


Ruby

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 5, 2007
10:06 PM

Post #3056688

Of course, Gram,

Tu-na fish, tu-na fish, ev-ery-one loves tu-na-fish, Tu-na fish, tu-na fish, it's a fav-orite dish.

xxx, Carrie

grampapa
Wheatfield, NY
(Zone 6a)

January 6, 2007
1:17 AM

Post #3057209

Carrie, I didn't know you could sing LOL

Ruby, I keep thinking I don't have anything to compost, but I'm sure if I thought about it there's some.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 7, 2007
12:59 AM

Post #3060272

Actually, Gram, I have a masters degree in music. So allegedly, I can squeak, at least. We have tons to compost, just nobody who is able-bodied enough to turn it or build a container for it out of chicken wire, or clever enough to save tea bags and egg shells.

xxxxx, Carrie

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Other Winter Sowing Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Winter Sowing Seed Swap .....part 2 alicewho 213 Mar 23, 2007 1:01 PM
Lessons learned for next year #2 zenpotter 256 Mar 23, 2007 7:56 AM
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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