I am very new to the WS thing... I just put out 4- one gallon milk jugs... I have read and reread the WS website and I may be blind or just tired of reading over and over but I can't find the answer to my question... So here I am .. :-) Ok I put drain holes in the bottoms and the cap is on the jug what I would like to know is do I have to put holes in the top also or do I leave the cap off??? I know I read this somewhere and I can't find it... So if you could help me I would be very thankful...
Thank you so much for the answer and so fast... Ok will go out now and take lid off.. and that it? Will it still get enough moisture with the cap off ? I am going to put out a few more things maybe tomorrow or this week at least... I think I will like this... I will also try to sow in the house this year...
Do you know anything about planting bulbs in containers in the house? I will try and look for a bulb site... I am kinda new to Daves... Not sure where everything is as of yet but I am learning allot thanks to this site and people like you... Thanks again..
Thanks Connie. I got this url off of one of the pages you had posted before... Great site... It is just that my eye where tired of rereading the same thing... Now it is off to bed for I work tomorrow... I was thinking about you today... :-) Chat at you later...
I don't think I have seen anything in any thread about what I am going to ask now. I have a bunch of milk jugs that came from our Costco, they are solid white, if that makes sense. If I put dirt into them, you can't see where it comes up to from the outside, like you can with "regular" milk jugs. Also, the pour hole is at one corner, not in the middle. I can't provide a picture right now (DH not here), but I hope this description is good enough. I am concerned that maybe it might not be light enough in the jug and the placement of the hole may not be good, being off center???
I am by no means an expert, but I think that the transparant green bottles are fine. I don't think that the solid white jugs would let in enough light. However, not all is lost... you could cut the top off completely, and then either duct tape some plastic wrap over the top, or pull a big baggie over the top and tape it or otherwise secure it. Be sure to poke in a few air holes. The containers need to act as a mini green house, so they need to get enough light and ventilation while still being covered.
Yes, Marie is right. Tinted bottles, like green Sprite bottles, will work fine. The solid ones, either white or colored, will block too much light. If you can't see your thumb through it, don't use it. But as Marie said, topless with a tent of some kind over it will be fine. The seeds just need light.
Thanks for the picture, Zen. Those are not the jugs I meant; our Costco, and apparently some other ones as well, carries the white opaque ones here. BTW, our Sam's has the translucent ones like on your picture and like the one on the right in my picture below. So there is another source!!
dmac: I think your Costco has the right ones (from having been there just once).
I will have to cut the top off of mine like Marie suggests, but fortunately I had a suspicion about this early on and have made only one of them and sown it.
Thanks, Karen for your input also.
Edited to clarify last sentence (i,e, thanks to Karen ...)
That jug on the left in Clementine's photo doesn't look clear enough to me. The one on the right is comparable to those I've used and they work great. Notice, you can see your thumb through it, That's the same test I use for plastic bags for tenting.
Karen, the object of the picture was to show both types of jugs. I had said that I had gotten those from our Costco and then Zen showed the bottles she got from her Costco. My picture was meant to show them next to each other. You are right, the white jug is not transparent enough, i.e. you could not see your thumb from the outside.
This afternoon I fixed the problem by cutting off the top from the wrong type of jug and put clear plastic (with holes) over it with duct tape. And I looked very hard to see if there was anything green in there - but nothing. Whic is good because we are expecting 14F tomorrow.
You could try just one of the white jugs with a few seeds in it. And sow the same seed in one with the top cut off... Do a little test with it. As far as the off set of the hole. you could punture a couple smaller holes on the solid part of the top... to even it out some... But keep in mind, it will be a tester type only. Then if you have luck with germination. next year you won't have to worry about cutting the whole top off :o)
Good idea pepsidrinker! I did one solid white jug. I will do the same seeds in a transparent jug as well and note the germination difference. Guess I won't be getting milk from Sam's Club during winter! :-) Tamara
Wow, Connie, great idea, but in this case (this was my first jug ever) I have two different seeds in it, so I can't really duplicate this one. But I can try another set today, so they will have been sown on the same day, and the only difference will be the jug. Zone5girl, I'll be curious how your experiment will come out. And, z, I am not sure I understand correctly, but our Sam's has the jugs we want, the transparent ones. It is our Costco that does not. So you should be able to start collecting for next year, LOL, if you buy milk at Sam's.
ok dumb question
"how are you getting the seeds in the jugs and then dirt on top of them in the milk jugs?",it dont look like youre cutting the tops off,sorry people but i just wanted to know lol and the 2 litter bottles are you cutting the tops off and then tape plastic wrap tot them? plmk and thxs for answering a dumb question lol
I am not expert -- this is just my 2nd year WSing -- but, I did use a number of those fully opaque white milk jugs last year and had good germination. I also have used them this year, as this is what I had on hand. I did open the tops last year pretty soon after I had seedlings emerging, but I am in zone 7b and the temps were consistently pretty warm once most everything sprouted. I don't know if the quantity of seedlings suffered from having the darker jugs or not, but I didn't have a single jug fail to germinate at all.
You need to cut them to plant in them. Here is a photo of mine from last year. I cut them and then taped them back together with duct tape. I tried posting this a while ago and my browser reset itself. Let's see if it works this time.
No photo, for some reason I can't send one right now.
So I cut them about half way down and only on three side so the 4th side was a hinge. Then taped them back together. When the seedlings are ready to fend for themselves to cut the top half all the way off and let the sun and rain do their trick.
I actually did not cut the 'hinge' off last year. Instead, I folded open the jug and stuck a rock in the top part to hold it open. Then, I was able to close it again when necessary (heavy rain or snow or hard freeze) and I am going to reuse the same containers this year.
ok great thought that is the way you did it but wasent sure but i thought i seen it where you could cut it off and put plastic on it or in a baggie too? guess i was wrong lol thxs for the info very helpfull
liz: I'm shocked that your seeds would grow with so little, if any, light. I'm sure it helped that you're in a warm zone and popped the tops early. It would be interesting to see a comparison of the 2 types of milk jugs. I'm happy with my clear ones, though.
I had a few in a bleach jug, totally opaque. I put lots of holes everywhere, and didn't know what to expect. I can't tell you right now what they are, but they sprouted and are still hanging in there. When it gets warmer I'll probably put more holes just to make sure they get enough light. Since those sprouted I have two regular pots, and put plastic plant pots on top of them with extra holes...also opaque,...We'll see.
I am going to try posting my picture again. You will see how I did my milk jugs and large cottage cheese containers with plastic over them. I used a fairly heavy plastic with holes in it. I wish I could remember where the plastic came from it really worked well.
zen does have a lovely patio and a fabulous from her home. I would think that cutting up a zip-lock bag would work for the plastic. It is pretty sturdy. What does anyone think about Press and Seal Wrap? Is it heavy enough? Would it 'stick' it out til Spring?
I had that on my tops in the begining, and it stuck very well. Later, I learned you don't need the tops. I think it would hold up pretty well as long as you didn't remove it. It looses it's stick once the seal is broken, well some of it. It stood up to the hole poking too.
The hardest part of keeping the containers to reuse is storing them for the rest of the year. I've got mine roped together in two clumps hanging from the rafters in the garage.
I actually got the zip lock bag idea from the guy that ran the seminar at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. He said that they use a lot of zip lock bags, and had a cut up one when he was talking about the air-layering. He said that something about zip locks keeping the moisture in but still being able to breathe.
I had totally forgotten about that, I wonder how much I forgot?
I was thinking about the storage and then realized that I store them as I get them so they are here anyway so why not store the ones that are ready to go.
Last year mine were pretty mangled by the end of the year so I pitched them. First I had gouged big holes when the weather warmed, then chopped the tops off completely. When planting out I cut all the way down the side of some to get them out more easily. They were in no shape to re-use.
I don't store my jugs at the end of the season, I just simply rinse them out and add them to the recycle bin. We drink a lot of milk, water & juice, so we seem to have plenty of plastic containers when I wintersow.
My local Costco also switched over to those white milk jugs as well...I hate the things! I keep meaning to send a letter or an email because it is impossible to pour a glass of milk without spilling milk all over the counter. God forbid one of my children would want to try and pour their own glass of milk. ;-)
Oh yea...Winter Sowing...I did a test with the Costco milk jugs and I found that a 1 gallon baggie fit over the jug real nice. Probably would not even need to secure it with tape. Once I finish with the "regular" milk jugs I plan on giving this a try with the Costco jugs.
kbaumle: How many inches of snow did you receive? Looks like your containers have a nice soft insulating blanket of snow to keep them protected throughout this winter!
Tamara: If you received all that snow too, than your containers will be fine. I thought you said on another thread that some of your containers didn't receive enough precipitation. Are some of your containers under an easement or too close to your house? If so, they probably need to be moved to an area of your yard where they can take advantage of the snow blanket provided by Mother Nature.
Bet your sore from all that shoveling! However, I'll take snow any day over those horrendous ice storms! We got ice instead of snow from that storm last week. Plus, we lost power because of downed power lines & trees.The Weather Channel is predicting another round of it tomorrow...GROAN!
we had some snow earlier - starting late afternoon... it was coming down pretty good - but now it's rain -- the temps have gone up a few degrees - enough to turn snow into rain... then tomorrow it should be snow again -- but yea -- ice is the scariest stuff. we're hoping it doesnt get heavy/thick enough to take down power lines.
but -- my milk jugs are now covered again in snow.
We got freezing rain and ice again last night. That stuff can be awful.
Bluegrassmom: Are your jugs frozen? Any germination? I haven't had to water anything yet because mine have been frozen for weeks. As of yesterday I couldn't pick them up yet because they're still frozen to the ground, stuck in ice. We had snow, then ice, then more snow last week.
I'm attaching a picture of my maple tree that I took about a week ago.
Well, I think I still have milk jugs out there. We got 13" and should get 3-5 more. The wind is whipping it around so there are some nice drifts. I will venture out to take some photos when I can get out the door.
While they are frozen there is no need to water, as a matter of fact that would be a mistake. I only watered once last year. We had a wet spring and the jugs keep a lot of moisture in. You don't want to drown those little seeds. Go by feel and water when needed. They won't dry out as fast as if they were planted in the open. It doesn't work to say every day or every three days because there are to many variables.
many of my jugs were dry to the touch and defrosted. I only added snow to a few of them - but with the weather that just past through - they all got snow/rain -- so i'm sure they will be good for a long while.
Shirley--yes, they are on my porch, which is the only place they are safe. But, like you said, they are blocked from the snow and rain. Someone suggested covering them up with snow, so I think that's what I'll do. Tamara
I put another 2 containers outside just in time for the 4" of new snow today followed by more sleet and freezing rain. Don't believe there are any new sprouts, but it's kind of hard to tell since they were stuck to my deck and surrounded by ice. We're suppose to have warmer temps this week, so a lot of it will melt and water my containers.
Karen: Lovely picture of your Maple tree sparkling in the sunlight.
Okay...I finally started my winter sowing today, and after cutting four milk jugs nearly in half and trying to tape them back together (after filling) I was somewhat frustrated. DH happened to come downstairs at this point and asked "How's it goin'?" When I told him, he asked if I thought a door would work better than cutting nearly all the way around, so I tried it. It's going much faster, and I think it might work better. What do you experienced WSer's think?
zen: Where did they all go? :~0 Your containers are tucked in for the Winter with a nice soft blanket of snow until Spring thaw. Not a thing to worry about. Mother Nature is taking excellent care of them.
jasmerr: Good lookin' containers. Do you have any critters that may get into the ones with a "window"? If not, go with which ever one is the easiest/quickest one for you to make.
tina5333: Welcome to the Winter Sowing Forum! The best place to read all about it is at http://www.wintersown.org Both coneflower and strawflower seeds will do fine via this method. Ask lots of questions and we'll be here to help out and encourage you. Remember to post some pictures too. Good luck!
tina6333. Welcome. If you didn't find it yet this link in the winersown site it has lists of plants that can be winter sown in each zone. It doesn't cover all, but has a lot. Don't forget to look at the zones below yours as well.
The bags that I am using are standard 1 gallon baggies (Safeway brand). They fit snuggly over the container. I have not taped any, at least not yet. I will probably need to tape the bag on some of the first few containers that I used to keep then from slipping and filling with water. Keeping the handle portion of the jug in place helps and with this round I kept the rim 2" above the soil line.
I went out today & scored a bunch of 1 gallon jugs from Costco from my neighbor's recycling. They're perfect for cutting in half & turning upside down for self-watering containers. I have a zipped plastic bedding bag to tuck them in, until it warms up...
I'm going to tuck the top half (w/ the cap off) into the bottom half & probably drill a hole just below where the top rests for overflow-I don't know if self-watering containers will be good for seed starting, but if it doesn't work, I will use them for patio containers for this summer, when watering constantly is a pain! The soilless mix should wick the water in the reservoir up, I'm going to block the hole w/ a coffee filter. I tried Earthboxes last year & everything seemed to grow well, I stil had to water, but not quite as much...
2-liter bottles make good plant waterers, too. You cut the bottom off the bottle, drill a small hole in the bottle cap, and jab it in the soil next to a plant. It works well in containers, too. They sell spikes that screw on 2-liter bottles, but it's a little pricey if you need a lot of them.
Thank you, bjoan and terese (terese, what are you doing over here...I was just dmailing you!)
Wow...looking at your list, bjoan, one would really need a huge grow light set up to do that inside, huh? Impressive.
The link was helpful, thank you. It did give me the answers I was looking for regarding the types of seeds best used. Althought, bjoan, some of the ones you grew I would not have even thought could be done with WS. Wow. I think you many have another dedicated WSer in the group.
If the weather now will not be as harsh with the major freezes and then thaws, could this now affect the ability of the harder seed coats to break open as well now? I was thinking about soaking some of those in warm/hot water for a day prior to sowing to catch up...does anyone think this is necessary? or helpful at all?
RatherB, this is only my second year, so I hesitate to give advice other than from my own experience. Last year the really hard seeds (peach pits were the hardest) I sowed in late December and early January because they definitely needed all that freezing/thawing to crack the pit, let alone the seed inside! I did not nick any seeds I sowed, annual or perennial. I did soak the morning glory seeds in water over night simply because the packet instructions said to do that. I don't know if it is necessary in winter sowing, though, and if I sow them this year, I will skip that step.
Maybe the experts will chime in on this one for you.
Yesterday i put my bean vine, and 2 kinds of Morning Glories in water, and sowed them tonight (yea... i'm up late)
last time i asked about soaking the morning glories, i was told that the freezing and thawing when winter sown would do the trick -- but I wasn't sure how many freezes i'd be having from this day on... so i soaked.
>>new thread to allow other WS gardeners to see it?
sometimes threads tend to go off topic...as i see this is the "milk jug" thread... I do find it helpful to have something i'm looking for in the topic line... but that's up to you.