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I put a large peat pot in a milk jug and sowed 5 columbine 'Orgami Red & White'. Here's my question: I'm in zone 5. Am I doing this too early? What will happen if you do it too early--the seeds will rot? How can you figure out when you should ws something that germinates fairly quickly when exposed to the right conditions? TIA, Tamara
Columbines self-sow pretty readily by dropping seeds in late summer... so I don't think you need to worry about sowing them too early. Anything that self-sows in your area is an excellent choice for wintersowing! Hopefully the "right conditions" will come along at the right time, and you'll have seedlings just as mother nature intended... granted, the odd weather we've been having this winter may mess with things a bit, but I'm sure we'll all have plenty of WS seedlings by spring!
Thanks, critter! I'm going to sow more, as we finish our milk, which won't be hard with 2 little ones who love it! I'm going to ws gypsophilia muralis (what about gysophilia repens...will that work?), papaver paeoniflorum, 2 kinds of pansies, 3 kinds of sweet peas, and another variety of columbine. That's about as ambitious as I'll get this year, as I am also undertaking an indoor-sowing-under-lights project. I'm excited/nervous to see how it all turns out. Tamara
Tamara: How big is that peat pot? Is there only one per jug?
I tried just one jug with peat pots in a gallon jug last year. The peat pots were small- an inch or so diameter. Not one of those seedlings survived because they dried out too fast. Everything sown directly into potting soil in jugs did great.
It's about 6" high and about 7" in diameter. I hope they do well. I always use peat pots because the idea of pricking out is too scary. ;-) I'm a clutz and I would kill the seedlings if I had to handle them. Tamara
This is perfect for your columbines. When their seed falls directly to the ground, it germinates quickly when fresh, but when the seed has ripened, either in the pod or from collecting, it requires freezing and thawing to germinate well. Sounds like you've got the recipe for success!
I'm using peat pots for poppies and larkspur that don't transplant well, and milk jugs for everything else. This is my first year at wintersowing; can't wait to see the outcome!
Do let us know how your sweet peas do. I've been curious if they would be a good candidate for wintersowing.
Connie, I started mine on 12/22 - they sprouted and are now out in a hunk-o-seedlings by the mailbox. I also surface sowed all around the edge of the road to see how that worked out. I had a lot of poppy seeds this year, and I think they are so cool looking! I figured if I didn't get them out pretty quickly it would be way too hot here for them very early.
You're a lot colder than my area, so you may have the luxury of waiting a bit :)