Gram clued me in to this forum and method of sowing. Thanks, Gram! So I put my first plantings out yesterday, but I have a question. I used little newpaper pots thinking the transplanting would be easier in the spring. Has anyone ever tried this and was it a yea or nay?? TIA
This is my first time trying this as well. I made newspaper pots for my poppy seeds. I've heard they don't like to be dsiturbed when you transplant and thought this way might be easier for them. I think I should do my morning glories the same way, although I don't know if they can be wintersown...guess I will have to look that up.
I made newspaper pots and have already used them and have already found out they are AWFUL!
First I made a zillion. Then I posted about it with a picture of them in a black crate, ready to be filled with soil. A guy posted that I could probably remove them with a spatula, which got me wondering why I'd need anything? So I filled some with soil, and before I even watered them, I realized they stick together and they sort of meld together.
But I had a zillion, so I thought, aha! I'll put them in plastic pots, and then sow the poppies. When it's time to plant, I'll slip them out of the pots, paper and all in one piece. NOT! I had done some Sweet Peas (not poppies) as a test and when they needed to be removed and the paper would NOT come out of the pots It stuck to them. I tried pulling first, then I upended as you would a regular pot filled with dirt -- no go. The paper sticks to the pots.
I have a zillion paper pots and they are worm food.
Hi Illoquin! I figured you could use a spatula or something because you seemed concerned about being able to lift them if they were soggy. I had no problem with the paper pots, and I'm using them again this winter, in plastic bag that a comforter came in, with the end partly open and holes cut in it.
Thanks for everyone's input. I hope my pots end up as Claypa's did since I have over a hundred of them filled. IIIloquin, did yours melt together right away? I checked the ones I put out yesterday and I don't seem to have that problem. Claypa, I have looked at those comforter bags so often wondering how I could use them. Now I'm kicking myself since I discarded them during closet cleaning last fall.
Gram better get cracking, cause you got more seeds coming in the mail this week LOL
What I've done so far:
5 varieties of sweet pea
Love in a mist Miss Jekyll Blue
Digitalis Candy Mountain
Delphinium Green Twist
Cloumbine Nora Barlow
Monkshood Blue Bishop
Poppy orientale Coral Reef
And then, just for the heck of it I ordered some more seeds. I think the internet is the best thing for gardeners since dirt :>)
That's good to know about the morning glories!!! I have a few different kinds and even purchased some fancier japanese mg's to try.
Most of my stuff is in milk jugs but I didn't have much luck transplanting mg's that I had sown indoors last winter so I am going to try the paper pots on them so I won't have to disturb the roots. I've heard poppies are the same and dislike being bothered so I chose the paper pots for them as well.
I have never WS'd before...I am in zone 5 and wonder if most seeds will work...I thought it might be just hardy types for my zone...but I have notice many annuals referenced, such as morning glories above.
I did morning glories in water bottles so the roots had plenty of room. Poppies were gone in gallon containers with no problems on the transplanting. I tried the paper pots, but they dried out too quickly so I won't use them again for wintersowing. Maybe for sowing items in the house under lights.
...here is where I get confused...I have had the following seeds fall, and grow in the garden the next year: cosmos, tons of tomatoes seedlings, impatiens, lobelia. The seed packets state sew after all danger of frost, so how would they survive? Do they germinate only after the ground temp is at a certain point?
The other side of this question is, the same instructions are listed on several packs of HARDY perennial seeds. I have hardy perennials that has never had seed germinate after it has fallen. But I thought the HARDY plants were the ones that did well when WS...or can I WS anything anytime and just let the seed do it's thing? I just don't want to waste seeds that won't work for WS.
I have had conflicting information on seed packs too. As if some of the packs have generic langauage that plays it safe when attempting to give their sowing advice. Eventhough, it's my understanding that tenders in your zone will fair better if sown 6 to 8 weeks before your last frost date. That doesn't mean they can't be wintersown. Just set those containers out in Feb or Mar, whatever the case may be.
I give much more faith in the info I read on the wintersown.org site. Here's the list of known seeds good for wsing in your zone 5. http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/wtrsow/2002072837032351.html
If you've got seeds not on this list that you want to wintersow, just get more than one source of information for sowing those particular seeds, ie. read more than one nursery's guidelines.
Just my thoughts on the subject. That ws site sure eases my mind.
...so if I WS annuals or vegetables that cannot tolerate any frost (tomato) and they germinate; and then we have a freezing temp (Ohio-anything can happen-we had frost end of May last year), do I need to move them all inside?
venu209: Thanks so much. I received them in a seed trade last year. Sorry, that doesn't help much.
As the season of Winter begins and autumn ends there will be repeated frosts and thaws, and eventually, the temperatures will become so cold that ground will be frozen for the long duration of the Winter season. During this time the seeds are at rest in the soil...they are (in effect) sleeping for the Winter.
At the end of Winter will be the same repeat process of thaws and freezes, but the days will get longer, and the air will get warmer, and eventually the ground will permanently thaw when the season of Spring has arrived.
It is this repeated thawing and freezing, with a period of dormancy (the sleep of the seeds), and then more thawing and freezing followed by warming sun that triggers the germination of the seeds. Mother Nature's seeds often need to "sleep before they wake" and natural stratification provides that.
[quote]so if I WS annuals or vegetables that cannot tolerate any frost (tomato) and they germinate...[/quote]
"What is a hardy annual?"
A hardy annual is typically tolerant of colder temperatures and is generally capable of reseeding in most gardens.
You can germinate tomatoes with Winter Sowing!
WinterSown tomatoes germinate at their own right time, they are planted out while small but soon catch-up and grow to their mature size. Fruiting is typically later than hothouse started tomatoes due to natural germination. WinterSown tomatoes crop well, and because WinterSown tomatoes are always in the fresh air they are at less risk for spreading diseases of wilt, fungus and blight that can be associated with hothouse tomato seedlings grown in close shoulder-to-shoulder conditions. http://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/Tomatoes.html
[quote]and then we have a freezing temp (Ohio-anything can happen-we had frost end of May last year), do I need to move them all inside?[/quote]
No need to bring wintersown seedlings inside. That might weaken their stems.
Tammy and Shirley: Last year, I DID lose tenders to late frost. So much for plants knowing when to sprout. BUT the only container I lost was lupin sunrise (a few seedlings survived), and those were expensive seeds. All the other containers survived the frost that night, and a lot had sprouted already. I had sown the lupin on Feb 25, they seemed to germinate the minute the seed hit dirt! So, if I plant those again this year, I will sow them later. Last year was my first year and I learned a lot. Many other winter sowers have had similar experiences. Last year on the first day of spring our temperatures dropped to the single digits . It might not be so bad in the warmer zones, like Shirley or Trudi in zone 7 probably have much better odds on this. I do believe that most WS seedlings are heartier and better able to tolerate frost, but the odds are that some will be lost. I'd just prefer to delay sowing those special tenders that I REALLY want. I've already sown some snapdragons, I saved a few seeds for later, but I won't be devastated if I lose of few of those. I know snapdragons can shake off a light frost. On the other hand, I'm going to wait a while to sow my full-price coral zinnias that I really want to survive.
Trudi has a much tougher, more cavalier attitude: "if the don't survive they're weak and you don't want them in your garden". But I think I'd rather err on the side of caution and improve the odds.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not negative on WSing; I love it. I just think that we learn from experience and each successive year we can adapt the method to what has worked and what has not worked in our own yards.
Thanks so much for the info; the specifics really help me to sort this out. Last year I noticed I had tomato plants come up where I neglected clean out the dead plants the previous season. I noticed this when I was planting my nursery-grown tomato plants. The funny part was the seedlings began to grow quite fast and my purchased plants just sat there. I left a few seedlings to see what would happen, and they grew and thrived much faster than the purchased plants. That got me to thinking about WSing...just confused about pkg. directions and how seeds actually grow in their natural environment...but I am beginning to see the light!! THANKS TO ALL
kqcrna: Last Spring snowstorms happen. Some years we get them and some years we don't. Yes, some of the weaker seedlings will probably get killed off by the frost or snow, but the hardiest ones will survive. If you have some 'very special' or expensive seeds, then I would wintersow 1/2 the packet as usual, but keep the other 1/2 just in case. It nevers hurts to be prepared & think ahead.
Tammylp: Lupines are excellent candidates for wintersowing. I would start with the perennial varieties first and then sow the annual ones later in the Spring.
Lupine Sunrise is an annual. In my opinion my mistake was just sowing too early. So I'm waiting till later, closer to spring, to sow any annuals that I really want the most. With some of my saved seed, I have a lot and can kind of consider them disposable. I might do some of those early, but I'll save my special annuals for later this year.
I have about 20 out there now. I started a couple of weeks ago with HPs and a few HAs. Now is the time for anything that needs cold strat. Some perennials which bloom in the 2nd year with traditional germination methods will bloom in their first year with WSing, but certainly not everything. I don't think any of mine did. None of the columbine I started last year bloomed, and off hand I can't think of many. Verbascum Southern Charm did, also gaillardia goblin, butterfly weed, lavender lady.
Those more sensitive to frost I will do in March or April.