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Winter Sowing: weekend wintersower?

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Forum: Winter SowingReplies: 18, Views: 177
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Peckhaus
Long Island, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 2, 2007
4:08 PM

Post #4040796

I have been sifting through these amazing threads on winter sowing and would love to try it! This year I grew everything under lights in the city and then drove the plants out to Long Island in May where I planted them in the garden. Everyone thought I was crazy until they saw the gardens and ate the fresh veggies :)

Winter sowing seems less tedious yet just as much fun! However, if I'm working in the city M-F, is weekend care enough for the containers as the weather warms in the spring and they need watering / larger slits, etc? I'm worried they will dry out and get fried by the spring sun while I'm not there to care for them. Any thoughts?

Thanks for the information!
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 2, 2007
7:18 PM

Post #4041431

No, I don't think I'd trust them to just weekend care in spring.

If you're away and the weather suddenly gets hot (well, that does happen here), the jugs need to be opened or the seedlings will cook. They'll need more frequent watering too. You could do the watering with sprinklers on timers, but someone needs to be physically present to open them.

Conversely, if it's warm and they're already open, you need to close them for sudden frosts/ freeze warnings to protect them.

You can totally ignore them in the cold winter weather. Spring is the tricky part. Is there anyone who can help care for them in your absence?

Karen
Lala_Jane
North West, OH
(Zone 5b)

October 4, 2007
5:34 AM

Post #4047120

Peckhause what kind of set-up do you have there in the city? Are you an apartment dweller? You really wouldn't need that much outside space for winter sowing (that is untill you become an addict like the rest of us). Even if you have a patio or a balcony you could find space for 1/2 dozen jugs which would give you plenty of tomoatos, peppers and onions. :)
Peckhaus
Long Island, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 4, 2007
1:34 PM

Post #4047638

Thank you for the responses. Yes, I'm an apartment dweller with no balcony. Sigh. But, thankfully I do have access to my family's garden outside of Manhattan. I will keep thinking if there is a solution for winter sowing -- I'm already addicted to growing my own plants from seed, but have only tried direct-sowing and with lights so far.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 5, 2007
7:09 PM

Post #4052195

I'm strictly a Darwinian gardener - survival of the fittest. I think, if your containers were big in respect to the # of seeds, and you had plenty of slits/drainage, you'd be ok until the time came to plant them out. That's just me, though, and clearly other people feel differently! You could start some under lights to make sure.
Seandor
Springfield, MA
(Zone 6a)

October 8, 2007
11:04 PM

Post #4062640

You know what? I think you have nothing to lose in running the experiment. Do some of your seeds winter sowed, and see what you get. As long as the seeds are protected during the hottest part of the day, they may be just fine. So, if you can find a site with morning sun and afternoon shade, that may be just right.

Once the days really warm up, you can open up the top for more ventilation. Also, the Weather Channel can give you a pretty good estimate of the weather 10 days in advance.

So, for what it is worth, I say go for it - give it a try. :-)
lcosden
Pawling, NY
(Zone 5b)

October 9, 2007
2:21 AM

Post #4063443

Peckhaus, if you're not around to babysit the plants, try the Aerogarden. I used to travel full-time and was only home every other week. The Aerogarden is designed for minimal attention. I got it initially with herbs, but then I bought lettuce and their master gardener kit to do my own seeds. So far, I've been able to mix stuff. But if you're only growing one or two, the harvest is a bit limited.
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 9, 2007
12:01 PM

Post #4064299

Wow, I just looked up the Aerogarden. Almost $200!!! for that little thing!!! Wow!!!

Karen
Peckhaus
Long Island, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 9, 2007
6:31 PM

Post #4065398

Thanks, everyone. I think I will try some wintersowing with weekend care and see what happens. The process seems so ideal!

In the meantime, I'll put some seeds in the ground this fall and let nature take over, and will grow the rest under lights. Curious what the results will be!

I've seen the aerogardens in magazines. Good to know they work. They are pricey, though...
lcosden
Pawling, NY
(Zone 5b)

October 10, 2007
2:58 AM

Post #4067105

Guess, they are a bit pricey. We travel all the time so we were able to redeem for Skymall certificates to get them.. They work and I'm pretty happy with them. Can't beat some that's virtually free and works great. :)
Cordeledawg
Cordele, GA
(Zone 8a)

October 10, 2007
3:30 AM

Post #4067190

Peckhaus, once the ws seeds sprout, sit your ws containers under cover of deep shade and watering them only on the weekends should be fine. That's what I did for mine here in South Georgia. They sat under the shade of a huge low branching pine tree from the start to the finish. Since you know that you can't get to them but only on weekends, ensure that you use good potting soil even if you have to make your own by adding peat moss to retain water and vermilite(sp) to allow the roots to breathe.
Peckhaus
Long Island, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 10, 2007
11:29 AM

Post #4067620

Great tips - thanks. If the weather is sunny, will a gallon milk jug hold moisture for five days in part shade? Should I look for a bigger type of container?
Cordeledawg
Cordele, GA
(Zone 8a)

October 10, 2007
12:11 PM

Post #4067820

My milk jugs dried out some around the sides and the soil would seperate from side. The seedlings did just fine though with once a week watering. With seedlings already up in a confined jug, it's better to lean towards the dry side than staying wet, IMO. Using the orange juice containers, eventhough smaller than milk jugs, the container itself absorbs moisture and they actually stayed moist longer than the jugs.
Peckhaus
Long Island, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 10, 2007
12:21 PM

Post #4067834

Cordeledawg, thanks. Wouldn't have thought that about the OJ containers -- great to know. I'll start collecting now and give weekend wintersowing a shot. Why not!

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 10, 2007
8:09 PM

Post #4069070

Our OJ containers are opaque - is that what you used?
Cordeledawg
Cordele, GA
(Zone 8a)

October 10, 2007
8:34 PM

Post #4069128

Carrie, No, mine are the carboard kind, Tropicana.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 11, 2007
7:27 PM

Post #4072496

Yes, that's what I meant, NON-see-through. How did they germinate with no light?
Cordeledawg
Cordele, GA
(Zone 8a)

October 11, 2007
9:37 PM

Post #4072832

I guess light came in through the spout hole. I got the idea to use them from the wintersowing web site.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 11, 2007
9:41 PM

Post #4072846

?????? OK. :>)

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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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