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lessons learned for next year #4

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

This is a continuation from

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/694595/#new

Reedsburg, WI(Zone 4b)

Taking extra seedlings to a farmers market is a good idea. You could probably even donate them to a thrift shop of give them out free at church if you asked. (If you didn't want to mess with the farmers market).

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I tried to plant stuff at my church this year - they were very particular about what and where.

xx, C

The Monadnock Region, NH(Zone 5a)

Yeah, Carrie .... Our church was rather particular, too.

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

I had 'WAY too many WS seedlings too . . . seems to be a common problem with us enthusiastic WS-ers. (Aw, just ONE more little jug. . . . ) Come Spring-time, I gave anyone who walked by a plant or ten, plus I found a couple of local libraries who were having plant-sales. They got a LOT of plants. I had begged lots of extra plastic pots from other folks--the cheap kind from nurseries--and these I used to pot up the excess.
Memo to self: do NOT plant the entire package of seeds EVER AGAIN!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I actually had too few seedlings - because 'i was very careful to plant only ONE seed per container, and save the rest. So I saved many more than I planted. THEN I had a huge NOID problem, but I also went crazy in, say, March, and planted a few flats full of things which would have been OK if I had quickly transplanted them... but something came up (vacation, sick, weather, I forgot) and they didn't get watered and because they were in little cells instead of lovely jugs they shriveled up. I think I ran out of potting soil, too.

xx, C

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

I am very carefully going through my needs and wants list trying to limit myself so I don't spend the summer planting and never get to the dividing and moving like happened this year.

Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

I hear you . . . . had way too many seedlings - but not enough variety of plants. So this year, more variety - fewer seeds :-)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

My motto for next time is: PAINT PEN!

XX, Carrie

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

I will second that.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Our local horticultural society always has a plant share in late May, but this year we had a record snowfall two days before it, and I didn't have a chance to pot up any of my winter sowing seedlings for it. I gave lots of plants away to friends and people I work with though, and that was rewarding in itself, because most of the people gave me regular updates on how the plants were doing. And now some of them are going to try their hand at winter sowing too. Pass it on, pass it on...

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

This weekend I am using the scatter method. It is too cold for the seed to germinate in Northern MN now. I am scattering all native seeds in the yard at our cabin. It isn't a way to have a neat and tidy garden, but is works well for a wild garden.

This is off topic, but we haven't had a frost yet here in Minneapolis.

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

Glad my site was helpful.

I don't reuse my containers - I put them out for recycling. I start off with new ones that I've been saving throughout the year.

Wheatfield, NY(Zone 6a)

Zen, WOW! still no frost? when do you usually have your first? I thought it was good that we hadn't had one yet, but I'm 2 full zones warmer than you.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

carrie and zen,

i used the paint pen and it worked fabulously!!

funny thing though... i knew what everything was when it was still in the jug... but then, when i got them in the ground, i forgot to add a plant stake so i knew what was what. plus i need to keep the weeds under control a bit better.... since i didnt know what was what, i wasn't pulling weeds, since i wasnt sure if it was a plant or a weed. kinda silly... but that's what happened to me. [this was all back on the State Property, not my actual yard... so there are a lot of weeds]

The Monadnock Region, NH(Zone 5a)

Is there a brand name of paint pen that most everyone uses so that I can look for one?

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

I like Deco

Thumbnail by Anitabryk2
Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

We still haven't had a frost either, but it's definitely THAT TIME. So much to do, so much to do, so little time and energy.

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

I've used Deco paint pens for years. They can be found in craft stores. They are both weather and sun proof. They come in lots of decorative colors, but I prefer the dark ones because they show up better on metal plant markers.

No frost yet! Hope it holds off for a couple more weeks. I still have lots of planting & maintenance to do in the garden.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Me too - and i don't think it will hold off more than a day or two for me!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

we've dipped into the low 30's here in Lake Delton, but no frost yet.
at home, i think the closest we got was low-mid 40's.
both of those were the real cold snap 2 weeks ago, before we were back in the sweltering upper 80's.

as for the marker... i don't recall the name of it, though i did get it at Walmart, and i'm sure it's in one of my posts from last spring when we last talked about the paint pens.

Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

What's this talk of frost????? NO FROST! Frost means that snow is not far away - I don't want snow - I want to grow my gardens . . .

No more talk of frosts, 'kay?

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

Boy, I read this thread and that reminded me to put some markers in for the new little stuff I just transplanted!!! I'm starting a brand me area and some of the stuff I put in is REALLY small. I'll buy some potting soil and spread that over the existing stuff. What I have right now would probably "burn" an WS I did. WHEN is the BEST time to WS? AFTER the first frost? (sorry, there's that word) OR? I sure don't want seed coming up now. It's been in 60's, nights in 40's, that's the range lately. Is it a good time to WS? Can you tell I'm eager to try my hand at it for the first time? I intend to try a few DS.

Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

I have sorted all my seeds into months for starting - there are a few for December, a few more for January, LOTS for February, some for March, and a few for April.

However, I have heard that some people do them all AFTER the winter solstice (days start getting longer then).

BTW, winter sowing totally rocks! You will have soooo many plants - far more than most of us could afford to buy. :-)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Traditionally wintersowing happens after the winter equinox - when days start to get longer again. It's not exactly an old tradition - like our forefathers and mothers didn't have plastic milk jugs!

x, C

West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

No, but sowing seeds in fall and winter isn't new. People have used cold frames and the like to start seeds and plants, probably for a long time.
Equinox basically means "equal night", the days around March 20th and September 23rd when day and night are equal length, the first days of spring and fall. The summer solstice is when days start to get shorter and winter solstice is when they get longer, a good reason for a holiday in many religions.
I know people who start their seeds on the solstice exactly, every year. A big whoopdedoo, believe me.

I have a bunch of native shrubs' seeds I might start any time now, Aronia, Hollies, Viburnums, Clethra, etc.

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

"I have sorted all my seeds into months for starting - there are a few for December, a few more for January, LOTS for February, some for March, and a few for April. "

Seandor, this is a stupid question, but how do you know which seed to allocate to which months for winter-sowing? Last year, I just planted seeds mostly in lateFebruary and early March, without knowing when was the truly right time. . .
TIA!

Eastern Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

I hope this solstice thing works, I've got some European White Birch and Oriental Hornbeam seeds I'm going to use. I'm collecting plastic egg containers and supermarket cookie containers to try it with. By the time I start (the solstice). I may have 2 or 3 more types of seed...

Brooklyn, NY(Zone 7b)

WaterCan2 - how big are your plastic egg containers?? You really need something that will hold at least 3" of soil ....

PV

Eastern Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

Hmmm, ok, I'm dumping the egg containers... the cookie containers give me 2" - I better dump them too. ;-(

I do have a couple of long 48" windowsill planters I dont use anymore, they're 6" deep, maybe that will work...

Thanks PVick, I almost made a booboo! ;-)

Reedsburg, WI(Zone 4b)

I have heard some people say they hit the recycle centers to get milk jugs and other things along those lines that work well. Personally, I go through 4 or 5 gal. jugs of milk a week. No problem having enough here!! LOL

Eastern Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

Yea, I've just been reading the previous thread on this, I do have a lot of birds around here, I had to enclose my bonsai table in netting because they kept looking for insects under the moss. They left empty handed but the moss ended up on the ground! Seedlings would be like caviar for them! ...I think I'm safer with the milk containers. I especially like the idea of covering them back up with the tops to protect them from frost.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

WaterCan2,
Have you checked out Trudi Davidoff's website on winter sowing? Tons of great information there, including information about suitable containers...

Joanne

www.wintersown.org

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

I wish I lived near you guys with all the extra seedlings LOL.
I visted the U of KY arboretum on Friday. They had computer paper tags that had been laminated.

I am going to try ws again.

Teresa in KY

Eastern Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

Excellent!! Thanks Grow_Jo! Good thing I've got some time... I've got lots of homework to do before the solstice! :-)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Agreed, claypa, I just meant 'sticking things in containers with drainage and vent holes', not sowing things at times other than spring.

x, C

Havelock, Canada

Okay - I learned so much just popping in here! Paint pens are something I'm not familiar with but I used permanent marker this year to mark each seed type I planted and the rain washed off the print. I don't know what their definition of permanent is but different than mine. As far as winter sowing, I've never done it. I am going to have back surgery, will find out the date later in November and I am so afraid that I won't be able to do the usual gardening I do in the spring and early summer. I have so many seeds that I have been collecting from my garden because buying the seeds is not an option unless they are really inexpensive. Can I store seeds in an unheated room (it is insulated but very cold in the winter) and have them be okay until next year? DH made me a storage system for some of my seeds but it is plastic trays which hold the seeds. The storage system is made out of wood and is basically wooden compartments that are about 5 X 7. Do I need to ventilate the plastic trays and is it okay to store the seeds in the unheated room using this system? I'm kinda lost on this one. I've always stored in marked envelopes with silica gel packets and in the refrigerator in a plastic rectangular container with a lid on it. Too many seeds this year to do that since my neighbours want many of my seeds next year. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
If I don't get back to this site right away it is not because I am rude. I can't sit for long at the computer these days because of my pain issues. Will check as often as I can.
Thanks in advance!

Elaine

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Elaine: You can get paint pens at craft stores like Michael's. They look like magic markers but don't fade or wash off. The ones I made in early spring look the same today as the day they were made. I don't remember the cost but I think about $4 each. Money well spent, and they last a long time.

First suggestions for seeds
Give to neighbors now, don't do the storing yourself until next year.
I have no experience with the plastic trays that you describe. I use small zip lock plastic bags (about 1 1/2" by 2 1/2 "). They're $1 for about 100 of them at Walmart. Just make sure seeds are well dried before putting in any plastic. I let mine sit for at least several weeks in the house, open to air. I don't think a cold room would be a problem.

Good luck with your back surgery. Is there someone who will help with your garden chores in spring? What we do shouldn't really be all that taxing on your back. First there's watering starting in spring. Plant out does involve kneeling, but maybe you could get a kneeler to help. I had a lot of health issues last year, and bought this kneeler. I love it and use it all the time. With chronic pain/weakness in one leg, I can actually pretty much get up and down by doing most weight bearing with my arms.
http://www.gardeners.com/Garden-Kneeler/default/35-662.prd

To plant out wintersown babies, no heavy digging required. I plant a lot of HOS using a tablespoon.

Karen

Havelock, Canada

Karen- Thanks so much for your input. You are right about giving my seeds to the people that have asked for it now instead of saving them for other people. I am such a softie that I can't say no. I like your idea of the ziploc bags. I gave you the wrong dimensions - not 5x7 more like 3x5. My DH is going to having another bowel resection some time in the near future and his health is not great even though we are relatively young. I'm still a GOBette for goodness sakes and he just hit the magic 50 this year. I guess age does not dictate health.
I found your advice to be very helpful and reassuring. I find that spring is a great deal of work for me as I have to uncover all of my beds and plant my bulbs and geraniums I have stored in the basement. I start some of my seeds in a tiny greenhouse that I put together and keep in my tiny house. I may just have to let my perennial bed see how it does on its own this year. This is only the second summer that I have been here and have made new beds this year. God save me from myself! Thanks for the good wishes and I am going to have to think out how I'm going to manage and get a plan going once I have a definite date for surgery. I may not be able to lift anything for 6 months after and if I don't garden I think I would have to be committed. I've managed to do most of the hard work without any help and just gritted my teeth through the pain. I guess that might explain why I am having the surgery huh?

Once again thanks for your quick and helpful response. My DH used to sell all kinds of devices for disabled people and he has even custom-made some that have helped people with particular needs so he will be helpful in the thinking out solutions department.

Hugs Elaine

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

Wow I was gone 3 days and it took a long time to read all the posts that popped up while I was gone.

I was just talking about no frost on another thread. I am still picking tomatoes and we spent the weekend at our cabin (zone 3) and there hasn't been a frost there either. This is Minnesota, I love the weather change to bad it isn't good over all.

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