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So I've been reading up and lurking on this forum. I've read darn near everything on the wintersown.org site. I've started saving containers, although no milk jugs because we get our milk in glass bottles, believe it or not. And I still have a question.
What can't be wintersown? I've got the list of words to look for on seed packs. Then I read a thread where someone said not to worry about what the seed pack says.
I understand perennials and natives in my zone will be fine, as well as annuals that reseed here. Is there anything that really won't work, or that from your experience almost never works?
Thank you! I guess this means I'm no longer a mere lurker.
Partly that depends on if you stretch the wintersowing season into spring sowing... if so, you can also "wintersow" more tender plants. But some annuals take a long time to flower from seed, so if you want budding/blooming plants to set out in spring, you'll have to start them inside.
I'm afraid some of it is just trial and error. Read the catalog descriptions and the backs of the seed packets. Torenia (wishbone flower) and impatiens are two that I like to start inside, at least10 weeks ahead. I start petunias inside also for earlier bloom, and I start lobelia inside so I can have blooming plants to set out before it gets too hot for them.
Darn! I was hoping for a specific list rather than trial and error. LOL! I like to take the easier way. You tell me what doesn't work, and I won't try it. Ha ha!
My luck at starting seeds inside really stinks. I was hoping those types of seeds I killed inside last spring would do well being wintersowed. Guess I'll just try it and report on the trial and error method! Thanks, Jill! I'm really anxious to try this.
I found one that should not be winter sown. Cosmos. An early frost (like the one we had Ester weekend in late April) could easily kill the tender seedlings. It's best to plant these seeds in early spring after the threat of a late frost. http://www.wildflowerinformation.org/Wildflower.asp?ID=48
Of the 54 or so seeds that I tried, only three did not germinate at all:
Sea Holly, Four O'Clock 'Marvel of Peru' and Carex comans (Frosted Curls ornamental grass).
The Four O'Clocks might be too tender for Zone 3 to winter sow; I'm going to try them again this year, a little later. Not sure why the others didn't work. No biggy though, had MANY other successful seedlings.
McGlory~ As was stated earlier W/S ing is experimental..but since your zone is close to mine, the Cosmos sulphureus and bipinnatus did very well with wintersowing and my milk jugs stayed out in the cold. I started mine in Feb.and they first bloomed in June, this morning they were still blooming their hearts out. As Cordele notes cosmos easily bites the dust with frost. Last Winter was my first year to W/S and I am very happy with the results. The encouragement you'll receive here is BAR NONE!
Jo ~Sea Holly did not germinate for me either.
Critter is right about the lobelia, I W/S'ed them and their blooms were gorgeous for less than a month when they fizzled out quickly in early July.
McGlory~ you can try them as well and we'll just compare notes. As you may have noted on the W/S site, there are variations of when seeds are sown out with the same excellent results, then there are the variations that some seeds fare better when sown at more specific times than others. So jump in and have fun, make notes to whatever degree suits you and then you will be encouraging others as well... with beautiful gardens to boost. ;0)
Quoting:I found one that should not be winter sown. Cosmos.
Mine did very well. and i do remember that frost ... though I thought it was early April.
but with you [Cordeledawg] being zone 8, you obviously get plants out way earlier than i can.
I do recall it very will, 1) I'm very good with dates and 2) it was my first WS year, so i remember it well.
I planted out early for my zone, since our last frost date is May 15th, and I know I had my tomatoes out along with a few others the first week of May. I had planned to cover them if it got cold again.
when we had that cold snap, back into the 20's for about a week, i still had my WS containers out on my front porch [covered and eastern exp] but at night I covered them with old blankets... the only seedlings i brought in were MG's because I lost a few to the cold.
but my Cosmos flourished.
as for 4-O'Clocks I find they do best just by self sowing, or sowing directly in the ground. For me, they do not transplant well. Though I did do 2 in peat pots just because it was a new color for me and i wanted to make sure i knew where they were.
Grow-Jo, if you need more 4-O'Clock seeds, i have a lot of magenta ones.
I agree Anita. I didn't have luck with Lisianthus either. Then I heard from another gardener to sow those seeds in December/January. I think I sowed mine in the Spring. Maybe they need a longer time to germinate.
McGlory: The list of seeds for your growing area are shown in the Wintersown.org website. I would think that the tender tropical flowers probably could be sown in early Summer, but you'll have to experiment and see when the temps warm up in your area. A lot of experimentation goes into wintersowing. It also depends a lot on the viability of the seeds themselves. Don't forget that certain seeds take more than 1 season to germinate. Hold those containers over until the second year. I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Have you all seen this new database being populated as we speak? This is a new project that just got started yesterday. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/ws/ Seems to me that whether or not a seed can be wintersown depends on a lot of factors including microclimate. This new database should help us get started.
One CAUTION: DON'T COPY ANYTHING FROM ANY OTHER WEBSITE!! It's meant to be for your personal observations only.
Yes, and now do double check the information you're getting off that database. It seems that the "owner" not only does not want us copying it, she had added deliberate mistakes to the files, so she can better "monitor" in case someone copies "her" files. It makes me question the validity of the entire database...sigh...I guess it takes all kinds, but what a waste.
doccat5, thanks for the alert on the deliberate database mistakes. I went to GW and checked out the posts myself. I can't believe anyone would be so irresponsible, but it appears to be true.
I am especially ticked about this as I have taught a couple of winter sowing classes and written an article on winter sowing for our local horticultural society and have included the website link and mentioned the database as the place to go for winter sowing information. Never again.
I was following those treads up until a few days ago -- pretty much got sick to my stomach and just do not ever want to go back. ever.
a few comments stuck with me ...
one gal actually said that Dave should have never thought about creating a data base out of "respect for Trudi" and that we [the Dave community] should just send everyone over to theirs. [that almost blew my stack]
regarding purposeful errors/deliberate mistakes -- the question was asked to Trudi if it was "really true that she'd do that" and her comment was something like, "well bananas don't grow in zone3"
so -- while i have not been to her data base since all this began, I'm assuming that if one was reading or looking for info, the "mistakes" would be obvious ... but if the entire thing was copy/pasted, those errors may not be seen, and she'd know what to look for if indeed it's what was done...
BUT -- the thing that gets me is ... who in the world said, Oh Trudi, we wanna copy your data base and use it as a base for our own that we can then add to and call our own.
the way i read it was... she was asked if she's like to participate, since she is a paying member of this "community".
Joanne, I'm really sorry to hear that. Who knows what goes thru some plp's heads? I agree it's self defeating as far as I can see, I may be to broad in my judgment, but I think she's just put her whole database into question, with that bit of questionable behavior. That'll certainly teach everybody a lesson, right? It doesn't seem to be about helping others be better gardeners, it seems to be a control issue, literally. And I really don't think she did all by herself. If I had contributed, I'd be major steamed at that little piece of 'tude. Yet another charter member of the I, ME, MY society, I guess. Too bad, I was a member there also, but I guess that don't count, since I'm a paying member here? go figure??? LOL
Hey guys, don't let yourselves get hooked by all that stuff. I posted over at GW and realized I got hooked by the WS thread responding to the silliness Ron and Trudi posted. They're the ones with the problem -- probably control issues -- but we don't need to keep on keeping it going. Even here. :-)
I'd like to extend that to what you may not want to w/s. I've had success at w/s'ing impatiens, but they usually don't bloom until the end of July/August. I'm sure there are others with similar experiences. As for what I haven't had success with...intermittently some seed didn't not germinate. That could be due to sterility or just luck of the draw. I'm of the thinking, if at first you don't succeed... Try it again the next year and see. For two years in a row my Kingsize Larkspur didn't w/s. I probably won't try it again. I also have not had luck with a good cucumber crop on w/s seed. I will try starting it indoors next year. I didn't have luck with crepe myrtle and lupine 'Texas Bonnet' and won't try them again.
I found i had no success with petunias.
i think i found more seeds -- they are sooo tiny, right? that I may give it one more GO this year, and if nothing again, I'll give up on them -- though i do love wave petunias.
I have never tried to WS marigolds, though i may this year.
I usually just direct sow them, but last year i had literally thousands of seeds, and i was lucky if 2% germinated.
I personally think a lot of the seeds rotted ... though i did get enough to bloom.
but i do plan to do them differently next season -- my neighbor also had troubles with them [i think all my seeds came from her] as 2 yrs ago, i had none.
My rule of thumb for what can be and can not be wintersown is pretty genera:
I think in our zone the usual 'summer annuals' (zinnia, petunia, etc.) are better for spring sowing--they can be very touchy about late cold and frost and I have better luck putting out the seeds in April or so--
Zinnias, marigolds, and so on would fall into this category... of course, it will be late in the summer before you will see blooms on these.
I use wintersowing (putting out seeds in Jan and Feb in the covered containers) for seeds that require cold/scarification to germinate...these are mostly perennials... (and then it will be two years generally before you will see blooms).
I recommend, too, that you read the seed packet or catalog descriptions and look for the key words 'after last frost' and so on--that will tell you it's probably best to sow in April...
I sowed Zinnias, Marigolds, annual Rudbeckia, annual Hollyhocks and Four O'Clocks on March 5th this year. Had great success with all of them except Four O'Clocks - not a single one germinated. I'm going to start Four O'Clocks later this year (thanks to tcs1366 for her generous donation of seeds!). Having said that, we had a pretty mild winter last year, and I may just have been lucky not to lose a bunch of seedlings; I will probably start all my less hardy annuals a bit later this year as it is forecast to be a very cold winter here and that cold weather could easily carry into the spring.
I haven't technically winter sown four o'clocks, but, I have a huge bed of them in one corner of my yard that just keep reseeding. My son and I planted the original seeds there back in the mid 80's when he was 2 or 3, they've basically been left on their own, and every year they reappear. (I know they're annuals, so I guess they reseed) So I would think winter sowing would work great for them. We've had mild winters the last few years, but I know there have been some pretty brutal (for this area) winters since the first four o'clocks were planted. Though the only color we've had for the past 10 - 12 years has been white, I don't know if that is a dominant color in four o'clocks, or for some reason they are a bit hardier than the other colors.
you have white 4-O'Clocks?? I have a few yellows and a lot of magenta.
in all honesty, i thought the yellows would be prettier than they were, and very slow bloomers.
I too planted the once, and every year after, i'm yanking them out by the dozens.
I get hundreds of seeds per plant.
I only WS'ed them this year, 2 yellows actually, so i knew what color they were and what they were when i planted them out.
Jo_ -- hope you have good luck with them... but if you just toss some seeds on the ground in the spring, they should germinate fine ... personally, i'd do it both ways ... all you need is 1 to bloom, and you will have seeds forever.
Just a quick note, four o'clocks act as a great "catch crop" to keep those accursed Japanese beetles away from some of your other plants. I use them as a border to keep the neighbor's beetles off my roses. We had it pretty much under control until one our local "expert" gardeners decided to use the traps...and was wondering where are the beetles cam from...sheesh.
I sowed my marigolds in March too, but none germinated. I sowed 4 o'clocks in 2/2006 and they germinated 4/2006. We also had a mild winter that year. I didn't do any in 2007, but I plan on doing them again this year. The seed is from that first year's crop, but I am hoping it will still be viable.
Thank you, doccat and tcs, for the tip about Four O'Clocks as a catch crop for Jap. Beetles! I'm going to WS and then plant (hopefully!) a border of those flowers near my roses and also my lilies, which seem to attract them.! I do HATE those JBs, and when I was sifting one of my compost bins last month I found several grubs. . . (which I destroyed, naturally.) They are UGLYYY! So I know there are lots more just waiting to hatch elsewhere in my garden.
I have heard, but do not know if it is true, that marigolds also act as a catch crop for insect pests, and that's why they are often interplanted with tomatoes, basil, and other veggies. I just thought the insects didn't like the marigold smell, or something. I'm going to try WS some marigolds as well.
I interplant marigolds and nasteriums to help repel insect pests. Besides nasti are good eating... Do plant your four o'clock away from your roses. You want to redirect the little buggers attention. LOL
I like flowers interplanted with my veggies. I find it very soothing.
I have a bad back and now I have bad knees to match, what a deal! I'm always looking for way to "cheat" so I don't have to do a lot of bending and kneeling. The Troybult makes that a lot easier.
One year I planted 200 glads in staggered rows at the very front of my garden. I love gladiolas, but I'm lazy and didn't want to do that many by hand. Just ran the Troy thru there a couple of times, then used the row marker which attaches to the side of the tiller and set up my planting rows. Got the boys to help me just drop the bulbs in the rows. It was a show stopper. I do love that tiller so, it's so easy to use, as it will turn on a dime and give you change. At 800lbs of machine it's just great, I don't have to wait for DH.
All the older ladies on the road were dumbfounded I would do that with glads...(I was like, ah?????) But the next year, everybody was doing the same thing. LOL
I have new glads on the way in and will probably buy more closer to planting.
wow, doccat5 that sounds gorgeous with the glads!
i have a tiller on my wish list
i'm trying to compile a list of plants that kill, repel or distract japanese beetles...i also read that if you are going to pluck them off of plants to do it in the morning because the dew makes it so they can't fly...i have geese and ducks that enjoy a good bucket of beetles :-)
This is GREAT! I'm going to WS Four O'Clocks and Nasturtiums and Marigolds--I'll probably wait until March or April to do so, but there's still a lot of time before our last date of frost here on Cape Cod (May 25) --and then I'm going to plant them out as catch crops. Thanks so much, everybody, for the advice.
i also read that castor bean plants help too as the leaves are poisonous to the beetles as well as larkspur and white geraniums and red buck eye
i am slightly confused with "trap" plants and ones to use for interplanting because several on both lists
i think i'll put a bit of distance between the roses and the ones for the beetles to see how that works
i noticed beetles on wisteria and around day lilies but not on them
didn't have many lilies last year, so i'll see this year
i found a recipe to use for trapping them in a milk jug
1 c water, 1 mashed banana (probably other fruit would work too), 1/4c sugar & yeast
place on perimeter of garden area 1inch off of the ground in a sunny spot...strain/drain in the pm
Thanks for the recipe for trapping JBs. . . this wouldn't be as attractive as those JB traps, which end up attracting them from several acres around? Sounds like it would just work for the individual beds. And thanks for the list of other plants that repel JBs.
larlienda, you can use the plants mentioned in both ways. If their acting as a "trap crop" the JB's will usually go for those first. I have notice the pesky critters don't seem to be to fond of marigolds either, but I'd have to study that a bit more.
Thanks for the recipe I've saved that, I want to try it!
i have one of those traps that i got at a garden center's annual 50% off everything sale & they do trap a lot of beetles!
problem was we didn't know the rules of setting them up so the little stinkers attacked roses first then the trap :-)
i like trying anything first without all of the extra chemicals...my biggest problem with roses last year was the beetles...i did notice some blackspot later, but the beetles were horrible
late in the summer a few got hit by tiny little green caterpillars...seemed like one or two wiped out all the leaves and buds on several of my roses...i will need a plan for them
i hope the recipe works...definitely good for areas that may be way out of way of other traps or plants
I hope it does too, I like having many weapons in my kill JB armory. For catepillars, pick off the leaves that are curling and destroy and apply Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) to the plant. It's toxic only to caterpillers and is biodegradable and non-toxic to humans, pets and beneficials.
doccat & tcs, i have some doubles of seeds i accidentally ordered if either or both of you are interested in a trade for some milkweed seeds...one i know right off hand is blue larkspur blue cloud & i just found the other...nasturium (sp) black velvet
my husband still rolls his eyes when i mention butterfly weed & milkweed...so narrow minded :-)
larilinda, let me see what I've got coming in. I forgot...LOL Yet another wonderful senior moment! sigh...I do expect them shortly, I got a lovely not form e-mail from the outfit I ordered from confirming the order and they were to be shipped Monday last.
larlienda, there is no such thing as just one rose. LOL It only gets worse, when you start thinking about parking on the street so you can turn your driveway into another long bed, you know you got a problem...LOL
we are on just over 10 acres & my husband is afraid all of it will be split between flowers and hopefully llamas as well as our little flock of birds (chickens, ducks & geese) and herd of 5 personality full goats!
Well! sniff what's the matter with the man, it sounds like a great mix to me. I think the llamas would be so cool! We don't have room for anything like that, darn it. The house over the years has been a regular zoo, with dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets, skunks, rats, domestic mice and hermit crabs. I drew the line at snakes. I don't do snakes.
snakes are ok on their own!
finding shed skin is good enough for me
we had a baby rat snake caught in tape on a bag in our old house
my husband actually took time to get the poor stuck thing unstuck
have to find the pictures because you could see the snake go "ahhhhhhhhh" when he became unstuck
we also have one chinchilla who is 8
he'd love to have a pet skunk, but i think in va you have to be an animal rehab person to have one...not sure about that
Yeah, the laws have changed. This was over 15 years ago. Her name was Rosa and she was a white albino. We got her from my SIL who was mean to her. It took me over a year to get her to warm up to me. She loved my husband and son. Got along very well with our black Belguin shepard and siamese cat. What a bunch! Skunks are nocturnal, so at 3 in the morning all 3 of these brats are playing chase up and down the hall. Sounded like elephants running thru...sheesh.. I'd have to get up and calm em down. Rosa was a junk food junkie, my BIL would give her all kinds of crap. We found a vet that handled exotics and she was up to 50lbs. Way, way to heave, so on a diet we went. I use to go thur 4 to 5 lbs of carrots a week. She just loved carrots and would take it, drop it next to Duchess(the dog) and growl. Duchess is like ah ok? Then she'd eat it. I must say I wish I had had a camera the day we took her into the vet for her check up. Everybody was pullin way back, including one of the biggest Rotties I have ever seen. She'd been descented, so it was no big deal. Had her own fancy red leather harness, and we'd go for walks. Sometimes, just because I loved to see the neighbor turn white. shame on my little self. One of the neighbor kids let her out accidently and we were never able to get her back. Hubby would see every once in awhile with her kits. He'd stop the truck and always kept cookies (which she loved). She'd bring the kids up to the truck for cookies, while her mate was over the side of the ditch, hissing and spitting and having a fit. It was quite an experience.
wow...that is cool...we had some living up by the house that had befriended and been befriended by our cats
unfortunately they went through the fence where our female great pyrenees did not befriend them...i was very sad to find them killed...i hope we get the fence taken care of where they can't get in because it was really funny watching them with the cats