This is my second year trying WS and I must say I don't have the same success I keep reading about. I have about 24 jugs outside this time around and tonight I finally saw sprouts in two of them. My corn cockles and some yellow hollyhocks are up. Helen in zone 5
The green is coming your way, folks. I have maybe 15 or 20 sprouted out of about 35 jugs so far. Some only have one or two sprouts, though. A few have a lot of seedlings, but all are still very tiny. Only alyssum have true leaves, I think.
It's that time of year. Everyone should be seeing lots of green very soon.
It has been warm enough in the past week or so to germinate a few of the tender things I have sown. A cold front is coming this weekend, so I hope they survive. I have sprouts of annual salvia, one tomato, nicotiana and I just sowed them a week or two ago. They just sprout too fast with a hint of warmth.
I've actually only sown a few jugs of tender things, and a few cups. I've been holding off until later in the season until we're safer from frost. Hoping to do more this week.
Helen~ Less than 1/4th of my W/Sing jugs have germinated. This is my 2nd year as well and is about par for the course until later this month when germinating goes gangbusters around here in my backyard.
Hi, this is my first year wintersowing and things are sprouting really well so far. I do have poppy sprouts (papaver rhoeas & papaver somniferum) here in zone 5a. So far 19 out of 25 jugs have germinated. They are all hardy annuals & I think all pretty easy stuff to germinate though - perennials may be trickier to sprout (?). And it has been so cold so far this spring. I bet your seeds will start popping too very soon, Helen.
rebecca, sounds like you will have a bumper crop of seedlings this year! Aren't you happy about that?
Then, are you planting any perennial seeds at all or are you waiting until mid summer or fall? I don't know that they are trickier, but they often take some time to loosen their seed coats in the moist cool environment.
Of course some seeds are very challenging...I can't do them. I've just graduated from zinnias last summer! (-:
I'm glad I held off on my tender annuals. We are gettting a nice cold blast here this weekend.
tabasco: I sowed a bunch of tenders this weekend- zinnias, cosmos, marigold, angelonia,nasties - don't remember what elso but I did about a dozen gallon jugs and about a dozen cups. Hopefully this will be our last freeze for the year. Probably too much to ask but I can wish.
I also found one burgundy gaillardia sprout, a big deal for me because I always have a poor showing on gaillardia.
No poppies in my WS containers yet, either. I'm hoping they didn't drown, because those were the only containers I had standing water in, and I had to add a bunch more drainage slits after some hard rains. Also had them standing in a pan, which of course held water, so they had no chance to dry out.
I do know the seed is viable, though, as a few came up in the trays I planted inside. I guess I have a little bit of the scientist in me. I like to plant things in different soils & circumstances, and compare the results. You should see my silly database. . .
Helen, good luck with your WS efforts! This is my first try, and so far I have sprouts in two containers, agastache and heliopsis.. :~) Nothing yet on poppies, swamp milkweed, anise, fennel, celosia, or lupines. At least I have lots of green babies in my inside trays, and all the bulbs I planted last fall are going like gangbusters!
Yep I am so excited to have poppy seedlings finally! I've tried direct seeding poppies several times and got zilch. This wintersowing stuff has been awesome so far! Now I just hope lots of seedlings become lots of flowers sometime soon...
I'm not doing any perennials, because we may be moving this year so there doesn't seem to be a point. I can't wait to try them once we've got a permanent spot to put them though.
I sowed some tender things (euphorbia, salvia, diascia) earlier - they haven't sprouted yet. Are the seeds killed by the cold, Karen - is that why you wait until later to plant them? (Or are you just worried they will come up and then be killed by a cold snap?) I hope I didn't plant them too early...
Booker, I bet other people would find your experiments useful (I would). Do you have anywhere that you post the results online?
Booker: Seeds are fine in the cold. It's just that an early warm spell can cause them to sprout early, then the seedlings damaged by later freeze. In my zone that can happen easily because it's not unusual to get an unseasonably warm spell in winter. Unfortunately the cold returns for a long time before it consistently stays warm. It was around 75 degrees here a few days ago but will be 28 tonight...
Rebecca, I don't have them posted anywhere. At this point it is just an Excel file. I don't have a webpage or anything, and no clue how to start one (other than my classroom one through Scholastic, but that is all through templates).
Is there an easy way to share that info? I'd planned on submitting to the WS database once I had some results, but that wouldn't include any of the info on comparing other methods of starting.
I have stuff slowly germinating - most amazing thing so far . . . some left over Oriental Blue Delphinium seed from last year - some of them actually germinated even though they are over 1 year old! (I kept the seeds in a bar fridge)
Tabasco, I tried everything I could figure out to post my Excel doc.on my journal, but couldn't make it work. If I tried to cut and paste it in, it didn't come out as a chart, and all the words just ran together.
hlssunny, any luck in those WS containers? Mine are finally really starting to pop. (oops, wrote "poop" but that would be my dog, not my seedlings!). You are probably still a little cooler than me, in Central IL, but I know your turn is coming!
I feel a little silly--just realized that the Swamp Milkweed seeds Critter gave me, which I wintersowed, are the same thing as Butterfly Weed. I was looking over my database, and noticed they were both asclepsias. Never made the connection before. . . They are different colors, though, so it will be great to have them all!
Funny, the stuff I recently sowed indoors popped up within 3 days of planting, and are going like gangbusters, while the ones I planted over a month ago are still kind of staying the same size. Do annuals tend to take off a lot faster than perennials?
And swamp milkweed is quite different from butterfly weed (asclepias tuberosa). The butterflies will enjoy both of them, I think although it might be best to look up their growing conditions. I think they are slightly different.
I'm not sure what to do about that, but it did seem to inhibit some of the seed germination...
Would perlite sprinkled on top help anchor the seeds down, I wonder?
Mine are tiny like yours, bookerc, but I'm assuming with a few warm days and a bit of sunshine they will bust open with growth. And I planted mine in Miracle Grow planting mix, so I assume they have a bit of fertilizer to give them a boost. Right?
As of Saturday I have 6 jugs sprouted out of about 25. I'm hoping the odds improve as the weather gets warmer! I must have forgotten to poke holes in one container; it was very soggy. When do we remove the tape and open the entire container? Helen
hissunny-- I am not sure what zone you're in there (perhaps you would like to add it to your Identification info so it shows up on the left with your name,city and state?) but you will have to judge when to remove the lids according to what you have planted and how the weather is.
If you have perennials hardy to your zone, most likely they will do well with the tops off when your weather gets sunny and cool and the rain isn't too intense. You can begin by taking the tops off during the day and replacing them at night. These are plants like digitalis, aconitum, hardy geranium, aquilegia, campanula.
Tender annuals (like zinnias, etc.) will require a more conservative approach. You don't want them to be caught in a cold front and frost up or freeze out. Leave those lids on for a while, but well vented so that they don't get overheated on a warm and sunny day.
It takes a bit of 'finesse' on this if your weather is changeable like ours in Cincinnati.
Thanks Tabasco - as of Monday night I had 15 sprouted containers out of 27. I'm very pleased with that. I was using up old seed so I'm sure that is contributing to my success rate. I did as you suggested and added my zone. We do have very changing weather all year long; our spot is very windy and spring comes late here. I'm starting to take the tape off the jugs where the sprouts are bigger. Mine are all perennials. I tried to tell a friend what had sprouted and could only come up with 5 or 6 names so I need to look at them again! Helen
My perennials get little protection after they sprout, if any at all. I figure if things like digitalis, columbine, and rudbeckia can stay green all winter in my flower beds, they'll be OK in jugs too. I open the lids when they're tiny but germination is good. Tenders like zinnias I protect from frost .
It's been so warm here of late, like temps in the 70s, everything has been open for quite a while, and I'm planting out. I have put some into beds- a few BBs, a few forget-me-nots, maltese cross, 3 jugs of rudbeckia, snapdragons, alyssum, digitalis, rose campion, petunias, amaranthus, and columbine. Probably others that I am forgetting. I still have a lot to plant out, though.
If only life wouldn't interfere with gardening so much. I have to do things for my elderly Mom today, take her to the doctor on Friday, too. And it's supposed to rain tomorrow. I have to take a professional course/test in 2 weeks which requires a lot of study and I haven't started yet. Getting all this into the ground is going to be a challenge this year.
LOL yes, I forget how many different ones I have to. I wish I had kept a list like the more organized ones (kqcrna?) on our forum!
I am still 'wintersowing' some of my tender annuals, like zinnia. I like to keep them in their little containers so the birds don't get at the seed. It seems to work out OK.
I'm hoping to plant some of my WS perennials out this weekend. First I have to make a garden, and I'm not sure exactly how to do that (without my husband noticing!)
Thanks for adding your zone, too. I was thinking maybe muskegon is in the upper penninsula, but at 5a I don't guess it is...? Is that where the ferry docks from Wisconsin? We took that once a long time ago when the kids were little... Sorry... of topic...
We do have a cross lake ferry out of Muskegon. We're just north of Grand Rapids by 65 miles I think.
It's too soon to plant my babies but I did open all the containers. Had to water some because they were so dry and then we finally got rain. I'm hoping the rest of the containers will sprout now that it's warming up. I'm still happy with 15 out of 27 though. Helen
That's great news! My 'brilliant' red poppy is ready to bloom. I don't think I started any poppies this year; I expected them to reseed themselves. I'll have to wait and see. I think I'm doing OK with the ws seedlings. I'm going to transplant them to their own pots to grow on for a few more weeks. Helen
I expected to have some failure since I wintersowed them into jugs and bottles and heard that they didn't like transplanting. Thankfully, that didn't happen and I have huge ones all over:-)) I also have some JMG you sent that are still waiting to be trasplanted and are blooming in the milk jug. So cool!!!
I am also glad that I didn't have to plant anything in pots. They went straight from their jugs or bottles into the garden.