Here are all the ones where i have zero germination: [in no particular order]
New York Asters - i think "Purple" [the ones i got from Gram]
Waves Petunias [duds for me last year too -- wont do these again]
Delphinium x elatum
Bee Balm [though i've had a few others that did]
Malva Aclea var. fastigiata
Columbine McKanna's Giant
Chives [from weezen]
Salvia, Coral Nymph
Sweet Basil [2 small containers]
Mystery Bee Balm
Variegated Fountain Grass
Veronica Red Fox
White Veronica Speedwell
Globe Amaranth Strawberry Fields
containers where only one seed germinated:
Cosmos - Sonada Mix
Gaillardia - Burgandy
Joe Pye Weed
Yarrow - paprika
Texas Star Hibiscus
Liatris Blazing Star
I honestly feel like i did something wrong this year. too much water, not enough, started too late, wrong soil.
And as i mentioned in a different thread... I feel the [my] germination rate is very low.
I was feeling disappointed in my germination rates until this week. Now that we had a week of warmer weather things are sprouting like crazy, about 8 containers a day on average. I'm really glad I hadn't given up and dumped the containers. Since you are a zone colder than I am I imagine your sprouts would be a week or two behind mine. Don't fret yet, you may still be in for a pleasant surprise.
I am fairly sure that my problem is that I listened to DH when he said "let ME handle the drilling, you sweet little thing..." The holes were too small and in the wrong parts of the jugs, e.g. not the lowest part (so they could drain) and not enough space on top. A lot of my containers ended up looked moldy and dank. Also a lot of my seed was not fresh - I suspected it might not not sprout.
Last year was year #1 - I was flabbergasted that anything grew from seeds, and I thought a Sharpie would be good enough. This year I know what I have, and what hasn't germinated yet, I've given up on, because I need more seed starting mix!
My luck hasn't been as good this year as the past 2 years, either, I don't think. Low germination. Some jugs didn't sprout, some with only a few seedlings. I really think a big part of the problem for me this year is the weather- cold, wet, constant rain, not much warmth and sunshine.
It's not that big a deal really. My beds are already full, and some things have done extremely well this year. I've planted out a lot already. Yesterday I planted out about 6 gallon jugs of things and some cups. Again today, it's cold, windy, with driving rain and heavy thunderstorms. I hope this heavy pounding rain doesn't drive my seedlings into the soil. And I guess I won't get to plant today.
My containers (milk jugs) are sopping wet all the time, though they have lots of big drainage holes and tops open. With heavy rain every day or two, they just never get a chance to dry out. I'm really shocked that I haven't had fungus gnats. I check for them every day.
The location of my containers I call "the little artic." It is its own sweet microclimate. Therefore, my containers have been slow to sprout. But almost every day I am amazed now. I am not willing to write off one single container yet. I may even wait until June before I do that. Inside after months and months, columbine Ruby Port is germinating. Given their own good time, many of the duds will probably germinated, and many of the single seedlings will have other seedlings in the container to keep them company.
I don't have that kind of patience. Eventually I get tired of falling over jugs and just dump into my beds. Sometimes a surprise pops up.
And generally, summers generally are hot and dry here. By then many things don't take to transplant well, and I don't want to bother with that. I'm in gardnen maintenace mode by then. By the time I finish planting out, I generally dump unsprouted ones. Usually, that's not many.
For lids I use those cheapest fold down sandwich bags with a couple of holes poked in them. I just pull them down slightly and leave a space of plastic over the cups like a little tent. Once it becomes a little warm, I remove the bags and the seeds are on their own. I do check twice a day to see if water is needed. Oh yes, I try to use cut down cardboard boxes to hold them together and keep them from being blown around. Cardboard seems to last forever, and sometimes I even have to punch holes in the boxes to get them to drain.
Also, since I have 3 cats, I use the kitty litter containers but cutting the bottoms off, putting holes in the with a knife, and planting them with seeds. Then I stretch plastic over and put a few holes in them. Since the containers are so much bigger, I frequently use a paint pen to draw a perpendicular line dividing the space and plant one kind of seed on each side. In addition, I save some litter containers to use when I transplant very small seeds to a larger container.
I think this is only my third year WSing. So I experiment a lot. I do have a lot of non-germinated cups too. But what have I lost? five minutes putting soil in and making a label, then sowing the seeds. Already, as many of you do, I think I could plant a botanical garden with all the seedlings.
This gives me the opportunity to give people near me plants which they would never have had. Again, what do I lose?
Winter Sowing puts people in the position of being able to be extravagantly generous with all kinds of plants and not even miss them. It's a win/win situation.
Wow, all cups? Sounds like a lot of work. Gloria, you don't fasten the bags to the cups any way, like tape? Here those bags would be crushing the seedlings under the weight of heavy rain or snow, or they'd blow away.
I have an underbed storage box that I fill with cups. Ususally I do that for seeds of which I only want a few plants. I'm really not that fond of it. They dry out too fast in hot or dry weather and no way do I want to have to water twice a day. I also find it time consuming to fill and label each cup. Give me gallon milk jugs any day. The bulk of my sowing is done in those. In fact, I'm debating whether I'll ever do any cups in future years. My things just do better in jugs. The attached photo shows the box of cups in 2006.
This year my real obstacle has been weird weather- cold, dreary, heavy rain, and no sunshine. Last year was heat and drought. Each year is a differnt weather challenge.
Karen, that's what I was trying to find the words for but I didn't have time! TY. I usually only want one or two of a plant, so cups is ok, but I guess I'd have to save take-out lids, or something. When I've tried to tape a plastic cover with holes, it's never worked - too little water or too much. I wonder how Jan did with her bags?
I found the plastic fold down sandwich bag fit well enough; it was not tight, but I never noticed any drying out. I had to have many containers in a small space. I took the bags off some time in April. Because it is so cold there there were scarcely any sprouts. After the sprouts began and the temps went down sometime I threw a painter's drop cloth over them or Remay. Yes, it was very tedious doing the cups one by one.
I spent hours and hours doing it ten to 15 at a time. But I am very happy with the results.
tcs-- your list of seeds planted looks like a pretty challenging group. We don't have a lot of similar 'crops'.
I've done OK this year. Some containers were overflowing with seedlings--verbena bonarienses, digitalis, campanulas. Others were a dud (liatris) , but I wasn't expecting a lot from them--old seeds, or collected seeds, and that sort of thng. My rudbeckias were very 'iffy', too.
In general I'd say it was pretty good. But I wish it would stop raining so my containers could dry out a little.
Last year, my 1st year winter sowing, I used the baggies on top of paper cups, and fastened them w/ rubber bands. I "only" had 24 cups, so it is economical for a few seeds and I had good results. You save time by scooping the seed mix right out of the bag w/ the cups, rather than having to fill larger containers.
This year I used seed flats w/ holes poked in the top and bottoms- they worked great! You have to use duct tape to hold those tops on through the winter, though!!! ;0)
Since it's been warming up, my no-show "duds" have been surprising me!!! (Even the ones that were flooded or dry at some point.) Just leave those duds another week- some are only sleeping in!
Yes, yes, carrielamont, I get flowers and Verbena bonarienses reseeds in our garden quite easily. And often returns as a perennial. It can be invasive in some gardens here if you don't dead head. http://www.floridata.com/ref/V/verb_bon.cfm
I grow it because it's a very nice airy tall filler. Looks great with daylilies, echinaceas, daisies, and in a casual garden. The head gardener at our city perennial garden told me to plant it with Canna Pretoria and bronze fennel.
And most of all, the butterflies, hummingbirds and goldfinches love it.
D-mail me if you want some WS seedlings. They are almost big enough to send off.
I spent today (after my garden club meeting) planting out seedlings. Planted tall ageratum, liatris spicata, tithonia, lots of herbs, armeria, campanula, aquilegias, digitalis, perennial sunflower, annual sunflower and a few others.
Carrie: The verbena bonariensis blooms the year it is planted, and it overwinters for me in zone 6. I WSed it for 2 years and loved it. This year, it's volunteers are everywhere in my beds and I mean EVERYWHERE. It covers the surface of every bare inch of soil. It is in the mint family. Just a word of caution.
Thanks for the link, Tabasco - if you really like, you could send me some seedlings for postage - I'm in the exchange. I'll keep it in my tall things container with dill and I forget what else and they can all be filler for each other!
At this point I am not giving up on anything else. I am astonished at the cups which are just now beginning to germinate. Originally, I probably had about 140 cups inside and out. I will wait a few more weeks before I begin tossing the empty cups. We will have about 4 days in the 90s; that might wake some of them up!
When it all ends, I expect I will have twenty to thirty-five which did not germinate. Liatris is one I had hoped for. I have about five kinds of primula which did not germinate either. My grasses from seeds gathered in the fall don't look like they will either.
I really do think my problem was the hole size in the bottoms. All the "duds" had moss on top ... most have been dumped in flower beds as i planted out other seedlings. I still have quite a few in containers, but the babies are still so small in most of the containers ... i will wait on them a while longer.
Yes, my primula didn't germinate either, but I am, with Terese, blaming insufficient drainage.
Also, this year I used seed-starting mix, where last year I used ordinary potting mix. (?) The biggest difference I'm noticing is that the seed-starting mix falls apart when I try to plant it out or move the seedling, whereas the potting mix seemed to hold together better. (My husband is my supply runner; last year I probably chastised him for NOT getting sterile seed-starting mix.)
Carrie an Primrose, I agree about the seed-starting mix versus potting soil: I used both, and the Miracle-Grow held together better.
I have a few dud jugs--and some that are finally sprouting--and a lot that need to be set out in the garden NOW! As soon as the dust settles I'm going to enter the results in the DG winter-sowing data base.
I just discovered an ideal seed-starting mix; water-retention polymer crystals.
Since the retail store brand "soil moist" is over $10 for a 1-lb jar, I went on line and ordered some in bulk from a grower's supply company (I had to do a lot of shopping around to find the size crystal I wanted in the best sized containers.) I bought 4 10-lb bottles of the fine crystals for $90, including shipping. I spread them in a sterile pyrex dish, watered them, and planted polks-dot plant seeds, and some African Violet seeds. They've popped right up! Then I tried mixing Miracle-Gro (regular soil) to 1/2 it's volume w/ the hydrated crystals, and transplanted new seedlings into them- they grow like crazy. The crystals are sterile, and stay moist, as long as you make sure they stay watered (as you would any medium). The crystals also come in handy with my WS containers that flooded; just sprinle in some crystals and the standing water turns to gel that the plants can use!
What a great idea!!! I have that problem a lot - too much rain, I can't go out, when I finally CAN go out (like today) someone will be drowning... what a fabulous idea! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
I needed the space - they were moldy and green - it's too late - I'm a horrible mother! Last year I committed root-icide, so I avoided that by leaving everybody in their containers this year. I'm a horrible mother! Well, I got one child through high school and last year I had pretty bachelor buttons, nasturtiums, morning glories and sweet peas. I forget what perennials I grew and where I planted them, even IF I planted them.
OH Carrie -- you are not a terrible mother. sometimes things just dont make it.
while i have dumped a bunch of mine, i still have a few others that i am holding out hope on ... and the ones that were dumped, they were used as 'potting soil' around seedlings... so there is a possibility that they still may 'pop'.
but i wont lose any sleep over them.
many of the perennials i ws'ed last year are starting to bloom this year.
My husker reds are stunning and the lil white flowers have begun to open. Cone Flowers, some calif. poppies - i noticed today ... and many others, Holly Hocks included should be opening soon. I'm quite the proud parent... as i'm sure you are too. ;-)
Well (looking modest with no success), I DO have a lovely succession of poppies blooming - some I bought and some I grew, and who knows which is which, the Calif. poppies are blooming too (when it's not raining) and I have a great crop of marigolds, bachelor's buttons, zinnia, nasturtium, sweet pea and cosmos which are all scheduled to bloom this summer!
That almost happened to me; I had so many duds! But I discovered that sprouting times were widely spaced. I may still have a couple of duds in the garden. They don't take up much room and some may still sprout!
Also, here in zone 6b in Floyd,VA, even now the nights are very cool and the days are in the 80s (mostly mid to low,) I have had huge success with a 48" flourescent light in the laundry room (I leave the window open.) I planted hollyhocks on 7/07 and put them out yesterday (8 kinds.) They are outside in one gallon community pots. Also under the same lights, I planted out 6-7 more kinds of Shasta daisies which I planted in community pots yesterday. Salvia Fairenscenia (sp) was planted out too. They are germinating and growing so quickly I will put seeds in there through part of August. This morning I am going to start Rose Bouquet Ornamental Cabbage and some pretty violas or pansies if I can get the seeds. So I am happy with both methods, but the numbers in the 8oz cups far exceeds the numbers from the ws containers. I will not stop winter sowing however, Both are great methods. Now I am trying to think what else I want to germinate inside in the next five or so weeks! I am thrilled to have these collections of Shasta Daisies and hollyhocks!
gloria -- I do not have the room for inside lights ... so 99.9% of what i attempt to sow, is done outside.
I have one heat mat that i set up inside in front of a south window in the late winter ... but i had horrid germinate this year, so i'm not sure how much i will do next year, though i do like to start my tomatoes inside so they are big enough come May.
Some of my thought to be duds have surprised me. Just a few days ago I was dumping the compost out of dud containers and found yellow columbine seedlings. I'd totally given up on them. I've learned to hold on to perennials for quite a while, last year I had cyclamen take over a year to germinate. Thank goodness I forgot about the container being under the deck!
Some flourishing ws seedlings I had have drowned!!!!
I was keeping many of my ws perennials in their flats to grow a bit. I planted annuals where I needed color this year, hoping to replace them with the perennials. BUT we've had 10 times the rain this year, and my flats simply couldn't drain fast enough! The only ones who don't mind are some lupines. They are floating around in their flats- it has rained every day (just about) for the past 3 weeks- no time for anything to dry out. I lost my menocopsis, sempervivum, coral bells, clemetis, and aqueligia.
I'm resurrecting my "Duds" thread from last year...
again -- I think the culprit is the amount of rain we got... maybe maybe not... but it surely was a WET spring.
I was out yesterday futzin' with all my containers... DH and I are leaving this morning so i had to get everything 'organized' so my kid knows what to water... and i still have A LOT with zero germination.
As i mentined in another thread [probably the CG forum] i am having no luck with Joe Pyes. As i recall, in 2007, i had a lot of germination... i planted out.. but have no idea what happened to the plants... since then, no germination for me.
Hopefully with the warmer temps... consistent warmer temps... more will pop this week.
I can tell ya... one thing i do not have troubles with is Agastache... i was thinking to myself... why the heck did i sow so many seeds? But i've offered a lot to my neighbor... I have the Honey Bee's [Blue and White] and a lot of Mexican Purple.
that's it for now... when i get back, i'll get a list of what has not germinated yet for me.
As usual, I have a lot of NOIDs!!!! I always am SO SURE I will remember what 13b means and then a month later when there are little sprouts i have NO Idea what they are or where to put them. I crack myself up.
I lost a lot of seedlings I didn't remove from the containers winter of 08. I just over-did it and didn't have the energy or space to accommodate them all. So this winter, I lost a lot of those seedlings due to the freezing weather at the back of my house.
I went to a county extension service meeting last night and discovered because of the layout of my back yard (near the bottom of a mountain with woods behind it) that my mini climate might be closer in that particular placeto 5b than 6b. I suspected as much. However, the survivors should be really sturdy little things. I will have to go with what I have and the plants I have been starting inside under lights. Live and learn.
sandstreet, my Morning Glories and Cosmos just started about a week ago. Being further north, you may still see sprouts from those in the next couple of weeks. Good luck, and Congrats with all the success you've had!
Well, I already dumped the cups of Cosmos since they looked really dry. Maybe I'll start a jug of them today.
I'm very hopeful about the Morning Glory Mount Fuji Mix. That was one thing I targeted to buy this year. I think I have a few seeds left in the bag ... I'll get them out in peat pots, and keep my fingers crossed for the winter-sown jug.
Re Hollyhocks, I put out 2 jugs of Peaches & Dreams and they did OK, not great. About 3 plants per milk jug -- which is still great considering I paid $10 for a Hollyhock last year. My impression was that Hollyhocks were easy. Maybe it was the Peaches & Dreams, specifically.
Hollyhocks have always been very easy for me, but I have 3 jugs with only 1 seedling each this year. I have a couple of other jugs of Hollyhock from seed I collected that have done great. Can't imagine whats up with them.
I'm seeing volunteer Cosmo seedlings in the garden now. I'm thankful because slugs keep devouring my seedlings in containers!
Well, I checked my Hollyhocks and one of the containers with a single seedling has been that way for a month or so. The one plant has 5 or 6 true leaves and is ready to set out, but today I find another newly emerged seedling! So don't lose hope just yet on Hollyhock containers- you just never know.
I tried WS'ing for the first time this year, and the only thing I have dud containers (so far) of was chocolate daisy..only one seed sprouted out of three containers planted. I must say..I had my doubts, but we had a really nice weekend in the 80's and everything just started popping up...
My poppies were the first thing up..those have already been moved to their homes.
I just took the tops off of:
Varigated Poke (I know the regular ones are just weeds..but they are pretty and have a certain structural appeal when planted singularly and allowed to get big...I have a spot that is perfect for it)
Kiss me over the garden gate- varigated
Lime frost columbine
Leprchaun Gold Columbine (even the cotyledons were varigated on the lone seedling that germinated)
Winky double blue columbine
And a blue columbine I got in a trade..
I also had a question for you experts..is it possible direct-winter-sown seeds to sprout an entire year later?
I have a columbine coming up where I WS'd seeds a year ago..I know I didn't put any there this year, and I am pretty darn sure that's what it is...
Thanks for the tip on the Cosmos -- found some volunteers and already re-assigned 5 to new locations.
Re Hollyhocks, I only winter-sowed Peaches and Dreams. I have 4 in one container and 3 in another. All healthy and good sized. 7 is a great number. Still, I somehow expected to be overwelmed with Hollyhocks since I've heard they are so easy. Also, I bought a $10 Hollyhock last year and it flowered beautifully. However, no babies this year! I was sure I would have a bunch!
Lisa - don't mention it. I figured out which ones are the cosmos that I started and there aren't very many sprouts!!!! Of course, I started them very late etc. but still!!! Hmmmph. I also figured out which is celery and onion (taste test) - amazing how tiny scraps of foliage can taste so much like celery!
This thread sure makes me feel better about the rate of non-sprouting in my own WS containers! I got exactly ONE Sunset agastache. The Little Bluestem grasses are showing a couple of sprouts & that's it. The blue flag iris and nodding prairie onion, zilch--and they are supposed to be super-hardy Midwestern prairie plants, ha ha.
McKana's Gaint columbine is only recently showing signs of life. I'm so good at killing off columbine that I don't have much hope for them surviving to flower, though. Columbine seems to be the one flower that everyone but me can grow. :D
Golden... i've done Sunset 2 yrs running now, and germination has been anemic at best. BUT the 4 lil seedlings i had last year did come back for me this year... i've planted my new seedlings next to it, so i'm hoping for some "nice orange" blooms this season.
I still have to go out and check my containers... we got back late afternoon yesterday and some of my containers are bursting with plants.
OH -- i had a lot of Columbine failures last year... the ones i did plant in Sept, have not bloomed yet... though they did come back for me.
So far... here is pretty much what did not germinate "yet" for me...
Alcaea simplex, White Bugbane [2006 seeds]
White Cosmos [but i had other containers that did germinate, and are planted out]
Impatiens balsamina, "Magenta"
Red hot Poker
Scabiosa Colombaria, BlueButterfly [we've talked about this in another thread]
Hostas - Winsome, Thunderbolt and Frosted Jade, but they were late last year too
Gomphrena haageana, Strawberry Fields [they were lame for me last year too]
Lobelia tupa, Cardinal Flower [ 2006 seeds]
variegated Fountain Grass [usually dont have much luck with grasses]
Silphium perfoliatum, Cup Plant [ never had luck with these... 3rd yr trying]
Rudbeckia Green Wizard
Salvia, Black & Blue [i'm still hopeful]
Allium Purple Sensation [ 2 containers]
SUper BLue Aster [ 2 containers ]
and the 3 types of JPW -- that i have mentioned before
-- Eupatorium maculatum [Little Joe] rugosum [Chocolate joe] and prupureum
OH yes... and all of the Yvonne's Salvia that were WS"ed did NOT germinate. Thankfully i did some seeds in the house... and POOR germination rate... only 9 plants out of 58 seeds. They are now in the ground and will hopefully do well.
I did have some where a lot of seeds were sown, but only 1 or 2 germinated.
Coreopsis lanceolata Sunburst did very poorly too... i'm hoping once i get the lil plants into the ground they will take off.
I have some IDOT property behind my home... and my neighbor and I have been 'fixing it up'.
she has kindly offered to take some of these containers off my hands... plus some will be going in the common areas in the subdivision, plus to our Park in Wisc.
Next year i will have to remember NOT to do so many containers... since most are perennials.. i will be running out of space very quickly.
Some of my lobelia is starting to pop up again ... I had w/s'd it 2/3 and saw sprouts 3/27, but the frost must have killed it off. Now I'm seeing more sprouts. So there's hope ... for Lobelia at least.
Non germination is part of the reason why I keep records. I look at when they were sowed. Are they hardy. Did they need more cold and then warmth or just warmth? How old was the seed? Where did the seed come from? How hardy is the plant? Did it germinate too soon due to a warm spell and should have been sowed later in the season? [Lisa - I would sow lobelia in March/April] Is there enough drainage in the containers or too much? Once I've looked at this, I try something different the next year and maybe one more after that. Some seeds are not meant to w/s or are not meant for your zone. In general, I have found that most annuals I sow later in the season while perennials and annuals that reseed on their own are earlier - a guideline, not a rule.
tcs, that is awful about your Yvonne's Salvia! I got some last week..I did only 8 seeds after reading about your problems with it. I did them like WS in a container but have kept it inside. I have 7 sprouts already.
I did not do as this year because I over did it so much last year. I lost tons of seedlings over the winter, but I still have a lot to get settled into the ground or large pots.
I am using backups this year: I used the coffee filter/plastic bag for some seeds (mixed results,)
light set-ups for others, and now I am thinking I will summer sow in pots and have them germinate outside. This fall I will winter sow again. Oh yes, I have had good results by putting seeds inside a plastic bag in a little damp medium. I have several Louisiana iris and about ten Japanese iris from that method.
Sowing under lights is working out best right now.
My duds this year are : eupatorium maculatum 'Lil Joe', echinacea 'Double delight" which I discovered that the seeds are either sterile or don't come true, viola mammola, viola 'Blueberry pansy', gaillardia 'Arizona sun', red butterfly bush, pink butterfly bush and veronica spicata. Not a total bust as my other containers did quite well and I'll have gorgeous flowers in the gardens.
tcs: I'm sorry to hear about your Yvonne's Salvia. I think about every seed germinates for me, and I have hundreds of volunteers. My WSown ones are only an inch or two tall now, but my indoor-started ones were planted out a few weeks ago at about 8 or 10 inches tall. Unfortunately two of them were knocked over in the wind and rain a couple of days ago. (One was partially uprooted). I replanted and staked those but it doesn't look good for them.
I only sowed 30-some jugs this year because, after doing 60 to 80 per year for the previous 3 years, my flower beds are pretty full.
Lisa, are you talking about annual or perennial lobelia? I've never tried WSing the annual ones but my lobelia cardinalis (wintersown) is now in it's 3rd year. One clump is big and healthy, the other is small and doesn't seem to expand much. I wish I'd done more, must remember next year.
My duds remain red hot poker, platycodon, and geum. (3 duds out of about 35).
Karen AND Lisa, I tried to WS annual lobelia my first year (when I was very earnest and much more serious) and got about one flower at the end of June, I think. Now I don't take it so seriously and I KNOW I can't compete with nurseries in getting lobelia to bloom by Memorial Day. So I let them win that one. I'll take the columbines, cosmos, and other stuff that I CAN WS easily and in varieties not available at the big box stores.
Yes, it was blue annual lobelia, which was so nice (from the nursery) last year. I got a few sprouts, but I know I'll have nothing in flower until at least August. I'm going to give up on this one, and stick with the perennials in the future.
I had a batch of jugs that didn't germinate, and I have this feeling that if I looked at my records they were all sown at the same time. I used a bag of potting soil that wasn't my usual "MG with moisture control", it was something else. These containers in particular are like little bricks now even though they have been watered well. I am thinking that may have something to do with it. Most all the Miracle Grow containers came up really nice! (except for stuff that I had little expectations for like clematis seeds... I will leave those for a few years apparently lol. )
Stuff I can think of off the top of my head that surprised me: Cleome... not one, liatris... not one, also Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine, Moon Vine, Cypress Vine. People rave about how easy these are to grow. I guess that is why they surprised me.