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Thanks for the new thread. The old one was taking a loooong time to load. It was 82 yesterday and it is supposed to be in upper 70 today. Night time lows are in 40s and 50s. By Tuesday it is supposed to be below freezing again at night. Gotta love spring LOL. The March winds have definitely moved in. I did not get my columbine winter sowed. Is it too late? I forgot them. If I sow now will they be OK or should I stick them in the fridge? I am in zone 5b.
Karen - Thanks for your advice and your nice comments.
I think I will always have Goldens, now that I see just how amazing they are. Otis is doing very well at obedience school too and that is a bonus. We have an old girl (Nimo pronounced Nemo) Alaskan Husky who was 14 in October past. She is still going strong but once she is no longer with us I would love to get another Golden. It would be good for Otis and for us. I like having two dogs.
I am going to finish my seeds very soon. Running out of time although our temps are going to fluctuate quite a bit over the next few months.
Oh, Angie, your plum is beautiful! I guess I knew what cherry and apple blossoms looked like, but not plum! Your sprouts are adorable, too. I don't have any action in my containers yet, but it hasn't been that long, and I'm not in a big hurry. My poor 7 yo has decided he doesn't like WSing, though. He's just sure there is something wrong with his container, because it hasn't sprouted in the 5 days since he sowed it. LOL I keep explaining how it works, but I'm not sure he believes me. I guess he has to see it to believe it!
Adorable little sprouts and a what a beautiful plum tree!
I w/s 11 containers tonight - Rudbeckias, zinnia, and cosmos. I am now up to 183. I have 3 poppy, 1 Salvia virda, 2 Rudbeckias sprouting. It is still early.
Angie and Lynn: Thank you for the compliments. The purple leaf plum is just getting all gussied up right now for her big show, but she is gorgeous the rest of summer with her beautiful dark purple leaves, a wonderful addition to our garden.
Angie, tell your son he'll soon have lots of sprouts in those jugs. I'm still amazed that this thing works and works so well. I can't wait for the other jugs to start popping. My campanulas and delphs, though, have not sprouted yet and that concerns me. I would have thought they'd be among the first since they are spring bloomers. I know I'll have no blooms this spring from them, but did think they would have sprouted already. Anyone? I don't think my seed was bad, as some of it was brand new. Also, my flax has not yet sprouted and I've read of others who have flax sproutlets, too. Guess I'll just have to wait this one out.
Never winter sowed before, but I am going to do it this year. Can someone help me, after reading the sticky I am unclear what you winter sow. I collected seeds last year from friends on DG and here in the city. I am zone 5. I understood if it will start from seed (self-sow) it would be ok to winter sow, is that correct? What I seem to be confused about is what happens if the sprouts start and the temps drop below freezing, don't my sprouts die? Thank you for your help.
This is what I have.
amaranth elephant head
rose of sharon
Most of what you have should be okay with WSing. I have Rudbeckia, Gaillardia, poppies, larkspur and foxgloves. The pansies should do well, as they live here through the winter after being planted in fall. I do not speak from vast experience with WSing, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the results of my own winter sowing.
Happ~ your pansies may not be ready to bloom till later this summer...if that holds true for you as it did for me..just plant them out in a nice filtered AM sunlight location with pm shade. If you keep them deadheaded with a rejuvenenating shear in Sept., you have lovely blooms throughout the Summer and gorgeous blooms for the cooler part of Fall. Hope that's a helpful tidbit.
garden6, I use to live in Lansing, now I am across the river on the Missouri side. Thank you for your response. I have never grown pansies and not sure where the seeds even came from put will attach your note in a plastic bag on the container so I remember.
tcs116, thank you for that information. I lost older plants in the 07 deep freeze here. It was awful. I didn't have hardly any iris blooms. My house faces south with a concrete porch. Think I will put the milk jugs up against the house in a cardboard box like I saw suggestions. Then if we have a cold snap they will be easy to cover. This is just the first part of March so I know we will have colder days ahead.
I'm a bit jealous on all these sprouts. Nothing to see here. Snow was gone for a few days, but yesterday we got again some snow, temperatures are between 25 and 41.
But there was one thing in my garden in bloom, the Hamamelis
Those dahlias will be divided this year to create more dahlias to share with neighbours. I have also received dahlia seeds in trades so I have those starting in the basement. I will have sooooo many dahlias!
Luckily, I have friends and neighbours who will help with the gardens while we are away . . .
Lili, I think you should go ahead and get your impatiens sown. I've occasionally had reseeding from impatiens, so I'm thinking they would do that more readily in your zone. That being the case, I believe wintersowing would work beautifully for them in your zone.
this year though... i do have other places to put said "extra plants"
i'm going to help my Bro with his yard ... providing he doesnt lose his house in this economic disaster.
and i have some spots in our subdivision i'd like to plant things... so we shall see how that turns out.
and -- yanno, sometimes one just gets tired of planting though at this time of the year, it surely sounds silly.
Thanks Terese and sorry for continuing on the last thread. I had noticed that we moved and that some still posted on the old then I got caught up in the conversation and forgot to post here! I usually keep old threads on my watch list just so I don't miss any latent mover's comments then I became one myself! LOL!
I guess I'll keep watering the cosmos container for a bit until I get everything else planted out then I may just dump it in the bed and water with the rest of the stuff and see what happens!
Hey everyone, just thought I would let you all know I am experiencing a darn blizzard right now!! Our temps will be dipping below zero AGAIN!
I read some of you already have warm temps and sprouts! I'm glad for you, but I am envyous! I know school will be cancelled tomorrow, so me and my kids will be WS and I will be able to put my list up here! Happy WS!
shirb Hi neighbor. Same here---a winter storm warning. Started snowing this evening and have about 1" so far and freezing temp to -2F degrees. Will snow all night. Heard 3" to 6" when all said and done. That is ok by me. It will do my seeded perennials in my coldframe good with the flunctuating temperatue to stratify them. They were sown Oct 2008. Germination will occur when spring brings warmer weather and suitable condition for the varities I sowed. I left them in Mother Nature's hands.
In my coldframe are seeds of:
Echenacea 'White Swan'
E. 'Magnus' (commercial seeds)
E. paradoxa (commercial seeds)
Dianthus open pollinated
Asclepias tuberosa (commercial seeds)
A. incarnata (commercial and open pollinated)
Iris and Daylilies from my plants for the fun of it
Rhus typhina (tree)
Xanthoceras sorbifolia (tree) seeds hard as a rock
Tried fall of 2007 with Aster alpinus, Oenothera, and E. paradoxa as a trial and they germinated spring of 2008. The Aster even bloomed some. I expect the E. paradoxa to bloom this year.
My simple coldframe before sowing. Made from culled lumber purchased cheap from Home Depot. Hinged cover has a shade cloth attached.
Been warm for several days, daffs have buds, notice mums are popping up, tree peony has swollen leaf buds and now down to 19 tonight...dang I hate that. Oh well, maybe won't stay below freezing for long.
Its nice to know someone else is experiencing this storm! We already got a foot of snow since yesterday and they are predicting lots more today. The temps right now are 0 and expected to fall. It is white out at the moment and expected to get worse around noon and last till tomorrow morning!
Anyway, the kids and I are getting a late start on WS today. We slept in and are getting our daily chores done.
I like the cold frame idea! My DH confiscated some old garage door panels and some of them have glass in them. I think they would be perfect. I think I know how to put the frames together, but not sure on what to do with the soil in them. Did you dig the soil out and replace it or what? Let me know, cuz this is something I will probably do next year for cold weather veggies, like cabbage and broccoli.
Well darn it all! We got cheated out of lot of snow. Only received about 3" of it. Believe it or not, the sun is shining. Typical of WY. Haven't heard the weather report so don't know if that is the end of it. It is cold though.
As far as the coldframe, the top/cover is an old window frame minus the glass. Didn't want glass due to breakage. The frame is just plain pine boards are 12" wide. The short sides are 3ft long, and the other two are 6ft long side. I made it the size of the window frame. The corners of the boards are butted together with L-shaped metal plates that have screw holes on both sides. I placed the coldframe on an angle so that it is higher in the back, slanting towards the front. Since it is up against my back fence, I use the fence to hold the cover open. A large eye hook is in the center of the frame to hold the cover open at any height with a chain.
I only dug enough soil out to allow for 6" of good top soil. That is all you need since seedlings and young plants don't root any deeper. The leftover soil I store in a large plastic garbage can and mix with store bougth soil, peatmoss, sand, and manure (my daughter has horses). Whenever you plant, there is alway settling of the soil so I use it to fill low spots in my garden. Also, since this is good soil, I use it in the hole when planting.
Here is another idea for a coldframe that was my first one. During the 80's I owned and operated a small commercial greenhouse in Nebraska. I started all my perennial plants in July and August for sale the following spring. When large enough, I planted them in this coldframe. Made out of are railroad ties placed on the ground and butted together. They were free when they replace tracks through my town. The cover is a lath screen for shade. I can't remember the size of the coldframe, but the ties were 3 ft and 6 ft long.
The photo was taken in April from a July sowing the previous year. Now husky plants.
SO here is the total list so far (115) the stars are ones that have germinated already.
Organic Spinach **
Alyssum: Sweet Alyssum **
Erysimum hieraciifolium: Siberian Wallflower **
Celosia argentea v. spicata Flamingo Feather, Wheat Straw Celosia
Monarda Fistulosa:Wild Bergamot
Malva moschata:Musk Mallow
Liatrus Spicata:Florestan White
Campanula medium:Canterbury Bells
Monarda Didyma:Bee Balm, scarlet Bee Balm
Dietes Iridioides:White Wild Iris
Lupine Polyphyllus:Lupine **
Agastache rupestris:Licorice Mint
Asclepias Curassavica:Scarlet Milkweed
Cleome hassleriana:Cleome Pink Queen
Echinaccea purpurea:Eastern Purple Coneflower
Agastache Cana:Hummingbird Mint
Cleome hasslerana:Cleome White
Antirrhinum majus Ribbon Lavender **
Papaver :Poppy Pink
Achillea ptarmica: The Pearl **
Achillea millefolium :Paprika
Papaver Rhoes:Shirley Poppy **
Papaver Rhoes:Red Corn Poppy **
Linum Grandiflorum:Scarlet Flax **
Linum Perenne: Blue Flax **
Aquilegia: Giant Columbine Mix
CA Poppy "White Linen" **
Delphinium ajacis mixed
Nemophila Menziesii: Baby Blue Eyes **
Delphinium : Delphinium Black and White
Papaver :Poppy Mixed **
Papaver Rhoeas "Cedric Morris" Poppy **
Consoilida chinensis: Larkspur Gentian Blue
Aquilegia Vulgaries : Nora Barlow Mixed
Aquilegia Vulgaris :Columbine "magpie"
Aquilegia: Black Barlow
Mixed Poppies **
Ungnadia speciosa:Mexican Buckeye
Dolichos lablab:Hyacinth Bean Vine
Tall Canna: Coral
Passiflora Incarnata: Passionflower Maypop
rose campion - corn cockle
Pavonia lasiopetala: Rock Rosemallow
Ipomoea Quamoclit: white Cypress Vine
moon vine white
moon vine lavender
Nemophila Menziesee "Pennie Black":Baby blue eyes, Pennie Black
Amaranthus caudatus: Love Lies Bleeding
Nepeta Stewartiana: Catmint
Impomoea Quamoclit: Red Cypress Vine
Dolichos lablab: Hyacinth Bean Vine2
Ipomoea purpurea: Morning Glory "Split Personality"
Impomoea tricolor : Morning Glory "Heavenly Blue"
Impomoea purpurea: Morning Glory "Grandpa Ott's"
Impomoea purpurea: Morning Glory "Star of Yelta"
Trachymene caerulea or Didiscus caeruleus: Blue Lace Flower
Coreopsis Grandiflora: Bigflower Coreopsis
Coreopsis: Coreopsis "Early Sunrise"
Thumbergia Alata:Black Eyed Susan Vine
Scabiosa columbaria: Pincushion Flower "Blanca"
Limnanthes douglasii: Fried Egg Plant
Nigella: Love in a Mist
Antirrhinum majus: Snapdragon "Fordhook Tall Mix"
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae: New England Aster Purple Dome
Ratibida columnifera: Mexican Hats
Centratherm Intermedium: Brazilian bachelor's Buttons
Salvia Coccinea: Hummingbird Dwarf Red
Chasmanthium latifolium: Northern Sea Oats
Gaillardia x Grandiflora:Blanket Flower
salvia splendens: red salvia
Asclepias tuberosa: Butterfly weed
Gaillardia aristata: "Goblin" Blanket Flower
liliaceae lillium: Formosa Lily
Calendula officinalis: Pot Marigold
ecthinops ruthenicus: Globe Thistle
Rudbeckia hirta: Black-eyed Susan "Indian Summer"
gypsophila elegans: baby's breath covent garden
Platycodon Grandiflora: Baloon Flower
Centaurea: Cornflower **
Liatrus Spicata: Gayfeather
Salvia reptans 'west texas': Cobalt sage
Datura Double Yellow
Datura Inoxia Datura
Datura white datura
Calylophus hartwegii 'fenderlii': Fernderli's Sundrops
Hibiscus : Hibiscus "Chablis"
Ipomoea purpurea: Morning Glory Milky Way
Amorpha canescens: lead plant
Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium: "Sweet Pea Currant" Tomato
Scrophularia macrantha: RedBirds in a tree
Salvia greggii: purple
Mimulus cardinalis: Scarlet Monkey flower
Anisacanthus quadrifidus 'wirghtii': Hummingbird bush Orange
Catananche Caerulea: Cupid's Dart
Ipomoea purpurea: Hot Pink Morning Glory
Lavatera trimestris: Silver Cup
Centranthus Ruber: Jupiter's Beard
orlaya grandiflora: white lace flower
Salvia Argentea: 'Artemis' white
Ceratotneca triloba: South African Folxglove
Tomato Supersweet 100 cherry
Callirhoe involucrata: Purple Poppy Mallow, Wine cups
Euphorbia Marginata: Snow on the Mountain
lavendula angustifolia: lavendar mustead
gypsophila elegans: baby's breath covent garden
Penstemon mexicali: red rocks'
Tithonia Rotundifolia: Mexican Sunflower
Salvia greggii: pink
echinaccea paradoxa: Ozark Coneflower
These are in the order they were sown, and not any scientific order. What am I going to do with all of these plants! It is amazing how generous people around here are. I started last fall with two bags of hollyhock seeds. I have bought more than I needed to as well, but... oh well. LOL. I am saving the Hollyhocks, Zinnias, Marigolds and other tender annuals for a few more weeks. I still think we will get a few good freezing nights but also I just ran out of containers! : )
Wow, Lissa, what a list! Makes my own 40 jugs look puny by comparison. I see your delphs and campanula haven't sprouted yet and neither have mine, so I'm relieved. I was beginning to wonder if my seeds were viable, but some of them were brand new.
Great list Lissa! We have a lot of seeds in common! Many have sprouted and quite a few of those are already in the ground for me. We are finally supposed to get rain today! All my little babies will be so happy and I love to watch the growth spurts in plants after a rain, especially when you've been in a drought. There's nothing quite like the water straight from God!
Blomma, yes some of them have been out there in the dirt since January, freezing and thawing out there in their milk jugs. We are supposed to have our last freeze by April 15, so I wanted to get the rest of the containers out there to catch a few of those last freezes, LOL, but it is not looking like I have much winter left. It is 51 degrees this morning at 8:00! What is up with that?
Angie, I was kind of worried about those too, I was expecting them to be early risers as well. I guess we will see. The other thing to remember about my list is I have an acre of landscaped property that had weeds 6ft high. I am gutting everything and desperately need to fill up those areas so the weeds don't consume our whole house. LOL. I tell people that I will plant anything right now and sort out the details later. Hahahaha.
We got a good rain on Monday. I was just about ready to go soak my containers 'cause I was a little worried about them, but then I woke up to the sound of a gentle soaking rain. It actually rained for a few hours. We needed it.
Question on this comment "I noticed you have several perennial that needs stratification (cold treatment) first to germinate. I hope you did that so they will sprout for you. " Does that mean all perennials or just some? I thought you could start perennials for planting in the fall? Thanks for your answers.
Some, but not all, perennials do require a period of cold, moist treatment to break dormancy. For specific information, google germination requirement for that particular species. Also, Tom Clothier's site is a good source for that information.
LissaD Penstemons are hard to sprout Tom C. has a whole page on germinating these seeds. I also have them sown. Bought the variety 'Esprit Mix' from Parks this year. Stuck the seeding flat in the frig. Also have another flat of them in my unheated garage. I have grown them from seeds a few years ago with no problem. However, those were a different variety. Strangely, not all varieties require the same technique.
happgarden Not all perennials require stratification but many do. This is the reason why I sown larger seeds in my coldframe for the flunctuating temperature, which is required by some.
This season I decide to test some old seeds I have had, using the Deno method. I have had more germination that way, than sowing straight in seeding mix.
Others that are difficult to sprout are:
Salvia argentea. I sprouted 2 so far. with cold treatment
Asclepias tuberosa. I have 6.
Aquilegia I don't bother with anymore since they tend to be shortlived and revert back from seed.
Callirhoe involucrata, another that is difficult. I'm still waiting on that.
Daturas can be difficult as they are sprout with stragglers. I have 12 inoxias growing and 6 double yellow (Yellow Ballarina) from Parks. They can take up to 30 days and need to be soaked before sowing.
Old Hibiscus seeds sprouting in moist kitchen paper towel placed in a baggie after nicking and soaking in hand hot water over night. They sprouted in 2 days. I have had problems sowing them when I tried 3 years ago in soil flats. Only got one to sprout then.
Oh yes they selfsow readily. This one especially. It is not a hybrid so come true from seeds. It is a native to the canyons of the southwest, Aquilegia chrysantha (Golden Spur Columbine) is one of the most widely adapted of all columbines, and the easiest to grow. It is actually weedy, but pretty. I deadhead it for additional bloom. Blooms later in the season than the hybrids.
Now this one A. 'Red Star' is a hybrid and tend to revert. Sometimes the seedling from this one set different bi-colored flowers. Will see what comes up this year.
I have tried others such as A. 'William Guiness' . It bloomed one year then disappeared.
Also started the Barlow mix with the double flowers. They too disappeared.
A few years ago I bought many different varieties of Columbines. They were commercial seeds. Always came up, though slow to germinate, and bloomed as they should. The plants died out and self sowed which were different from what I sowed. When I researched this genus of plants, it was stated that many hybrids in this family revert, and are short lived although they self sow freely.
I have on the north side of my garage a border of the yellow one shown above. It is the only one that comes up the same every year. The plants seems to be more long lived than the hybrids. I have had them growing there for 4 years without a change.
I should have mentioned that the yellow Columbine that is shown behind the Red Star is a self sown seedling. It is not the same as those planted along side my garage. Much paler in yellow. It is not one I sowed.
I love your last photo. And, you are right. Sometimes you get something unique from open pollinated seeds. I collected seeds form Delosperma cooperi and it will be fun to see what I get since I have 4 different varieties. Likewise with hardy gernainum 'Vision'. I also several varieties of those. Both have sprouted. The Delosperma seedling is no larger than a pin head at the moment.
The photo shows the varieties of the Delospermans (iceplants) that I have growing
Karen I love that last picture. You're right I have seen them before but love them still. I am just this year getting into rudbeckias. Last year I tried no luck. This year I have one 'Prairie Sun' plant that is growing in a S window. I did start it on a heat mat and that is the only plant I have. The others "sob sob as in cry cry" lol did not make it. I sure hope it matures and grows as I want seeds. I have 4 Cherry Brandy plants and I have hopes for them too. I will not plant them too close together so they won't mix. If I had more PS maybe I would. Just to see what would happen. Wish me luck.
Well, after my 10 day trip to Gatesville, Texas I have returned to find one of my WS pots have sprouted. Hooray!!!!!!! I was hoping for more, but I guess the rest aren't ready yet. The one that sprouted is the Tidy Tips, a California native wildflower. In fact I had seed left over, and I'm giving some to some friends here, and I also gave some to my sister in TX. Here is a picture of the sprouts.
I finally got my seeds going, I hope not too late. Our last frost is Memorial day weekend so I hope this will work. Here is my list, it isn't too big since this is my first try...
Alyssum, Carpet of Snow
Aquilegia vulgaris, Columbine Mix
Calendula, Candyman Orange
Calendula, Pink Surprise
Centratherum, Intermedium Button Beauty
Coreopsis lancinata, Tickseed
Delphinium, Tall Black Knight
Eschscholzia californica, California Poppy
Foxglove, Candy Mountain
Lobelia, Fountain Blue
Pansy, Swiss Giants
Ratabida columnifera, Mexican Hat
Rudbeckia hirta, Black Eyed Susan
Rudbeckia, Cherry Brandy
I pray for success!
Thanks for the info on cold frame. My DH just told me the other day that he knows where to get some free RR ties. Im concerned about the creosote in them though. I already have 4 large raised beds for my veggie garden and it worked well. I was thinking of expanding to make a cut flower garden as well since I am a floral designer and lack a floral wholesaler up here.
By the way, we ended up with a foot of snow! Want some? Last night it got down to
-20! It is 'supposed' to be the last of the extreme cold! We will see!
Shirb, everything on your list should do beautifully, all reliable wintersowers. I worked for over 20 years as a floral designer too! If you're ever looking for a good wholesale source for cut flowers, dmail me. I have a great source in California that overnights boxes of cut flowers to me. The quality and prices are excellent. And I have another good source for orchids and Holland flowers. Both will sell to you without a tax id number (as long as you're not in the same state).
Karen (nutsfor...). Glad you made it home safely! I had one lone tidy tips baby germinate in my container. Have planted it in the bed and it seems to be happy so far! I also gently scattered the rest of the container dirt around it, just in case any of it's sister seeds decide to germinate later... Glad you have had such a great germination rate!
Thanks, Tonya! I had such a wonderful time in TX. Can't wait to go back. We really would like to move there, but we will see. There are many things I like about here, too, though the taxes and high cost of living aren't one of those things. I kind of hate to leave all my gardens here and all the work I've put into them. I will be taking a lot of my DL's, but I can't take everything with me, as many things would not work well there, and the place we want to buy has no gardens. Will take a long time to get some going.
Oh, and the area in Texas where my sister lives is a zone 8a, and she can grow bulbs there. They get just enough cold there in the winter for them, but it's too cold for most tropicals. I wouldn't be able to grow rhodies or azaleas, though, as their soil there is too alkaline and they wouldn't get the moisture. They would need too much additional irrigation. Anything that's not drought tolerant would have to be irrigated. There is a native dogwood in that area, in the Texas Hill Country.
BTW, Carrie, that article was good. Makes me glad I won't be moving anywhere warmer than a zone 8a. I'm not into most tropical plants, anyhow. Gatesville, TX can get ice storms, hail, rarely snow that doesn't stick around. Small freezes, but for the most part winters are mild. Now, tornadoes are another problem altogether... Then there are the rattlers, cotton mouths, copper heads, scorpions, black widow spiders, giant centipedes, wild hogs, etc. Coyotes we have here, too, but we don't have mountain lions. Hmmmm...
Well, I still want to move there. I lived in Mesa, AZ for 4 years, and loved it there. Gatesville, TX isn't quite that hot. I think Mesa must be zone 10.
I wouldn't worry about the creosote. For one, it isn't fresh when you get used ties. It is weathered pretty much. Even if they were new, they aren't in contact with plants. I never had any problems. I doubt it would bother plants any way, since they get food through their roots.
If your DH can get them free, tell him to grab them.
We don't have chiggers here in MA. Never had them in Nevada or Arizona, either. Lived in Sacramento, CA a year and a half and never encountered them there, either. Texas is the only place I've been where I've encountered chiggers. Boy, do they make you itch!
Darn, I hit the wrong button after I uploaded the photo. Anyway here is the closeup of the perennials I sowed in Aug, then wintered over in the railroad ties coldframe. Photo taken in April. Creosote didn't hurt these plants any.
What is my problem? Age? The photo is above. This is the caption.
Yep, when the railroad replaces ties they just leave the old ones lay there. I think they are supposedly coming back for them but if you walk down any line of track you will find ties that have been laying for decades. I have recycled many ties. I am not saying it is legal to cultivate your civic pride by picking up those unsightly ties laying there but...
Those ties do disintegrate eventually, as we found out when we lived in Charlotte, and it doesn't really take that long for it to happen. We used new ones on a retaining wall alongside the driveway and 18 years later when we moved, they were almost gone.
Just a warning about picking up the ties. I know someone who got put in jail overnight for picking some up. Apparently they have contracts on those for people to come by later, sort 'em and sell 'em. Just something to think about.
A great free (and legal) way to get railroad ties is to check your local freecycle. You can find your local area organization by going to www.freecycle.org.
You can watch the posts for people to offer them, or you can ask for what you want. We got some railroad ties for our last house that way. You do have to go pick them up yourself though, and those things are heavy! LOL. :)
The ties that I picked up along the railroad were advertised as free in our local paper and on out local tv station. There were quite a few people there picking them up when I was there. Needless to say, all were pretty much picked up.
They were free game in the old days. Back then the ties did lay there for decades if someone did not pick them up and use them. The best ones always got picked up but the really bad ones just lay there and rot eventually. That was before they started keeping the right of ways mowed.
Karen (nutsfor..), I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit to TX. I've only lived here a couple of years, and it's my first year gardening, so I haven't had to leave any plants behind. But I grew up in KY watching my grandparents garden and helping my mom fill the flower beds. Every now and then I think "Wouldn't it be fun to try a ..." but then find out they won't work here. But there are so many things that I can grow here that we couldn't do in KY, I think it kind of evens out in the end. If you do end up moving, I bet it's no time before you find some new favorites. And with WSing, it's no giant loss if you throw some seeds in a jug and they don't pan out. Until then, happy visiting!
Wow, Anita! How I wish I could tour everyone's gardens this summer to see how all their WSing flowers look in place! I'm already wondering where I am going to put all of mine, and I don't have nearly the list you do!
Quite a list Anita. Do you still have room to plant all that stuff? I think you and I started WSing around the same time. My beds are pretty full now, not a whole lot of room left to stuff more plants. I did get rid of a lot last fall, giving them to friends and neighbors, and some I even composted. Of course maybe I'm being optimistic in assuming that all my perennials will come back after winter. Some are emerging now, some still have a while to wait. I've only sown 20 jugs so far but have tenders to go still. One of those is dig Candy Mountain and it's sprouting like crazy as dig usually does.
I've been following everyone's lists and comparing them to my own. Some similarities exist, but it's so much fun to see what others are planting. Let's make it a requirement for those who listed WS plants that photos MUST be posted so we can all enjoy each other's efforts!
Anita, I see many things in your list that I'd love to see.
Karen, yours too. Oh, everybody has such diverse tastes, please, please post photos!
For all those who were talking about Texas------YeeHaw! That's my home state and I sure miss it. Although I am getting to know my area better. Up here we dont have any poisonous spiders, snakes or chiggers! BUT we do have feroucious mosquitos that carry steak knives here! Last year while I was in the garden, they were trying to get to my eyeballs! I must say, there are a lot of beautiful plants all over this country, as I have lived in California too. It's all in what you prefer. I live near a bird and wildlife sanctuary and I get to see alot of various species.
About the RR ties, thanks for the advice about asking. We were told that we could contact a local office and they will tell us where we can go to pick them up. We can even dig up spruce trees and take them if we want.
Anita! boy you sure have a impressive list! Keep it up!
Thanks everyone. Karen, I sow more annuals than perennials so I tend to still have room every year. I'm hoping to sow my zinnia this weekend. I still have gaillardia, cosmos and few others to sow as well.
I sowed just a few Gaillardia Arizona Sun, a new one for me. I had 4 sprouts as of yesterday.
I try to save some space for some new things to try each year. Every fall I give away a lot of plants (or compost them if I can't find them homes) just to make room for new things. If something doesn't perform to my expectations, it's outta here! And I have to have quite a few annuals too, for the long bloom time. I haven't done any zinnias yet but plan to do some soon. Profusion zins have become a favorite, partly for their resistance to powdery mildew.
I have a pack of "pinwheel zinnias", which, in pictures look a lot like the profusions. Anyone ever tried them? Are they disease resistent as the profusions?
Yippee, I'm a plant mommy! I am relieved to announce that my 7 yo DS's container was the first to sprout (so much for his doubt that this would work!), and he has about 25 baby sprouts of gaillardia, monarda, echinacea, and achillea. I also have evening scented stocks and English wallflowers sprouting.
There is nothing so wonderful as the first WSing sprouts of the year. Sigh. I love gardening.
Congrats to you and DS! I've been so thrilled by this WSing thing, I can't believe it works! My own garden club is so impressed that they've asked me to present a program on it. Ha! I'm so new to this I wouldn't know where to begin, but I'll be glad to give it a shot. I'll have to really have some support from you guys who are better at it than I.
Hurray I have sprouts! just 2 itty bitty sprouts of Crazy Daisy, and 2 of Red Burst Aster. Hurray!
Someone please reassure me that my delphiniums will will will sprout ... I have been struggling with growing them from seed since last year, with very limited success. I currently have about 10-15 jugs with about 6 different varieties of Delphs out on my deck --- Has anyone had success winter sowing Delphiniums? The ws databases say it can be done.
No, I have new seeds that I kept in the freezer until I was ready to sow -- some I bought online from New Zealand ... I've invested a lot in this endeavor :) ... I feel for you with those duds. I've had plenty of Delph duds in the last year and it's so frustrating.
I've attached one pic of my little seedlings -- PROOF that it worked! These were Pacific Giants, but I also had Butterfly Blend going.
It was very easy. However, I started them in July, went on vacation and had to have a friend look after them, and I think I didn't plant them soon enough. I had about 30 itty little sprouts, but only a few with true leaves and was only able to plant 2 or 4 in August. I doubt they will come back up again this spring.
I am going to try the above method again, and take better care of them. However, I was so hopeful that winter sowing would work b/c I think the above method failed due to "dampening off" that people talk about so frequently? Not sure ...
I'm wondering if I cover a few of my Delph jugs with a dark towel for 2 weeks if that will help things along. I may give this a try since I have so many delph jugs out there :)
I put some delphs out on 2/15 with no special preparation, and they sprouted 3/15. They are Magic Fountain mix from Parks. So there is hope!
Now I guess I just have to wait to see if they survive...
Edited to add that the jugs are on the North side of my house and receive no direct sun, and that temps were warm when I set them out and then we had a cold spell. Perhaps that helped? I'm too new at all of this to know for sure. Anyway, HTH!! -GB
I've WS Delphinium the last 2 years successfully, and have some wintersown this year too. This years haven't started germinating (I have about 20 sprouting containers out of 120, so just the early birds so far), and if I'm recalling correctly, it seems that they were among the later ones to show in the past- I'm thinking April.
My indoor sown delphs have germinated - two varieties of grandiflorum (dwarfs). I read conflicting instructions as to light or dark needed. I sowed mine in light - I think on the surface or with minimal covering - forgot to write it down.
Thanks for the info! I think I see a tiny bit of green in one cup of delphiniums I have out there -- a Dowdswell Sunny Skies. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will actually work and I'll have easy beautiful Delphs. What a luxury.
PerenniallyMe -- I used to live in West Roxbuy off the VFW Parkway on Greaton Rd. I love JP with all the historic homes. I'm going to get some delphs going indoors too, but I won't start until April, I think. It's colder out here in upstate NY.
I was successful sowing Delphinium grandiflorum and Delphinium elatum 'black eyed angels' in autumn (I used fresh seeds) and Delphinium ajacis in spring. For the ones who are interested in seeds of the first 2, I hope to have fresh seeds late summer. You can check my have list in September/October.
I WS Delphinium elatum Blue bird and Delphinium alpestre. No sprouts yet.
Anita, if I remember well, you would like to receive WS records of other DG members. I can't find the link. Will you please publish it here again?
Jonna, I put your dephinium grandiflorum "delphix blue" in the freezer for a week or two, then started a few indoors with very good germination, so I started some more. Wintersowed some too, but none of my wintersown stuff has sprouted yet, which I'm glad of, because we could still have some pretty cold temps - can never tell.
OH.. i think mine were the elatum... i got them in the firs piggy swap that Suzy ran.. and i do believe that they came from Carol in Alaska ... marked, Old seeds, use immediately... so i'm not surprised i got nothing... I may try again with some fresh seeds.
Anita: I'm with you. None of my WS delphs have germinated and they were some of the first I sowed. I'm going to buy some fresh seed and start over, using the methods described in the link you provided. Thank you.
Anita, how do I share my info. I have a d-base in Lotus. I tried to convert it to Excel and I was succesful. But I can't provide the common names (english is not my motherlanguage and I always work with the botanical names).
Exposure and notes are very difficult for me to me to put in, because they are in a different d-base. I'm not that good with computers to solve that problem. I have WS more than 300 species, so too much work to fill in these things seperately. But is that really important for WS?
So I can provide botanical name, date of WS, date of germination (or no germination) and whether it's a A/P/B. All are zone 6 WS. Will that be sufficient for your records?
Question: is it too early for pricking out and potting up? I spent the afternoon doing this to some of my WS'd seedlings that have developed their true leaves. I guess it's a little late to be asking this, but I'm hoping they'll do okay. Here's a snapshot. That's Salvia viridis on the left and Myosotis on the right.
Thanks, Kyla. We're getting some more colder weather this weekend but not freezing and they've been outside, so I'm trusting they'll be okay. If they croak, I will have learned something else from all this!
Sandstreet, as you can see, I have had one pot of Delphinium seeds sprouting so far. Still waiting on others and just sowed more today.
GB, don't know if we'll be moving to TX anytime soon. Might have to wait a few years. Hopefully it won't be that long. Actually, I wouldn't mind staying here if I could just spend a couple months with my sis in TX for the winter. If only I could find a way to do that.
Wow, Karen, looks like you'll have some great ones! I had really good luck WSing lupine last year, but they never did bloom the first year. I just saw one coming back up today, so hopefully will have some color this time around! I'll have to go scout out the other locations and see if any more made it through. I can't remember--are they perennial or biennial?
Bookerc1, most lupines are perennial, though a few (such as Texas Blue Bonnet) are annual. I hope to get a lot this year. At least one is supposed to bloom the first year from seed, but I forget which one that is. Then I have one that is annual, too.
Don't know if this still qualifies in our zone as WSing, but today I sowed Dianthus `Artic Fire' Ipomoea Moonflower, some more delphiniums (Pacific Giant and Fanfare) in pots outdoors. I've covered the delphs so they'll be in the dark for a while and hopefully I'll get some sprouts this time. It still is cool enough at night that I think this might work. If not, there's always next year, although I did want delphs in my gardens this year :-((
I've been contemplating my planters (that are sitting empty on my deck, right next to the wintersown milk containers) and wondering if I can wintersow directly into them with annual seeds ... does anyone have any thoughts? Perhaps I could up-end a tupperware or something over the planter -- but I would need airholes, too. Maybe one of those large Glad throw-away containers. Has anyone tried this?
Anita, I will email you my spreadsheet when I have complete info in the spring. I am very happy to provide the exact format you want ... should I just what you currently have on your website as a guide? Is Excel OK or something else?
I started Lupines (Russell mix) from seed in June last year in peat pots, very successfully (10 for 10), however no flowers yet.
I tried the Press N Seal on some of my WSing containers this year, and don't recommend it. Once it gets wet, it won't stick.
How big is your container? What worked well for me on smaller containers, like the plastic Folgers coffee containers, was to slip a plastic gallon storage bag (the kind you use a twist-tie with, not the ziploc kind) over the top, as it wraps farther down the sides and doesn't blow off as easily. Punch in a few holes for air and moisture, and you're good to go! I ended up replacing all the Press-n-Seal ones with the clear baggies, after they kept coming off, and the rubberbands deteriorated.
I read somewhere on another thread, they cut the bottom off the milk jugs, placed the jug over the pot, right side up, and put a stick through the opening to hold it down. I was going to try that this week.
The idea to place a milk jug over a plant for protection was mine that I have used. Here is the photo again of one over a tomato plant. The opening can be hinged by cutting just 3 sides and can be adjusted to the size of the plant as it grows by just trimming the plastic. Better than cans and can be left on since there is ventilation. Good to use on any plant.
thanks Blomma, I thought your idea was great, and the photo really helps. I am going to try it today. I wish I had known about this last year. I bought some hydrangeas and hibiscus from Springhill, not realizing how tiny and vulnerable they would be. Being inexperienced, I went ahead and planted them, never to be seen again. I gave them a death sentence, and I do not want to repeat my crime.
I will have to plead guilty to a pending seed-a-cide crime. DH put a spray bottle of degreaser on my potting bench, and I, unknowingly, sprayed my flat of Miribilis seeds with it. They still have not germinated, and I don't know if there is any hope for the little guys. In my defense, I was sick with the flu at the time, and simply did not smell the chemical spray. I cannot remember what other seeds I sprayed before I realized my mistake.
Oh, no. that is really unfortunate, I don't know whether to laugh or cry! I think I am laughing though. Gee.
Well, I sure would not germinate with Degreaser sprayed on me, that's for sure...
but oh wow I would sure feel disappointed if I made that slip of the hand and did that, gee. You do have my sympathies!
I just watered some thyme seedlings a little too forcefully, the water came out faster than I expected and I saw them get shoved around in there... plus we have had freezing nights lately and some are not too sure they want to continue to emerge, I think a couple that were just barely starting got offed by the freeze, even t hough I gave extra cover the last few nights.
I am not yet experienced enough with killing seedlings to take it in stride like some gardeners I know, LOL!
I still feel "an obligation" to sow every seed and feel like a murderess when I have to thin out my over seeded containers. Actually, to tell the truth, I hate thinning out so badly, I usually let them battle for the survival of the fittest. My bad.
Lynn, how awful for your poor seeds! I know you must have been mortified once you found out. I hate thinning out seedlings, too, Lynn. Hate to see any go to waste that might become a nice plant when it gets some size.
Perenniallyme, I have WS seedlings up, too, about 8 out of 24 sown in Feb. have emerged and are doing well so far, but growing slowly due to the cold. I posted about that further up in this thread. You must have missed it.
Just a couple annuals in a Jiffy tray - you know, it comes pre-loaded with seed starting stuff and a plastic lid and you have to transplant everything fast or water it every five minutes. But I DID stick it out there in February.
My Delosperma cooperi (Iceplant) seeds sprouted. The seeds are the size of dust. They are open pollinated seeds. I have so many different plants hardy for Wyoming and our dry climate that there really isn't any more new ones to get. So now interested in open pollinated seeds from my own plants.
I have 4 different Delosperma varieties that bloom all summer long. I'm hoping to get something unique from these seedlings. I also collected seeds from, or thought I did, D. 'John Proffitt. It had seed capsules but no seeds.
These are the cutest little succulent seedlings I have ever seen. The largest is about 1/4".
Just looked back and saw, Karen (nutsfor). Even holyhocks and delphiniums growing out in our winter wonderland? Hard to believe. I was glad that none of mine had come up yet, because I thought they'd be killed off by cold, but now I wonder if I did something wrong. Not a hint of a sproutlet in sight! A barren wasteland in my jugs! All 35 of them! (Not quite ready to cry yet, but I might be soon.)
Sown on 2/17/09, I have one Clematis tangutica 'Radar Love', and several Penstemon 'Esprit Mix', just starting to germinate. Both of these have been in and out of the fridge, and my heatless garage several times to stratify. The Clematis came up while still in the fridge. Clematis seeds are very slow and erratic to sprout. Some varieties of Penstemon are the same.
Both were planted in seeding mix. Very small seeds. I probably could have used a covered container full of moist peat and mixed the seeds in. I have since done that with other tiny seeds and it worked.
I've honestly lost track but I don't think she wintersows anything either. I don't think any of her posts are about wintersowing. I do know people who have wintersown it successfully, though I've not tried it.
According to Clother, no cold strat is necessary so it should be fine to sow now.
"Delosperma cooperi, and sutherlandii , Sow at 20ºC (68ºF), germinates in less than two wks "
Ah, good to hear Karen, Thanks! I've been focusing on drought tolerant plants since the last 2 years have been so horribly dry. Those will have to go on next year's list, I'm covered up this year, LOL.
It's one I thought about sowing, too, but sort of forgot about and failed to get seeds. Another was the knee-high Profusion zinnias, also forgot about ordering seeds. Now I'm trying to curb my seed purchases for the year and make do with what I have on hand since I have so many seeds already sitting around.
I wintersowed my first few annuals last night, 8 jugs. One of them was a pack of baby's breath which is at least 4 or 5 years old. It was one of those freebies sent out in the mail by the Natl. Home Gardening Assoc. or something. So I figured "why not".
The knee-high Profusions are haunting me. Park's was the only place that I could find the seeds and it's not one of my favorite seed sources. I couldn't justify paying shipping (though Park's has apparently reduced shipping costs) unless I ordered both red and white. ($9). Hmm...still debating those. Is anyone else WSing the knee-high Profusions?
Karen, are the knee high Profusions different from the regular Profusion series? I'm thinking mine typically stay around 18" or so. I grew Cherry Profusion last year and still have extra seed from those if you'd like some. I plan on wintersowing mine too.
I winter sowed a couple of Profusions that I got from Ella, but I don't think they were knee-highs, as far as I know. They are Profusion Apricot and Profusion Coral Pink. They both are doing well and one already has buds on it. I would guess other varieties of Profusions would WS equally well.
Thanks so much, but I do have seeds for the regular profusion and might well just use those. But thanks for the kind offer.
The knee-high are a newer taller variety which is supposed to lend itself better to cutting. http://www.parkseed.com/gardening/PD/51976/
There is both red and white. (though the pictures look more orange to me than red).
OK, Sharon, I have cornflowers (both dwarf and regular), scarlet flax, zinnia, godetia, and schizanthus, which last is the only one that's new for me. What's newest for me is that I didn't do the cornflower as a specimen plant this year!
blomma, I wish we lived closer together. I think we have a lot in common. Your Iceplant babies are adorable! I like the idea of the milk jugs!
I'm glad to see some of you are having success in your WS! I checked mine yesterday and there are no sprouts. I was even able to walk around my yard and saw some grass turning green! I could even see my raised vegetable garden! The snow melted and we are in the middle of the flood up here in the Red River Valley. We are high and dry, but the growing fields around us has water covering them. The temps were in the high 40's, but WAIT! The rain last night turned into SNOW! I woke up to everything being white AGAIN! That means that we have a sheet of ice under about 3 inches of wet sticky snow! The weather man says the storm will be lingering today!
I have includes a picture of my WS. So cross your fingers and hope they survive!
I do have some good news! My DD and I are involved in a 4H project with daylily seeds and some have sprouted. I also have some Butterfly pea vine and Mina Lobata seeds sprouting in the house!
I hope you all have a good day!
perenniallyme, I'm confident you'll be seeing sprouts soon.
I just came in from separating my sprouted containers from those that haven't. Out of 130 sown so far, 56 have sprouts! Hollyhocks, Helenium, Scabiosa, Lupines, Linaria, Money Plant, Sidalcea, Leeks, Dill, Parsley, Echinacea, Kiss me over the Garden Gate, Thermopsis, Calendula, Wallflower, Caryopteris, Clarkia, Chrysanthemum 'Primrose Gem', Agastache, Vitex, and several varieties of Dianthus, Digitalis, Rudbeckia, Penstemons are all sprouting nicely!
Hemophobic: That should be a safe assumption on the wintersowing forum, but blomma has changed the subject in so many posts that many folks lost track. Hopefully we can get back to wintersowing discussions and keep it there soon. We just need to keep it on track.
but sown some more containers. all were QT sized and only one gallon.
HollyHock Country Romance Mix
Holly Hock Black
[wanted to do some Yellows, but for some reason, i can not find my seeds] **shakes fist**
Limerock Dreams Coreopsis
Hardy Adgeratuim [probably spelled wrong... can't read my own writing some times]
Spicata Wheatstraw Celosia
Rud. Green Wizard
FanFair Gaillardia x grandiflora
[crap... i just heard 1-3 inches of SNOW!! dang, and i thought that was all over with]
anyhoo... i dont think my DH was too pleased that first year, with the ghetto ... but when he saw all the plants, and yes, how much money I didnt spend on plants... i'd actually hear him on the photo talking to his friends about my new "hobby". now he doesnt mind... it;s more like... OH, it's that time of the year again... ???
at least you have a place to "hide" all your containers.
I sat down with DH last night and showed him in one of my garden books all the plants that I"ve been WSing and he was VERY impressed :) Now if this cold spell doesn't kill the baby sproutlets, I'll be more than thrilled! I did throw some poppy seeds in a container and got it outside yesterday before the storm hit as I thought I remembered someone saying that they need a cold spell to get started..hoping I'm right anyway LOL
Chris... in your area... did you just get hit with snow? I saw the beating parts of KS took... it's on the way here, but certainly not that much snow. They are guessing up to 5", but i bet [hope] less than that. with the warm temps coming, what we get should be gone by Monday anyways.
I havent done anymore Ws;ing ... i'm really out of containers.. though i do have nursery pots.
I need to go thru my seeds to see what i still HAVE to do this year. I"m hoping i have more Agastache Rupestris, Sunset Hyssop ... as that is something i can't have enough of.
Terese, they said we'd get anywhere from 3-5 inches here in the OKC metro area and as usual they were totally WRONG! We got a dusting and that was it. The panhandle did get a lot of snow with huge snowdrifts, but ours was more rain than anything. Luckily, it didn't drop below freezing, so that wasn't a problem!
The storm just came through here the last 2 days. We were supposed to even get snow, but just got a light dusting. Thur. night was supposed to be 25* but it only got down to 37*. Last night lows were supposed to be 24* and only got down to 27*. The did cover my deck containers, but not my "out back" containers. They both did fine and not a smidge of difference between those that were covered and those that weren't. Now we are forcasted for lows in the high 30s for the next week. Maybe it will warm up again. :) I have been collecting more containers and am ready to plant out more tender stuff. However I have been so busy and sick I haven't done a thing! OH well, I guess there is still plenty of time.
My 10 yo DS keeps anxiously asking me if we should bring all the WSing containers with sprouts inside. I've been wondering about at least sticking them in the garage. No snow thus far, just icky freezing rain, but it is in the forecast.
Should I cover them, or just let them "tough it out?"
Our local paper had this article posted, with a few tips. Thought I'd share it, though it didn't really tell me anything I didn't know. I need to go brave the rain and shore up my hydrangeas, apparently.
Angie: Give it up. I'm already hopelessly mired in a never-ending wish list. I'll either have to get a second job to support my wishes or you'll soon see me by the side of the road, holding up a sign that says, "Will work for plants"!
Anita, have you wintersown Zinnias this early before? Reason I ask is, I wintersowed one jug of zinnia seed a while ago (will have to look it up as to exactly when) and they got mushed by freezing weather. I had intended to sow zinnias this week, but don't have that many seeds to waste on experimenting! I've been told this is way too early for zinnias; however, I realize the wintersowing process makes a difference, so I am trying to assess when I should actually sow mine. I am a zone warmer than you so I feel I can sort of follow your lead safely! LOL! But experience would help too.
Well, I just planted three more jugs yesterday: Salvia, Mixed Barlow Columbine, and Pansy "Chalon Supreme Wildberry Mixed." I got them outside just in time for them to experience a heavy, wet 6" of snow. Hope that was a good thing! I haven't yet peeked at all my little green sprouts to see how they've fared. I'm almost afraid to look!
Wintersowing is mainly for perennials that require flunctuating temperature in order to sprout, called stratification. Most annuals don't need that and sprout too quickly just to be cut down by freezing weather. Zinnia is a tender annual. Likewise Nasturtium.
Since you don't have seeds to waste, I would hold off sowing them outdoors just prior to the time it is safe for annuals in your climate. That would be around tomato planting time in your area. Or you can start them indoors in jugs, set them out, and just watch the weather. Bring them in if cold weather threatens.
Most annuals usually sprouts quickly in warm temperature. If you want to plant them in jugs, just keep the container where it will not freeze when they sprout.
Well, I think I answered my own question, by going to the WS database, and in zone seven, numerous zinnias are recorded as sown in March and germinated, so I reckon the lid on the jug makes all the difference.
Blomma, I appreciate all your wisdom of experience but honestly, wintersowing is a different method and I had hoped Anita might see my question about prev. experience with Zinnias. I am learning as I go here, though... some things (not all perennials by any means) seem able to withstand the freezing in their jugs, which I would not have expected. I have the impression that WS is a pretty good method of zone pushing for some of this and it is that edge I am exploring right now.
Lets see... my last frost date is roughly May 15th ... so probably in the next few weeks.
I may do some indoors ... though last year i did not have good luck. I think out of 14 seeds, i had 1 or 2 survive.
My neighbor -- who is a zinnia nut ... she takes those big rectangular planters and in May, fills them with seeds and just leaves them. She'll get tons of seedlings. then plants out in June or so, when they are about 4" tall.
Thank you! And I like your neighbor 's method too, Hmmmmm.. ;-)
OK, that was good, thanks for linking the spreadsheet... she in zone 6 has sown several zinnia varieties right around this time of year and they germinated in around 2 weeks (roughly) so I should be okay for this week, actually later than it could be, if the zone measure is even of use here which I also wonder about.
Not to jump in on your conversation, but last year I tried WSing zinnias, starting some indoors to transplant, and direct sowing some. My WS ones got zapped by a late freeze, my indoors ones didn't like being transplanted, but my direct sown ones (which I thought I was starting much too late) just took off and bloomed like crazy until the fall frost got them. I think they germinated in less than a week, and were just covered with blossoms (and butterflies!) in no time!
I think this year I'll just wait and sow them directly where I want them. I have lots of other seedlings started indoors and in WSing jugs, so I'll have plenty to keep me busy without doing extra unnecessary messing with all my zinnias! LOL
Edited to add:
Anita, I love that comparison spreadsheet! I may have to borrow that idea, so I can see at a glance what did well over the course of several years!
I appreciate your jumping in with that! Thanks. I think I am just a bit worried I will not start soon enough to have flowers, that would be such a drag, LOL! But your info comparing the three methods is exactly what I look for to guide my choices.
kyla: Anita's been at this game for a few years, so she knows the ropes.
I am in zone 6 and I sow zinnias anytime around now- late March, or April. Generally, unless the weather gets really warm, zinnias aren't too anxious to sprout. They like heat. Our temp today was in the 30s, low tonight is 30. If they were out there, I think the seeds would sit around and sleep.
That said, marigolds usually won't sprout without heat, either. But I sowed a jug of them last week and today a lot of the seeds show radicle emergence. I stuck that one jug in the garage for the night- no big deal for me. The other 27 jugs, mostly sprouted, are out there in the freeze. The tops of the jugs are attached and flipped closed, but not even taped anymore. I expect them to be OK. The petunias could possibly be damaged but I doubt it.
After you're at this a few years you get a feel for the plants, know who tolerates what. If you are willing to protect sprouted zinnias in frost, you could sow them in January. I just find it easier to wait and not have to bother with them. And once the real spring warmth arrives, my zinnias generally sprout in a few days.
But in your zone 7b, I can't imagine that you have much frost left? When is your last frost date?
I think I put mine out in late May or early June (seems like it was about when school got out, as the kids helped me plant those, and the marigolds), and they were blooming in surprisingly short order. I guess those heat-lovers just take off when the conditions are right!
We had vases of zinnias on the table all summer, and I saved bags and bags of seeds last fall. I've been giving them away like crazy (the early childhood program at our school is having great fun with them!), and am finally down to my last baggie! LOL
Hey there. I see you already have the link to my comparison spreadsheet. I sowed zinnia at this time last year and had 100% success. If I remember correctly, I even planted them out the end of April. Here are my blooms from last year.
We had a cold spell come through and I lost sproutlets in 6 containers: Zinnia and Marigold (my seeds from last summer), French Marigold, Cypress vine, and Love-Lies-Bleeding. I was so aggravated at myself for not covering them.
BUT.. the dinnerplate zinnias are fine and a different marigold that are my own NOID sproutlets are fine.. go figure!
Plus I now have 4 new types of sproutlets, so I almost broke even :) Out of 59 jugs, I have 30 with sproutlets, even with my losses. I'm hoping that some of the seeds that hadn't germinated yet will still sprout for me in those 6 jugs. We'll see :)
Since this is my first WSing experiment, I'll just take notes and remember what NOT to do next time!
Chris, yes, it is those late cold snaps I worry about.
Karen, I believe our last "official" frost date is April 15, but the local word is don't plant out til May 18... not sure what that's about, it has been hard to get clarity about this and I may even be wrong about the zone I am in, as the maps for this section of CA are all over the place! Being somewhat arid and at 3500 feet elevation changes things too.
Terese, we must have similar tastes, because I was just about to ask the same thing! What a pretty collage! I know I took pictures of my zinnias last year, but darned if I can find that folder on my hard drive!
tcs1366, your neighbor who sows the zinnia seeds in rectangular planters in May, is she setting those outside somewhere, or is she keeping them inside? And are those the rectangular seed starting trays? That sounds like a good way to do it. I may try that.
Bookerc1, your direct sowing of the zinnias sounds even better to me. I think that may be the way I will go. Hmmmm... Choices, choices...
Gorgeous zinnias, Anita! I can't wait to see them blooming in my garden this year. This will be my first year trying them. I love the red and white one, too.
For the life of me, i can't recall which thread we were talking about Paint Pens... figured, this one was as good as any... .
I'd been wanting to get the 'fine' tip ones, as mine is sorta wide ... and really didnt want to buy ONE pen due to having to pay shipping... so i took at stab at WallyWorld, as i really dont have a craft store near by.
they have the Painters Paint Markers by Elmers.
I was looking for green, as someone said they used green -- thought that would be nifty...
but they had just about every color but...
so i got Fine Tip Black and a Dual Tip [med and fine] Red.
Prices were roughly 3.50 for the single tip and $5 something for the dual.
Terese: That might have been me that used some green paint pens when I couldn't get the black ones and they worked out better on the soda bottles because once the bottom was filled with black dirt, you couldn't read the writing if it was also in black, so the green worked out well on those. I liked it and I still use it. The black actually shows up better, of course, on the white milk jugs.
I try to stock up at Hobby Lobby when they have paint supplies on sale.