Welcome! Many of us here are wintersowing for the first time this year. We hang out on this thread to discuss any and all questions, comments and happenings along the way. Those of you who are experienced - come help us! : )
We have had rain finally! I did run out in it before dawn this morning to close the lids on some of the jugs that have germinated and that I haven't set out yet. I had mental images of plants and dirt floating out of the containers, because they couldn't drain fast enough. Probably nothing to be concerned about, just didn't want to take a chance on loosing my babies in the deluge. So thankful for the rain! We have been in such a severe drought. I am excited to see how the rain affects all those plants that I have already put in the beds! They always seem to take a huge growth spurt after having that natural drink. We are looking at another 2 days of rain. Yeah!
Jim: I'm not sure how your zone 7b compares to our U.S. zone 7b. My guess is that your cosmos would be fine. Only thing is, they could croak if you get too cold weather after they sprout. If you're Ok with just throwing a blanket over them on really freezing cold nights after they sprout, then all would be fine.
I try to take clues from the weather forecasters, too. True, often they're wrong, but at least they can usually tell the difference between approaching warmer or colder fronts. It got down to at least 27 degrees here last night, maybe colder. Tonight and tomorrow nights supposed to be in the mid to upper 20s too; after that, days 40s to 50s and nights in the 30s. Time permitting I hope to start sowing some tenders like tomatoes and cosmos within the next week. But if they sprout and we get a hard freeze I'll give them extra protection.
I have six jugs sprouted now- ringed bellflower, gaillardia, petunia, Calif. poppy, rudbeckias, and digitalis. They held up fine to lows in the 20s last night with no protection other than their closed milk jugs. They're all things that will stand up to cold weather.
Remember, most things won't sprout until they know it's time. No way would my tomatoes sprout in these temps, it's just too cold. But if I put them out and the days warm and they sprout, I'll just cover with an extra sheet on nights in the 20s.
Well, the zone map says 7b, but we live up the side of a mountain and I notice that our Spring bulbs, for example, always bloom about 2 weeks later than those down in the village, just 3 minute walk down the mountainside!
Regarding cosmos, that was the only container of mine that suffered in the recent cold snap here. All soil was frozen rock hard but all other sproutlets have nicely maintained their viability -- except the barely just germinated cosmos which turned to mush.
They might have survived if I had covered them that first night but no big loss here as everything else is fine and I can resow cosmos easily enough, whew!
Karen, we're still in the cold, so I haven't gone out to check the sproutlets yet. DH covered them for me last night just in case, so now I'm a nervous wreak LOL..
It's like: it's going to be cold, I should cover them. It's going to be rain/snow/sleet, I should leave them uncovered for the moisture. It's going to be cold, I don't want the babies to die. It's going to be rain/snow/sleet, they need a drink. It's going to be cold..It's going to be rain/snow/sleet.. and on and on LOL... so I left them covered :) They've got a big piece of cardboard over them, so they won't get moisture but it will help with the cold. I can always water if I need to (which I've had to do already! It's been a really dry winter.)
Even today, it snowed for about 30 mins and didn't stick to the ground.. and that's the FIRST snow for the whole winter! Not good..
I'll check the plants tomorrow afternoon and report back :)
Two more containers with sprouts!! Allyssum and osteospermum (?sp)--we seem to be getting similar weather: days in the 40's and nights in the 20's. Maybe 50 by Saturday. I gave in and raked around the bulbs hoping for the best. I just needed to do SOMETHING outside! And did more WSing. I think I'm addicted...
I don't remember if this question was answered, but I think someone asked it a week ago: with leaves as compost, is there any problem with disease or mold?? My SO mowed over the leaves to chop them up and we used them on many of the flower beds. It doesn't look too bad and I thot I'd just leave them there for the plants to grow thru. But the whole leaves look kinda messy and seem matted over the other beds so I raked them off.
we've had another roller coaster week of weather here. i worked outside in short sleeve tshirt tuesday and tonight we had sleet and snow. i've not been home before dark the last two nights, but I'll be out there tomorrow even if it's with a flashlight looking for any progress.
here's my thought...if a perrenial doesn't sprout from my efforts, then my jugs will be ready for a 2nd wave...with annuals. LOL i have plenty.
congrats on the blue flax, Jim. I meant to add sooner, your excel sounds WAY better than mine.
I want an assistant, a maid, a nurse for my dad, AND now a data entry clerk. =)
Well, Cosmos was one of the things I had sprouted ... it had gotten planted by mistake because I didn't think I was planting annuals... but I have that and either the red or blue flax (whichever is annual) in my jugs. Both have sprouted of course! It has been raining, dreary and cold here but not to freezing... so maybe they are ok. Not sure what the weather is supposed to do tonight!
I have some jugs that are almost "wall to wall" sprouts - now I understand about the HUNK of seedlings thing!! and then I have other jugs that have one little sprout in it. I have some that are barely mm's tall and others that are already up several inches ... and some that have NO SIGN of life at all!! Odd how they all perform differently after being planted on the same day.
I hear ya Nannie on all the "help"... don't know about at your place, but there is NO HOPE here!! ^_^
GB, I hear ya, I emit a groan quite often after closely eying for sprouts, LOL.
Gen, I think both Flax should be fine unprotected, but the Cosmos are frost sensitive once they've sprouted. It could be covered or brought in. Even within the same species I've had containers germinate at strikingly different rates, I think that's normal. Well, for that matter I've even had seeds in an individual container germinate very sporadically, spread out over months sometimes.
Me, too. I worked yesterday and only peeked into my jugs quickly yesterday. I only have about 20 jugs out so far but have at least one or 2 sprouts in about half of them now. I'll do a more thorough check today.
I'm really, really late to join this thread, so please forgive my dumb questions. I take it ya'll are setting seeds in milk jugs OUTSIDE, inside large plastic boxes with the lids on? If so, WOW, you guys have cojones!!
I've just set out seeds INSIDE here in Colorado Springs, and have several trays in the fridge (delphs, penstemon, and columbine). Have lots of others out as well, including blackberry lillies, black hollyhocks, and lots and lots of veggies. The weather here in Colorado Springs has been really bizarre (waaaaaaaay too warm for March!), so I've wondered if I should buck up my courage and stick some of the seeds outside.
Thoughts? Too late to start?
Also, has anyone had any luck with setting out Sea Holly seeds (inside or outside) this late? I didn't realize they needed to go outside in the fall, and don't want to have wait that long!
Here is the list of jugs showing little green things.. in some cases, just barely showing out of the soil LOL .. but that counts to me!!
1. Blanket Flower
2. Dwarf Sunflower "Teddy Bear"
3. Yellow Marigolds (my seed, IDNK)
4. Orange Zinnia (same)
5. Mammoth Sunflower
6. Red Cypress Vine (Cardinal Climber)
7. White Cypress Vine
8. Carpet of Snow (TONS!)
9. French Marigold
10. Purple Coneflower
11. Dinnerplate Zinnia (3 different colors were given to me by Merpeg. I find it interesting that only 2 colors have sprouted so far even though all 3 jugs were planted the same day.)
I also have two cat litter jugs (20 lb size that I laid on their sides) full of Lazlo's Mystery Mix and both have sproutlets.
There's one jug that has Apocynaceae Nerium (Oleander) in it and it has one sprout in it, but it's different looking, so I'm wondering if a stray weed seed got into the jug. The sprout is very narrow and pointed. I'll have to go see if I can find out what the sproutlets should look like for this one.
So, not too bad and I'm planning on doing around another 5-10 jugs this weekend. As of right now, I have 40 jugs and about a fourth of them have sprouted. But of course, I didn't WS all 40 on the same day- these were done over a period from Feb 1st through Mar 7th.
Hi Karen! Welcome! I hope people can answer a few of your questions. This is my first year doing this. I am trying to fill up an acre of landscaped property that had been neglected for years. When I read about wintersowing it just made sense.
A helpful site to read more information is the www.wintersown.org site.
As for me I have put seeds in milk jugs, juice containers, animal cracker plastic containers, and huge pretzel containers... (I am lucky to have 5 little guys who produce a huge amount of recyclable material!) I plant the seeds and put them out in the shade on the north side of the house. No boxes, no lids for me. I make drainage holes in the containers and make sure they have enough soil to hold water. From what I understand this would be the same effect as the flats you have in your refrigerator. The ones that need cold stratification will be frozen and thawed naturally in the weather.
We are gettting weird weather too. Much warmer than usual. I am still planting. Our nighttime temps are still in the 30s, so I figure they will at least get some of the cold benefits. I am waiting a bit to sow the annuals, just because we usually get some late hard frosts. You should try it!
I don't know anything about Sea Holly though, maybe someone else can help there.
LOL! I just planted out my spinach in a large window box shaped planter, rearranged all the jugs so they look nice (the germinated ones) -- a few are just barely barely showing germination so I separated them to one side, and then another smaller group of ones that are showing no signs as yet.
WSed a second sowing of thyme, lavender, chamomile, salvia officinalis, and a few other things...
My parsley is germinated! My lavender is doing splendid well, oh joy!!!!!!
Karen, if you have milk jugs (well, I use water jugs but the same thing) you do not need the plastic Walmart type tote containers. The milk jugs do it all. Do go to the site Lissa linked and also to the sticky in this forum, for pretty much everything you need to know.
Yeah it is scary at first til you see how well it works.
I have about 50 jugs done so far and I would estimate that at least 75% of them have sprouted... I haven't made a list yet. The cosmos and some other annuals seemed to have survived this recent cold snap just fine... not sure how they will handle all this rain though... They are waterlogged!!
I no.w have 23 jugs sprouting out of 181
Siberian Wallflower (2)
Gloria Jean Yarrow
Blue Grass Pea
Citrus Cocktails Marigolds
Pot of Gold Marigolds (3)
Mexican Hats (2)
Black Eyed Susans (2)
Marble Arch Salvia
Shirley Poppies (3)
Well, I finally have another container sprouting seeds. That would be my Achillea 'Summer Pastels'. Yeehaw!!!!!! I'm thrilled!!!! Still waiting for more to sprout. Only 2 have sprouted so far. I will be sowing more tomorrow.
We woke up to everything covered in ice yesterday so while I was taking pictures, I peeked in my jugs...I'd say easily 2/3rds have sprouted, but I didnt get to look at names. I made another 6 or 7 today, but i'm still plugging along. needing more containers is the draw back next to not enough time at home this week.
i think i'll try gallon freezer bags but I need to secure something for them to sit in. maybe tomorrow.
It probably depends on what type of seeds you have sown. Some are just early risers and some will really need the heat to get going. I have all mine in the shade and we are still in the 30s at night. While I do have some germination (14 or so). I also have over 115 containers planted. Most of them, are sleeping away.
I just only scanned the rest of the containers... but it honestly has not been warm enough for anything to sprout.
though - yesterday when i was out doing some more spring clean up in the mud... i did see some tiny growth.
I can't recall what was in that area last year, aside from Zinnias -- though it could be likely that they are weeds of some sort... time will tell. But there were clusters of them. It is possible that i just shook seed heads in that area.
I just wish the earth would dry out a bit so i could get back there and do some real work.
CgC -- I'll echo what LissaD said... as i just posted, i only have 1 container with sprouts...and they are poppies... which usually germinates first. So, i have an additional 110 that are sleeping.
Have faith that Ole' Mom Nature knows what she's doing.
and the thing is... it's your first year and you just expect failure because It just seems so easy but that's just the thing... it is easy... just sit back and wait, and soon [may or june] you may be cursing yourself for sowing so many containers.
Remember, that many seedlings won't sprout until soil temps are above a certain temp AT NIGHT for several days running. It could just be that you're still too cold. We've had a couple of very nice sunny days with temps in the 80s already (ugh!) which caused most of my seeds to sprout. Then this past week, we were close to freezing again. Had to drag all my jugs in since I didn't want to lose my tender sprouts.
Hi Claudia I got the seed you sent me yesterday. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!! Gonna d-mail you.
Today I found that my maltese cross has germinated. I believe I am way ahead of last year for the germination count. It does work.
I have the same feelings as CrabgrassCentrl. Only the Papavers sprouted here. Well Papavers will sprout anyway. I winter sowed more than 300 species and if I read that even some in zone 5 have sprouts, I have doubts. Still I'm hopefull, lot of the containers are on the north side, so it might take extra time. When does one have to bring them in another position (south/west/east)
You northerners just have to wait longer than folks in the south. I'm sort of in the middle of the two and I have sprouts popping daily. Of the 20 jugs I've sown, 11 (I think) had sprouts as of yesterday. Some only have one or two seedlings visible but some are starting to cover the surface. Lots of sprouts visible in the rud Cherry Brandy, the one I was most anxious to try. I expected the Calif Poppies to be the early birds but only 3 seedlings were visible in those yesterday.
Northers, relax, the green wave is spreading your way and I predict that it will be very, very soon. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, but your wait is almost over.
Wintersown ruds are usually among my earliest sprouters. They're among my favorites for wintersowing because they work so reliably well. I never have doubts that's they'll work well and show up early. They sprouted on Mar. 9. If you didn't see it I posted a pic http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/960973/
A lot more seedlings are visible now, though. I've sown 3 jugs of rud hirtas and all show germination now.
I've never even heard of most of these plants here...heck, I never heard of most of my seeds I planted =) I've accumulated them in seed trades. oddly enough, most of mine are blue.
wooohoooo I'll have a blue garden after all.
rain again today. maybe i can work on my spreadsheet.
Almost all my rudbeckias have sprouted except for the Cherry Brandy... I am TRYING to be patient and hope that it is just a little 'slow' ... I have some blue and pink chaste trees planted as well - and NO sign of life from them. Anyone have any experience with WS those? I just wondered how long it will take them. Some jugs have hundreds of tiny green SPECKS just starting to germinate and some jugs have little sprouts probably 2 inches tall... Hope those don't get too carried away - we still have several weeks to go before they can go into the ground...
By the way, my husband asked me the other days WHY I planted these in jugs as opposed to just planting all these seeds in the ground where I wanted the plants. I didn't have a good answer for him... anyone??
gen2026, My main reason that I decided to give winter sowing a try is when the plants are young, I have trouble telling the difference between a weed and a desired plant when I direct sow in the ground. I'm hoping that transplanting seedlings from my milk jugs into the ground will help me with this problem. I also think that having a little more controlled environment (moisture, protection, good soil) helps with the germination process. Those are my reasons. (And it allows you to garden in the middle of winter!)
Yeah! It fills that need to garden in January when you are starting to feel like you will never be able to grow anything ever again.
I also agree with the telling the seedlings that you want from the weeds.
Reason 1 : I had bulbs and other things that were supposed to be planted in the Fall, but we got hard freezes and so they all had to wait (most just went in in the last week or so after spending some time in pots on the frozen deck). If I had had to plant all my 120 varieties of perennials I have WS'd, it would not have happened!!!
Reason 2 : If I could not have gardened all winter, I'd have driven my wife nutso (well, OK, maybe she is anyway, since she married me!, but I mean even worse!)
Reason 3 : I keep getting flower seeds from people I meet on Dave's. I had to do SOMETHING with them!
Reason 4 : Although I have lots of "space" to plant flowers, I don't yet have any "place" (i.e. beds) for them. This gives me time to prepare the beds, knowing that I actually have lots of plants to put into them.
Reason 5 : If I get just 6 plants from each of my jugs, I'll have over Euros 1,000 worth of plants. Since I try to keep my out-of-pocket expenses for each of my gardening enthusiasms to Euros 50, I am WAY ahead here!
Reason 6 : (I saved the best for last!)
I'm a vegetable grower. This is absolutely the first time since I was about 12 years old (and that's almost 50 years ago, folks!) that I have tried to grow flowers from seed. Without the "idea" of winter sowing --- and, especially, without the lively and cordial exchange among all of you on this thread (in all its permutations) --- I would almost certainly not taken the leap.
I have mine trained pretty good on the "where do you want the hole dug" when I come home with a new plant in tow... but this WS is new and he wasn't quite sure I hadn't lost my mind!! But he is amazed at the little sprouts growing in the jugs!! One has WALL TO WALL seedlings... Loves Lies Bleeding I believe but not sure... and he said HOW MANY SEEDS did you put in there?? I said, I don't have a clue, but OBVIOUSLY a LOT !! ! ^_^ It has sure been a fun experiment! Can't wait to see if I can actually get SOME of these to maturity and have blooms to show for all this work!!
Checked my containers today and this is what I have sprouting!
Tomatos I got from WS forum
Brad's Black Heart
Cherry tomato trio
Yellow daisies I collected from my beds
Bee and Butterfly mix
Black and Blue salvia
Flowering Crab Apple
Monarda Raspberry Delight
Deb's Special Mix (this one has sprouts climbing out of the top of the container!)
Pink Crepe Myrtle from a tree I love in my yard
Globe Amaranth Strawberry Fields
Purple and white Swan Cone Flowers
Sunshine Tree (thanks Lazlo)
Lazlo's Mystery Mix :O)
Texas Star Hibiscus
Tritoma Red Hot Poker
Orange Profusion Zinnias
Red double Zinnias
"So, not too bad and I'm planning on doing around another 5-10 jugs this weekend."
so my 5-10 turned into 15 containers this weekend LOL.. I'll post them on the other thread.
Funny.. I was given some seeds in a swap here on DG and one of them simply said "Strawberry Fields". I had no clue what I had received. So I just had an EUREKA moment when bobyrd said that Globe Amaranth Strawberry Fields had sproutlets. :)
Something else to WS... woohoo!! I hadn't up to this point.. I have SOOOOOOO many seeds yet that I haven't touched!
I thought it a little tricky. It didn't germinate until it got pretty warm as I remember, grew slowly. A little tricky to place in a bed because it only did well if it got full sun, but had to be placed near the middle of a bed because it was 2 feet tall. Pretty but wirey, it needed support in heavy rain or wind. Sure is pretty, though.
I'm in it for Jim's Reason #5, too. WSing gives me a way to get the most for my gardening buck. But even more importantly, for a gal on a budget, WSing is instant gratification! It would have taken YEARS for me to fill up our flower beds with plants from the nursery without going over budget. And while I know (or actually just figured out a month ago) I am going to have to wait a year for my perennials to take off, I am going to have lovely flowers all over for pennies a plant! I think WSers win.
Seems I always get better germination rates from wintersown seeds than those I direct sow. I think birds, insects, and other critters often dine on some of the direct sown seeds, and there are often chances of heavy spring rains washing some away. Guess those are the biggest reasons for me. I typically see germination in wintersown containers some time before direct sown seeds, so it gives me a bit of a head start too. I also grow a lot of perennials, many of which prefer cold stratification, and wintersowing is the easiest way for me to provide them that.
I'm also in it for the money! LOL A package of seeds is cheap and it's even cheaper if you trade seeds or are given seeds. Buying plants is expensive and if I sow 20 seeds and get 10 plants (or more), then I've hit the motherlode!! What I don't plant in my own garden, I can give away or take to a plant swap or always pot up to give away later.
Stephanie, it has been such a money saver for me too. The cost of all the lights, energy, pots, soil, pest control, etc. to keep seedlings going indoors (let alone space) adds up pretty quick for plant hogs like so many of us. I still do all the indoor stuff too for warmth lovers and slow growers, but no matter how many lights I add, its still a space race, LOL.
LOL ... well, the money issue is definitely why I got into the WS and the RU's too for that matter... not to mention you meet great people here on DG!! But I have a 4 acre yard that I am trying to landscape and I had assumed that I would never be able to afford to do the things that I wanted to the yard - with a kid in college and 2 more headed that way soon... there isn't a lot in the "yard" budget. LOL But thanks to DG and the RU's I am beginning to see real progress in my yard... in only a year's time. And, if this WS is successful, this year will mean much larger strides in obtaining the flower beds, etc that I want in my yard.
I know for sure that my Strawberry Fields hasn't germinated yet because that is one of the ones my daughter has been anxiously watching... and she doesn't know what it looks like - she just liked the name! ^_^ But maybe that watched pot wont boil...
I've never gotten re-seeded Cosmos either! Hhhmmm.
One year, I planted those "Strawberry Fields" Gomphrena because my cousin owns an historic house in Maryland that was originally built by our oldest traceable American ancestor and these were in the garden beds that had been reproduced from old journals. I loved them. Unfortunately, they never grew for me. Maybe I'll try again next year by WS!
there are many bit "Swaps" per year, or you do individual swaps/trades with other DG'ers.
if you've seen mention of "Piggy Swap" a few of us in this thread participated in that.
I'ts like a seed "free for all" that only costs you shipping ... iv'e gotten hundreds of packets of seeds - probably well over 300 last year, and i tried to keep it to 50 this year. It's a lot of fun, and you learn about so many different types of plants.
I have those germinating too Jim, Limnanthes douglasii, I have never actually seen them but I thought they looked nice. I think I got mine from Value Seeds. I just browse their pages over and over.
I left the most recent containers I wintersowed out on my deck. This is my east facing deck which gets about 50% sun, then is shaded. The addition of sun really is crazy, and some warm weather. I have a bunch of containers that have sprouts. I think I will bring up the rest of my containers and get them in an area where they will get the partial sun. I am not sure what my husband is going to think of the containers out there. LOL.
What a bright cheerful looking plant. Looks like a winner to me! Maybe you can harvest some seeds to share with the rest of us come fall. I purchased a few seeds from the coop on DG's and then participated in the piggy seed swap that was absolutely overwhelming. I think I ended up getting 60+ seeds from there ... maybe 70...I lost count. Then I also got some seeds from the Newbie seed swap - or actually seeds for newbies since we didn't send anything in return. It was awesome too... in addition to those 2 - prior to me participating in those 2 I also traded with a few individuals for seeds on DG... so all in all I probably have over 100 types of seeds to try out this year and the vast majority are perennials - but there are a few annuals. I didn't realize that it might be next summer before I got blooms out of the perennials, but I was trying to get permanent additions to my yard. I guess as long as I have a few blooms this summer, it will still look better with things actually growing and filling in places.
I grew poached egges a few years ago. Valueseeds offered them for 1cent, so I knew a lot of wintersowers who grew them. They were cute, bloomed early summer. I had them in part sun and once our real hot summer weather arrived, those poached eggs didn't like it and bolted early. (They really did look like cooked eggs then...). They might do better in a cooler, less humid climate than mine or in less sun. The were cute little things while they lasted, though.
A couple of years ago, I got 3 of the "Cosmic Mix" Cosmos. They were orange, yellow, and an orangey red. They were shorter, only growing to about 2'. They reseeded like CRAZY!! I'm *still* pulling out seedlings!
I'd have to say that in my zone, they do not reseed heavily. Yes, they produce TONS of seeds, most of which i gather in the fall ... though many probably still hit the ground... i only have a few plants the following year - many of which could have come in a seed mix i scattered in the Spring.
I'll know for sure this year... i had the pink ones [sensation mix] and i am not sowing any this year... only white.
[though i may have sown some NoID"s, but i'll make sure they are in a different bed than last year, so i will know the difference.]
YEAH, I have sproutlets too. I moved some of the containers to the eastside and after a few days 50° these ones sprouted:
Dianthus deltoides Arctic fire
Leucanthemum superbum Crazy Daisy
Papaver somniferum Drama queen
Papaver somniferum Hens and chicks
Papaver somniferum paeoniiflorum
Now I have confidence all the others will sprout too.
I had an old packet of Mixed California Poppies that I just never got around to sowing, and it was supposedly "no good" after December 2007, but I WS'd them and guess what? Today, the jug is full of seedlings!
Out of 22 containers I have 8 that have sprouted. I would call it 9 but the nicotiana that has sprouted is down the side of the container. That is a first for me. Guess it was warmer there as there are none yet on the top. I know there will be...yes I'm a believer
Melissa, I'm glad the Lavatera sprouted. In my zone they only selfsow a bit in mild winters, so I suppose WS is only an option in zone 7 or higher. Hope de Hesperaloe Parviflora will sprout. Well, if it doesn't, you sent me enough seeds to try it another way. I would love to grow that plant.
I'm surprised you have Nicotiana sprouting in zone 5b. They only selfsowed here once in a very mild winter. Which species did you WS?
Jonna... i got some lavatera from a gal in Canada, and mine has already germinated too. not sure what it is, but looked cool from the photos.
Well, last year i also did some Nicotiana, the White one... can't recall the actual name... but for the life of me, i can not find any info in my notes... I did have 1 make it, which was planted out. I'll have to see if i get any volunteers this year. and i think i gave away all my seeds in the swap.
tcs, Melissa and I are talking about Lavatera trimestris an annual. But maybe I'll have to give it a try next year to WS them. Had no room in the house this year to sow them.
About the Nicotiana, the N. sylvestris is white. I did sow that one indoors, but if it is succesful in zone 5, it must be here too. The Nicotiana's I spoke about are the Nicotiana affinis and the Nicotiana tabacum.
Yep Therese, that's the one Jonna sent. Technically, I don't know if anything I started recently can be called truly wintersowing... LOL, more like spring sowing in jugs. Our temps have been in the seventies pretty consistently and 40s at night. Since I sowed these 2 weeks ago we have only had one mild frost. In fact I am getting ready to sow the rest of my annuals and tender type stuff.
We typically get 1 or two more frosty nights in April, but this year it is hard to tell. If it came down to it, I could easily protect them for one or two nights.
I started Nicotiana sylvestris 'Only the Lonely' indoors a few years back, and it self-sows everywhere, and this is from one plant that I put out. This time last March, I still had about a foot of snow on the ground, and they still came up. Haven't seen hardly any snow this year! I'm dreading the invasion.
stephanietx, don't know how familiar you are with butterfly weed, but it has become one of my favorites. Nice big splash of orange through summer and fall.
I stumbled across this thread a couple of weeks ago, and it all sounded so easy. I started 27 milk jugs about a week ago, as last freeze is still a month away. Figured easier than DS, and haven't had a lot of success with some of the ones I started indoors. Days have warmed up alot for this time of year, but nights still hover around freezing. Hope I didn't get started to late. If so, I'll be prepared for next year!
I did a quick check of my jugs yesterday and have a few more that have sprouted but I noticed that right in the middle of the jug I had lost some sprouts where they had been growing. One jug in particularly it was very obvious because the jug had been completely covered with hundreds of sprouts and not there is about a 3" gap right in the middle where they are dead. Not sure if it from the recent days of rain (since it would be right where the rain would fall) or the recent dip in temps... temps are back up now so whatever is left should continue to do well. I noticed this in a couple of different jugs but not all - just wondered if anyone else had ever noticed that happening??
Yeah it only happened in 3 - 4 of my approx 50 that I have done. Maybe that plant was more susceptible or maybe they caught more water?? I guess if all the others make it in the jug I will be fine... just hated to see that I had already lost some!
I don't know what the name of the nicotiana is as I got it in a RR last year. Last year I didn't get a sprout and what I saw today is little green things down below the dirt in the grape boxes. It has to b e a germinated seed but will probably not grow as they are kind of far down about and inch and a half. That is why I am hoping I will have some. I'll let you all know and I hope I do get some to self seed that would be great. I think I could pull the self seeded ones out. Couldn't be worse that verbena bonansieras?sp and I love them.
Quite a few of the nicotiana sprouts. I didn't like gangly plants before but I find a quality in them that I like now. The jury will be out on this until I grow it and then I will know if I like it.BTW I now have 9 sprouted containers out of 21.
Oh Terese So sorry about your Lavatera trimestris. Don't know what it is but hate that you think it is gone. It was not quite that cold here this morning somewhere in the 30s.
Kyla I have not got dill to sprout. Last year no sprouts and so far this year none but it is early.
I just checked mine for the first time in 3 days and now have 4 new jugs sprouting little sproutlets ..YAY!!
I now have:
Dwarf Sunflower "teddy bear"
my yellow Marigolds
my orange Zinnias
Red cypress vine
White cypress vine
Carpet of snow
Red French Marigold
Dinnerplate Zinnias- 2 diff colors (3rd still hasn't come up yet!)
2 jugs of Lazlo's Mystery Mix
Cosmos (mixed colors)
Lupines (Gallery Blue and "Russells hybrid mix" (which I bought at a store)
I'm pretty excited about all of these, but there's a few stubborn ones that I'll be REALLY disappointed if they don't sprout!
Also, I saw a couple of jugs that look like they have a light smattering of green algae over the top of the soil. What do I need to do about those??
I do WSing to save money, too, like so many of you here do. Also because I don't have a greenhouse and I don't have room indoors to sow. Oh, I could sow in my basement, but as gemini_sage mentioned, it's too costly for all the equipment needed for that. Maybe someday I will set up something in the cellar, but not now. Also, having to harden off many seedlings is something I don't have time for. At least the ones grown in outdoor, covered containers don't need that done to them.
I checked my containers today, and I have new stuff sprouted. Here's what's up:
Jim: Glad to hear you got a sprout on my double ruds. I sowed one jug of it and new seedlings are appearing in there daily. I hope you'll see more of them soon, and let me know if you get any doubles.
I really wanted to try a few more of them in my yard but honestly don't know where I'm going to squeeze these things. To compound matters, I gave away a lot of plants last fall and moved others to new spots. I made sure to label everything, but winds have been so fierce this winter that many of the labels were blown right out of the ground and blew away. So I don't even know where many of my perennials should emerge, hence I don't know where I can stick new ones.
I sowed a few jugs of annuals tonight. Weather is supposed to get colder tonight after storms, so I don't expect them to sprout any time soon. At least I hope not because we still have lots of time for freezing weather here in Ohio. I'll just have to give them protection if that happens.
Until I added to my jug count tonight, I had sown 20 jugs and had sprouts in 15 of them.
I don't use jugs, I use my refrigerator to give seeds the stratification they need, and it works great, also quicker! No oversowing and can plant the sprouted seeds in flats with plenty of space beween. No planting in a bunch and have wasted seeds. No worry over weather. Can stratify seeds all year long.
I sow using the Deno method. A moist kitchen paper towel containing the seeds, then placed in a ziplock baggie and stored in the fridge for those seeds that need the cold treatment. Stored at room temp for those that don't. Works like a charm every time.
I nicked and soaked Hibiscus seeds then placed in paper towel. They sprouted in 2 days. The seeds were 3 years old. The first time I tried sowing from the same package, I sowed in a flat with seeding mix. One only sprouted. Now, I have 12 seedlings.
All the seedling in the photo were sown by the Deno method and transferred to flats or 6-packs. I have 2 more trays full that were sown the same way. I started sowing on Feb 18.
Larger seeds that need more fluntuating temperature, I sow in my coldframe in the fall. I leave them in Mother Nature's hands. They will germinate when conditions are right for the variety I sowed.
Here is what I woke up to on Monday. 3/23 My coldframe is covered with a foot of snow. The day before, we had 60+F degrees and I was digging up a new border. My garden fork is still standing in my border surrounded with snow. Crazy Wyoming weather. Perfect for seeds in the coldframe.
When a root have already emerged, yes it does matter. Why put the stress on a plant and force the root to grow in a different direction. I have notice with all my seeds sprouting that roots emerge from a specific location on a seed. Roots don't just sprout from wherever. This is what can't be seen when you use jugs or flat to sow in. All that is seen then, is when it breaks the top soil. When sown in soil, the seed lays flat and roots can grow from either end and will automatically grow downwards.
Actually, the "birth" of a sprouting seed is extremely interesting to watch. The photo proves my point. You can see that the root is emerging from the same end on all the seeds. None from the rounded end. These are Scabiosa seeds.
There are many ways to start seeds. Some folks use a greenhouse or cold frame, some do indoors under lights, some use the refrigerator and/or Deno method for cold strat. These are all effective methods for seeds starting without a doubt. I believe there is a seed starting forum on Dave's specifically designed for chat on these subjects.
However, the focus of this forum is wintersowing. What is Winter Sowing? From wintersown.org:
"Winter Sowing is an easy germination method that starts many seedlings for just pennies. During Winter seeds are sown into mini-greenhouses that you make yourself from recyclables. After sowing, the mini-greenhouse is placed outside to wait for the end of Winter. The seeds will begin to germinate at their own right time when weather warms."
I see nothing wrong with mentioning other methods on this forum, but all current threads have drifted to cold frames and Deno method and things totally unrelated to wintersowing. Can't we get back to regularly scheduled programming, wintersowing?
I don't think any of my tenders have yet sprouted (not even my Sweet Peas!!! The Poached Egg Plant and the Gazanias are probably the most "tender" of what has come up. Even the Red Sails Lettuce can take a bit of frost! I have a 2nd sprout of your Rudbeckias, but I have moved that tray to the greenhouse along with what looks like my first daylilly sprout. I am getting REAL tired of Winter. It's a good thing I rented the rototiller over the weekend instead of for yesterday as was originally planned!!
Well, I thought that maybe I had started to late in WS. Should have known better for crazy Colorado!! Tomorrow, we are expecting up to a foort of snow here in Denver, and have already had 19" in the mountains(not Denver) for last three days. Low temps, at night, have been around 30*, but will hit low teens Thur and Fri night, with low 30* for the high. Guess I did get things going on time. LOL You guys to the east of CO, look out...
Jim: I'm glad you got another sprout in the ruds. I think they'd be fine with the weather, though. I've never lost one (rud hirta) to cold. Actually, maybe rain/snow would increase germination? I don't know, just guessing. I hope you get more sprouts. I've got a lot of them, but they're really tiny. Not enough warmth here for much growth yet.
We got some much-needed rain here overnight and I'm hoping I'll see more sprouts soon on the five slow-pokes.
This winter sowing thing is so amazing. Most of my containers have sprouted.
Here's what's come up so far:
1. Painted Daisy "single mix"
2. Alyssum "Wonderland Citron"
3. Alyssum "Aphrodite Purple"
4. Alyssum "Golf Pure White"
5. Alyssum "Golf Violet"
6. Lupine "Gallery Pink"
7. Lupine "The Governor" these look like they might be dying.
8. Geranium "Vision Violet"
9. Geranium "Vision Light Pink"
10. Maiden Pinks
11. Larkspur "Kaleidescope MIx"
12. Blue Bedder Salvia
13. Papaver orientales "Princess Victoria Louise"
14. Papaver orientales "Pizzicato"
15. Dianthus amurensis "siberian blues"
16. Matthiola incana (I'm really excited about these. They are from Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello, and are supposed to be tall white double stocks).
17. Papaver bracteatum "great red"
18. Papaver orientales "brilliant red"
19. Leucanthemum x superbum 'Alaska' (2 containers)
20. Leucanthemum x superbum 'Crazy Daisy"
21. Larkspur "Blue Cloud"
22. Digitalis purpurea 'Excelsior'
23, Digitalis purpurea "Camelot Rose"
25. Cypress Vine
27. Zinnia "Bright Border Mix"
28. Zinnia "Envy"
31. Campanula carpatica
32. Bella Astilbe
33. Hosta Mix
34. Lobelia Crystal Palace
I'm still waiting on some others that aren't showing any signs of germination yet:
(snapdragons, echinacea, stokes aster, zinnia pinwheel mix, 3 different columbines, 2 different delphiniums, bells of Ireland, alchemilla mollis, verbena bon., texas blue bonnet, and dame's rocket).
I'm totally hooked on this. It's so easy, and so rewarding.
Congratulations, Pam. You have quite a list. There's nothing better than going out and seeing all that green in your first year. I can tell you that each year there's still excitement at germination time but first year is tops. Kind of like you can't believe it's really going to work until you see it with your own eyes.
You'll be happy that you gave this a try. Your life may never be the same, consumed with wintersowing all year.
winter time- sowing
spring- planting out
summer-more sowing, seed collecting
fall- seed collecting, preparing beds for next year's babies.
all year- buying and trading seeds
Just wait, Jim. You're another newbie who has no idea how habit forming this can be. Next year you might be right there with so many of us, going bankrupt from your addiction to - not drugs- but seeds.
And when your wife threatens to kick you out of the house the next time she walks out and trips over a wintersown container, don't say you weren't warned!
Hi all! I am visiting my father in FL--which is about 40-50 degress warmer than home... I can't wait to see if anything else has sprouted at home. Well, maybe I can wait a little longer! Nice to be warm!
I didn't realize there was an annual lavatera. I am so confused about all the mallows. I love the looks but am really worried about the perrennials being invasive in CT. Is there a way to definatively answer this question? I went online to the state invasive plants list--but it seems not to have the info I am wondering about. Any thoughts?
We haven't had a good freeze since the first week in March or so. I checked the weather last night and it was supposed to get down to 25* . So, 30 I can handle, 28 is pushing it, 25 plus or minus a few degrees makes me really nervous. LOL. Now I have experimented with two exposures for my wintersowing. The first 50 or so containers are on the north side of the house. They are in 100% bright shade. No direct sun at all. They have been out there since Feb and I am pretty confident anything out there will be just fine. BUT my second set of containers were sown in March, are on an east facing deck and get full morning sun and partial shade from about 2 o'clock on. They have germinated quickly and haven't dealt with any freezing temps hardly. The daytime temps have been in the 70s and the nights in the 40s and I even have tomatoes out there. So I have to admit, before I went to bed last night I threw a blanket over the ones that had sprouted on the deck... *hiding under the blanket*.
Turns out it only got down to 30 and there isn't even frost on the cars. Whew! But still, I realized what a wimp I really am when it comes to wanting these plants to live. Over the last few weeks of warm weather I have had significant germination. I will have to update my spreadsheet. So now that they are up, I really am kind of babying them. :)
Lissa ... my first year i was a nut. constantly out there moving them around, in the sun, out of the sun, covering for really cold weather... i still lost a few tenders [but that was before i knew not to sow tenders in the dead of Feb]
this year, since i have them all in boxes ... i still move them... i can move them to the edge of the patio [til DH put the furniture back out] but into the sun, so they warm up quicker. If i know it's gonna be a cold night, i make sure 'single' containers [like the big 3# cottage cheese containers] are in the middle of all the boxes for more protection. And if there are seedlings, i'll put the covers back on if i took them off for a sunny afternoon.
so -- this is my 3rd yr, but i still baby them a bit.
I just counted and I have 53 out of 115 sprouted. For those of us worried about Delphiniums... I have Delphinium Ajacis up, but not the Black and Whites that I got from Jonna. I am really hoping those make it. My Larkspur Gentian Blue is finally up. I also have Canterbury Bells that have sprouted. YAY! There was also some discussion about Columbines. I have two varieties that are spouted. One is the giant Blue Columbine. The other is an Aquilegia Vulgaris "Magpie". I still have a few others (the Barlow ones) that haven't sprouted.
I am quite happy with these new arrivals.
I am most surprised by my morning glories. None of them have sprouted?
Lissa I share your feelings about freezing temps and when we had the night down in low twenties recently I also covered everybody up! And t hen left everybody uncovered last two nights when it got down only to 30 or so... but I was nervous about it. Still, so far so good.
Good to know about Morning Glories, I too was wondering why mine had not shown any signs.
Newest sproutlet on my watch is Salvia Officinalis, which is exciting as it took so long!
Hey, Jim, my foxglove are showing too, well two out of three varieties... so far so good is my motto. ;-)
Yeah, I figure, I have planted out 127 containers (131 as of today) and have solid growth in 28 [uncertain signs in another 4], so I'm running 20%.
And. let's look at this : I should easily (Inshallah) get a "6-pack" from each sprouted container : so, at my local cost (assuming that I could buy most of these, and the fact is, I could not; I could only buy more "generic" versions; and some of what I have up are real rarities!) that's Euros 200.00 plus worth of plants; and I'm still working on about Euros 100 worth of inputs.
In some cases, I'll get more than a "six-pack". In some cases, I'll actually get only one or two plants; but in these cases, I planted only a few seeds and these are costly plants (when you can buy them). I also have some really good germination of wild-gathered wildflowers from the SW US; and those would never be offered here. They will fill my rock gardens!
Like LissaD, I am very worried about my morning glories, almost all of which are fairly rare Japanese Morning Glories (I. nil)
Lissa, maybe you and I need to swap Columbine seeds next year! I just love Columbines! None of mine have yet germinated (including the long-anticipated "Chocolate Soldier" whose seeds I got from fairy1004, or my own mountain-harvested Aquilegia alpina, or the "Sweet Dreams" hybrids I bought this year, but columbines are notoriously slow and erratic germinating seeds, so I know they will show up, even if I have to keep their containers moist until next year!!!
Speaking of salvias, Kyla, the Salvia praetensis "eveline" that I got in a DG trade last year has germinated!!
Jim: you mentioned that you had moved the rudbeckias to a greenhouse. They might do better outside. I've grown the rud hirtas outside for several years and often the sprouts are subjected to sub-freezing temps and snow with no ill effects. Mine are outside now with plenty of sprouts of 3 in all kinds- my own double rud seeds, Cherry Brandy, and Becky.
I'm running 2 sets of your seeds : 1 carefully seeded into a 40-cell seed tray, which IS in the greenhouse, mostly because I have no cover for this tray, so it does not dry out so fast there : the temps run only about 5 degrees above the outside because it is not heated and is vented during the day, So, I don't think that should really be a problem.
The 2nd set is in a milk jug outside. It shows no germination so far.
I'm not really worried though, because it's still early days,
Maybe so. Mine started germinating about 2 weeks ago. But then I don't know how our recent weather compares, daylength, precipitation,etc.
I'll put my money on the outside ones sprouting first, though. I swear the temp swings and rain and snow speed germination. Tom Clothier says
"Rudbeckia fulgida, hirta, and maxima , Sow at 20ºC (68ºF), if no germination in 3-4 wks, move to -4 to +4ºC (24-39ºF) for 2-4 wks "
I never can get things to sprout without a lid, though, inside or out. If I don't have a lid I'd use something like a plastic sheet or bag. The added humidity seems to make a difference.
So, that means that I'm just still waiting on my snapdragons, stokes aster, columbines, delphiniums, bells of ireland, & texas blue bonnet. I sowed a lot of these a little late (early March), so that could be why they haven't sprouted yet. And, I decided to throw away my dame's rocket b/c I found out that it is invasive in PA.
My husband and I are now fighting over garden space. He's into veggies, I'm into flowers. I love how economical this winter sowing thing is. I've saved so much money. Now I just need to learn to be patient for these guys to grow, and flourish.
Does anyone else have two jugs with the exact same seeds side-by-side with one sprouted and the other not? I have one Salvia "Blue Bedder" up and one not, and the same with my Delphs "Magic Fountain Mix." I am very curious what could make this happen since the jugs were all prepared the same way. There is the possibility that I didn't put seeds in one, but I'm not usually THAT absent-minded (at least I hope...)
I want to go out and check on them, but we got some quarter sized hail last night and I'm afraid of what I might find.
I have two jug of cleome that have one sprouted and one not. I only did my jugs a couple at a time so I know that the seeds went in. Perhaps one stayed colder than the other. With wind and jugs insulating each other it is a possiblity.
I have Echinacea occidentalis "Green Wizard" seedlings in my WS containers!
There's no reason to fight, pgt. For a lot of the space, the flowers and the veg can grow together. The bio-diversity offered by the intermingling is healthy for both flowers and veg and it also can provide both interesting patterns and a mutual challenge to you and your husband to design.
While I was in Florida last week my dog Buddy got one of my milk jugs and took it way over the hill. When DH rescued it there was not much left. Shucks it coudn't have been a no sprouter no sir. It was the maltese cross that had several sproutlets. And I have no more seed. Well next year.
My jugs are in milk crates. They are wedged in tightly. So far dog and wind proof and rain does not hurt them either. Sure wish that I had more of them or at least wish my son had not sneaked off with so many of them. I shoulda known I was going to lose a lot of them when he asked if he could use a couple to toss things into when he moved! I should have at least aksed him his definition of a "couple" LOL.
Jim, I'm happy to share garden space with hubby's veggies, we just don't have enough space for all that we are growing. We are going to have to add some more raised beds to fit it all in. Where is the time?
That dog had never bothered them and I was counting on that. lol
I had them in low cardboard boxes from a no frills grocery. They were also kind of wet so no protection at all. My mistake trusting a dog. If we touch anything he wants it and thinks it is his. He is my DH pet but his favorite shoe to carry out is my old gardening tennis shoes. I think he got the jug 'cause I had been messing around them the morning I left.
I didn't know whether my chrysanthemum sprouts would make it through the blizzards and low temps we have, but they seem to be the only thing NOT affected by the weather. My clematis started vining out before the more seasonal blizzard we had, and they're toast. But the little Snow Lady sproutlets are still going strong. Wish I knew who gave them to me!
I didn't really start sowing seeds in earnest until end of Feb/1st of March. I've got some in milk jugs and some sown in pots which are sitting in plastic boxes with lids. Most of what I've put out are perennials or half hardy annuals. I've got a few sprouts so far;
lavender (from seeds I pulled off a plant right before planting!)
Also have some 2007 lettuce seed I sowed in a clear jug. The cats knocked it over (yeah, they should be in a box, too) and the dirt went everywhere. But I figured what the heck, scooped it all up and put the jug back together. Before you know it, there were lettuce sprouts coming up! LOL
I'm really enjoying this planting season. It's so much easier this way. Whenever I feel doubtful...it's currently snowing right now...I think of how Nature does it. Just drops a whole bunch on the ground and gives it time. I've even stopped covering a lot of my seeds...or covering them very lightly. The enclosed plastic box (vented) keeps them moist and I figure they will just dig themselves in.
You are so right! This is a great forum and a great way to sow seeds. In the past I would go crazy about now trying to find room to sow seed in the house and carry trays outside on nice days and back in at night. I would worry because they were getting leggy or damping off. This is so cool!. I am more relaxed than I have ever been for the first of April. I still have seed to sow in pots but they require much warmer temps and I do not have to worry about them for a couple of weeks.
I have so many sproutlets and they all look strong and healthy even though it has been in the low 30 and upper 20 the last couple of nights. I can't believe I am not carrying them in and out of the house.
Hey Jim.. the Green Wizard seeds that you sent me for my birthday gave me sproutlets a couple of days ago :) I had planted them on 3/15 and they sprouted on the 29th..
I've covered everything up.. a cold spell is coming and I lost 6 jugs of sproutlets with the last cold snap :(
I'll keep that in my records for next year.. lessons learned the hard way.. thought I was being a smartie by not covering them up (WSing after all!) and some of what evidently are tender sproutlets died..UGH!! Just hoping some other seeds in those jugs will sprout..sigh..
I know what you mean, nanniepb. I keep getting seeds, too. Some I will be direct sowing, like poppies, cosmos, marigolds, etc. Just don't have time or enough pots to do it all the WS way. But I sure am having fun, and will be saving tons of money this way.
It's around 60 today. In my yard, hellebores, columbines, iris cristata, lungwort, daylilies and some other stuff are beginning to grow. HOWEVER, not a single sproutlet in any of my 35 wintersown containers!!! Some of you in zones 5 and 6 already have several kinds of sprouts. I'm beginning to get worried that my wintersowing this year will be a complete flop. Everything's in gallon clear milk jugs with hinged top (no cap). The soil seems to have compacted to 2-3 inches from the original 4 or so in lots of them. The soil is damp, and has been all winter, between snow and rain. They get afternoon sun. Could I have done something wrong?
A few might be oldish, but most of 35 different kinds I either bought this winter or traded for in the piggy swap this winter. Some of the same seeds I sowed indoors, and they germinated (most kinds), so I don't think that's the problem.
I was just cleaning up the yard and even more stuff than I thought is beginning to come up, but I suppose they could be warmer since they're in the ground. I wouldn't have expected germination this early, necessarily, except that everyone else's seem to be germinating.
Germination of seeds isn't the same as emerging established plants in the ground. And your indoor seeds sprout first because they are indoors- therefore warmer. I expect that your wintersown ones will sprout soon. You might need more consecutive warm days and nights.
What type of pots are you guys using for winter sowing? I was planning on getting started earlier but I have been so busy! I tried a few last year but I thought the milk jugs dried out quickly. Anyone using window boxes?
I would think that it would need to be something with a lid? A few of my milk jugs seem to be a little dry. I think they are the ones where I cut them too low to put enough soil in. The ones that have a good amount of soil seem to be staying moist. I also used the miracle grow with moisture control for some of them. I think that helped keep the moisture in there. Not sure exactly what the difference is, as this is my first year. I also used a lot of Juice containers. Those are pretty solid and seem to be fairing pretty well.
you are a warmer zone - at least warmer than me. So i'd think many of your snow days are over... though with this goofy weather we are all getting... one never knows...
anyhooo -- my neighbor does what you are suggesting, though she may do it in May ... but again, you are warmer than we are.
My thoughts on "the lid" -- protects the seeds/seedlings from the torrential rains that could wash them away.
I have some nursery pots - that were in a big clear tub, and i've taken them out and they are just out there sitting with the rest of my containers... if it's gonna rain i;ll 'put them away' so they dont get drenched.
Teresa, I have mine in just regular pots that plants would come in when you buy them from a nursery. I wash them out real well and then I sow the seeds in them and place them in clear plastic storage bins with holes in the bottom and in the lid. They are doing quite well.
I have lots of sproutlets...maltese cross, shasta daisy,allyssum, balloon flowers, butterfly weed,etc, but finally, I can see the variegated pokeweek germinating( beautiful little red stems). I was worried about them...lol. Now, if the variegated lavatera, would just give me a sign.Does anyone know if they are late sprouters?I have been a gardener for years,but this is my first time winter sowing, and I'm loving it!
perenniallyme, what have you sown so far? I've still got over 50 containers with no sprouts (56 have sprouted), and I think that's normal for what I've got sown. I've read posts from some other members in the northeast that haven't got sprouts yet, so I'm betting you just haven't had enough days of warmth in a row yet.
Neal, I can't find my list right now but this is what I remember - 5 varieties of digitalis, a couple of kinds of gentian, helenium autumnale, a few kinds of gaillardia (these didn't germinate for me indoors), a few echinacea that also didn't germinate for me indoors, candy lily, blackberry lily, 2 cultivars of delphinium grandiflorum, a few kinds of poppy, 2 kinds of tricyrtis, pulsatilla, butterfly weed, crocosmia, lewisia, columbine and a few more.
No fair, Jim...I haven't started on veggies yet! but can i ask why are you doing indoor ones if you ws'ed them?
it was nice enough wednesday that I got sunburn on my neck when i was making another 15 or so jugs, then today the temps started dropping again. Colder weather is due monday and tuesday and i'm going, 'yesssssss' thats exactly what i need for my WSing'. =)
any other year, and I'd be praying for summer. =D
Of course you can ask, Phyl! An old teacher of mine told me that the only stupid question was the one you didn't ask.
When I was a kid, my Father worked in a feed mill, and the farmers he knew gave him tomato, onion and pepper plants which he grew in our garden. I continued to use plants until we moved abroad, about 25 years ago. Then, whenever I gardened, I usually had to rely on seeds because I either couldn't speak the local language enough to ask for plants or they just were not available. These days, I don't/won't buy plants because they are either too expensive or not the varieties I want.
25 years of indoor sowing is a tough habit to break.
I usually grow 6-12 varieties each year (at least 24 plants) and, since we moved here, have become the local source of "interesting varieties" of tomato plants for a half-dozen other gardeners. Consequently, I need a reliable supply of healthy, vigorous plants that will yield a decent crop of tomatoes in our season. Indoor sowing does this. I know that and know the techniques and can rely on it. But, . . . this year, I decided to experiment with WS for tomatoes by WSing 3 of the tomatoes I will grow. I wanted to see, first of all, if I would even get plants. Then, I wanted to see WHEN I got plants; and, finally, I will plant those side-by-side with indoor grown plants to evaluate performance.
I'd LOVE (and Ms Marta would love it even more!!) to stop growing plants indoors! But. . . . I also have nearly 120 cells (that will eventually become pots) sown indoors of the 50 or so peppers and chiles I want to grow this year, as well as another 20 pots of eggplant! I always sow twice as many cells/pots as I will actually use so that I can plant the best and give the others away!
Well, having gone long-winded as usual, I'm going to take a break and go out and sit with a beer in our unusual (this year, anyway) sunny, almost 60s day!
Perenniallyme, we've WS several of the same things! Poppies and then Digitalis are the ones I'd expect first- those have germinated for me, the Foxglove just in the last couple of weeks and I think 2 of 4 varieties sown are up. I have a couple of single Echinacea sprouts in a couple of different containers, and 1 columbine variety sprouting out of 6 varieties sown. One of the 2 varieties of Helenium I've sown is up too. Last year candy lily and blackberry lilies were later to sprout for me, after warm temps were here to stay, and this year's haven't sprouted yet. My butterfly weed, Gentian and Delphinium haven't sprouted yet either. The others I haven't tried, but I think you'll be seeing sprouts soon. The only one that would give me concern is the Poppies- do you have more seeds? You may want to try direct sowing a few if you still have seed.
Discovering w'sing has been the best thing since slice bread for me! I don't have the room to grow the quantity I currently sow and if I purchased the same quantity of what I sow, I'd be looking for a bail out package for myself!
I did notice alittle leaf burn on a couple of the dahlia seedlings, but other than that all are looking good. The california poppy are getting real big and just about ready for transplant into the garden. I also noticed there are volunteers in the garden as well - but then I've gotten them since my first planting in 2006
Gee Neal, you have excellent taste in perennials! Thanks for the info. The poppies won't bother me too much if I don't get them - I have very little sun space available, and really only room to squeeze in a few (and hoping a few of my icelandics will return). I have some of all foxglove varieties that I started indoors - and my indoor candy lilies and blackberry lilies are getting huge. Have some delphinium sprouts indoors, but most of the grandiflorum "summer blues" that are my favorites and I hunted for all over the place, didn't make it. There were only 20 seeds in the pack. but the grandiflorum "delphix blue" from Jonna is doing a lot better. Also butterfly weed is doing well indoors and lewisia too. My main disappointments were tricyrtis latifolia and the gentians. Sure hope I get some in the wintersowing - and the pulsatilla turc-something that Jonna found for me.
YESSSS!!!! Today I have two teeeeeny strawflower sprouts, and one each of foxglove and datura -- those two are literally the size of the END of a pin, not even the head. Maybe I'm not hopelessly brown-thumbed after all.
I still have not had any of my digitalis but one sprout yet, and none of my columbines have sprouted. I do have 2 or 3 delphiniums up, and still waiting on others. All my lupins have sprouted, and within a week, too! I'm hoping I will see more digitalis and columbine up soon.
nanniepb, I am also a first timer but have successfully germinated spinach, kale, chard, radish, thyme, salvia officinalis, chamomile, parsley, and dill, all wintersown. 'Tis doable. ;-)
decided not to try wintersowing my tomatoes or peppers tho as I discovered my sunny windowsills seem fine and it is still a bit too nervewracking with stuff outside in the freezing nights. But if you have enough space, seeds, and time, do both and see what works? I chickened out at the last minute and also because I saw some things work in the windows I did not expect to succeed, so.
The wintersown ones above mentioned that have germinated here -- forgot to include onions -- are now getting covered when it dips below 30 degrees cause I figure it's easy enough to throw the cloths over them every night, why risk anything now that they are up and doing so well?
Kathy, I am in the same situation with nighttime temps and I am covering everything that has sprouted every night. So far that has been sufficient. I only brought in some things that had been planted out in containers that I had no good way to cover.
I did a new sowing of 8 jugs the other day, though, and I am purposely leaving them uncovered. They can germinate after this mess is over. ;-)
Thanks Kyla. These sudden cold blasts are worrisome. I will go out and cover them this evening and hope for the best. I hate to bring them in or something and then have to harden them off later because they got accustomed to warm inside temps.
Well finally I see a few teeny sprouts of digitalis laevigata and digitalis trojana! They're not even green yet, but I can see the little white root. The tops still have the seed casing on them, but at least something's doing something!!!