Today sowed my alyssum in the "brownie pan" I used 2 1/2 pkgs of seed and used the top of those plastic fruit trays you get at the deli one on top and one on bottom. Tied together with twist ties from garbage bags. Wanted to use my coated wire that I could cut to the length that I needed but it was nowhere near the spot it has been in for the 5 or 6 years I have had it. hmmmm... That should conclude my wsowing for this year.
Sandstreet: Wow, what a list! Great job there. Hope they all bloom for you. None of my delphs sprouted or at least not yet, but some I have read take a long time to do so. I'll leave them alone and see what, if anything, happens. I will try again, though.
I had all my Delphinium seeds in the freezer for at least 2 weeks before sowing. See if that helps. Also, I don't think I'll get anything out of my oldest seed packet -- nothings coming up in that jug. I hear Delph seed needs to be fresh. Good Luck!! It's well worth it!
My Delphinium Magic Fountain mix has sprouted, but the Blue Butterfly Delph hasn't. I didn't plant them at the same time though. The Magic Fountain was planted 3/7 and sprouted 3/29 and the Butterfly was only planted 3/15.
That was a 22 day germination for the Magic Fountain in Zone 7, so hopefully yours will sprout yet..we never give up hope, right? :)
I haven't been looking at my containers b/c I didn't want to be disappointed. Today is a warm, sunny day, so I took a look. The Lewis' flax is showing little sprouts in 2 containers. There's also a prairie blazing star sprout in another container. Three out of 20+ containers - not a lot yet, but a good sign this early in the season.
I noticed many of the seeds had risen to the surface of the mix in some of the containers, so I sprinkled new potting mix over the top in those containers. Hopefully that won't disorient 'em.
BTW, has anyone else had a transparent, gelatinous goo emerge in some of their containers? I've seen it in several. When I pick it up, it literally feels like Jell-o. Anyone know what that is?
Woe is me. I still have no sprouts. Nada. Zip. Zero Nada. Not a one :(
I am patiently (okay - not really patiently) waiting.
I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I wanna believe. I really do. Oh. I really do!
I think it depends a lot on what you sowed and where your containers are located. I don't have any vegetables or "tried and true" garden plants, just wild species, mostly natives. Seems as if many of the germination reports from colder zones have been of cold-season veggies & the more common garden plants.
However, my containers are on a deck where they get a lot of sun, so that might help them emerge early. Being on a deck does mean that there's air underneath the containers, and most nights have been freezing here, so that factor might slow them down. Given all the factors involved, I'm not worried yet about the low germination rate I'm getting.
I also suspect that zone doesn't tell us everything about the conditions for germination. I live in a middling zone because we don't extreme temps, but our winter will last longer than that of someone in zone 5 in southern Illinois. The seeds might "know" to wait longer, until day and night temps are higher.
I have several more babies in addition to my previous sproutlets of black-eyed susan, digitalis 'Excelsior', lauren grape poppy today there are babies of tall mixed dianthus, autumn clematis, rose of sharon, heliopsis helianthoides,
purple petunia, cosmos 'Sensation', cosmos pink, allium, coreopsis grandiflora, salvia' Brenthurst' , salvia tall peach and rose campion. Our temperatures have decreased after the weekend snowstorm, but Spring is really coming!
Elaine: You'll have sprouts, I'm sure. This was my first attempt at WSing and I'm a believer. I never would have thought this would work, but it does, and I'm amazed at some of the things that sprouted for me using this method: Codonopsis, Rudbeckia, salvias, Gaillardia, Clarkia and finally my Buxton's Blue geranium! Yeehaa!
This was my first year to WS and I felt foolish doing it, but so many were extolling the virtues of the practice that I had to try. My only regret is that I did not do more. I am looking forward to next year. I will save seed this year and will buy dicounted seed at end of season, so that I am prepared.
I think that seed saving will be an important part of next year's gardening. The seed companies are all reporting a record sale year. We all know that companies of all sort in the past have always raised prices after a bumper year. I am afraid next year seed prices are going to go thru the roof.
I just sowed more leaf lettuce, chard, and spinach. The first lettuce and spinach are already planted out in their container homes, the first sowing of the chard is in the sproutlet stage, but I want more! More!
Lol. Today it is snowing sweetly out there, in between bouts of sunshine, everybody has their hats off being kissed by the snowflakes.
At night now when it freezes I do cover the ones that are germinated, and the open containers, with fabric, but I am leaving the newer jugs uncovered except for their regular "hats". Yesterday I sowed about 8 different ones, salvia, cleome, agastache, a few other things -- seeds I had just gotten.
Spring is sure a crazy time! But I think I am learning what works for me with wintersowing and what does better in other ways. I wintersowed some Morning Glory and as of yet, nothing. So I soaked some seeds and sowed them inside on a sunny windowsill (inside a ziplock bag) and they sprouted in two days.
Right now I have tomatoes, peppers, basil, one variety of foxglove that did not germinate in its WS pot, cucumbers, all lined up on that sunny windowsill.
Two varieties of foxglove did germinate outside but for some reason this one did not so giving it the option this way. ;-)
This morning I had fresh spinach and kale leaves in my omelette, something I never could have had, from my own growing, if I had not wintersown them.
Thanks to all for your wonderful, supportive words. I will keep watching.
If I was a seed I wouldn't really want to start sprouting until the weather was consistently nicer too.
I am going to be more active in the seed trading this fall. At least that is my goal. I will be forever grateful to Neal for giving me a much needed boost - his knowledge and his generous gift of wonderful seeds.
OK does this sound right to any of you? As I was planting out my cucumbers yesterday I noticed dozens of sprouts, upon closer examination I saw that they were from a rogue tomato that got away from me last year. OK so that's not so odd, except NONE of my WS tomatoes have sprouted! What's that all about?
I'm thinking I starting my WS late for my area. My seedlings, those that have sprouted are still rather small, and my planting time is now, the beginning of April. I had hopped to have more mature plants and a higher germination rate.
Now what I have learned is that peaty pots in tubs get too wet & too dry too easily even with a lid. Styrofoam cups in tubs w/ lids work at ~80% germination. My milk jugs have ~70% germination thus far. Strawberry flats are EXTREMELY temperamental and need close monitoring, grocery bags around them when they are wet helps tremendously, but still I won't use them again. My jugs that were not soaked in a basin of water every 3 days or so dried out quickly, so I need to get large deep platters/pans to ensure uniform wetness.
Any feed back?
My seeds are planted in 2 liter bottles and half gallon milk jugs. They are jammed into platic milk crates. I take the milk crates one at a time and set them down into an old kitty litter pan full of water. I leave them there for a few minutes and then put another one in. It was the easiest way that I could put together for watering without disturbing seed or sprouts.
that sounds like it works pretty well. i use a spray bottle ... not the best in the world, as i'm always stooped over and it does not thoroughly wet the soil, only top layer or so ... but it keeps the seeds damp.
Hmmm...my wintersown seeds always sprout before those in the ground. The containers would definitely fluctuate more in temps than the ground, they reach higher temps than the ground when its warm, but freeze solid again easily when the temps drop.
Our climate is pretty wet here is spring, too. My pots have been staying moist for the most part, though a few are drying out. I've been using a watering can to sprinkle them when they get dry. Some seem to be staying too moist, though so far it doesn't seem to be affecting the sproutlets much. So far, so good, though I've had zero germination of columbines and only one variety of digitalis has sprouted. I was hoping for more, but maybe they will still come.
I've had no action in any of my columbine containers, either. Are they difficult to germinate? Some were saved seeds, from friends' plants, so I guess I don't know if those are sterile or not, but there was a whole packet of Barlow Mixed colors that I purchased, that I would have thought would grow.
I do have digitalis sprouting. . .TONS of them. I think I oversowed those by quite a bit! I'll definitely be taking a bunch of those to the Iowa Round-Up next month! They'll probably still be tiny, but with this many, I could give everyone ten and still have dozens left over! LOL
Too funny. My spell-check didn't like the word "oversowed" and wants to replace it with "oversexed." I think I need a more botanically-based dictionary! LOL
Totally normal for Columbines to be very erratic germinating. I have 6 or 8 varieties sown, and 2 have sprouted, and I think this is the earliest I've ever had any Columbine up. I won't give up on any of those containers till July (..yep, once I even had a container wait that long to sprout!).
As for columbine, I sowed 6 varieties and 1 has sprouted. I really think zone, sow date and local conditions will cause many variabilities with this process. A zone 8 person cannot really expect the same results as a zone 5. A more arid garden cannot expect the same results as a more humid one. That being said two people in zone 6 can have completely different results as well as one may have more shade or rain than the other. That is why I keep records so that I know what works for me.
For items that you want mature plants, purchase at a nursery or start early indoors. That is not what this is method is about. For me wintersowing is a money saving way of stocking my garden with a larger variety of plants. I may not have large plants to start off with, but they catch up pretty quickly. For example; even though I can w/s impatiens I don't. The plants don't mature enough to bloom until July/Aug. Therefore, I purchase them from the nursery for earlier color.
With Columbine, I've read that it also depends on the age of the seed. The fresher the seed the faster they germinate, but as the seed ages the seed coat hardens, requiring more freezing/thawing and time to sprout.
I used a different potting mix for several containers this year that is very free draining, and have had to watch those a little closer for moisture. The peat based mixes hold moisture better for me (sometimes too well, which is why I tried another this year).
Karen, it was Wonder brand I got from Lowes. It was really cheap, so I tried a bag and was surprised to find it's pretty good. It has a lot of fine bark in it and drains well. I've used it for my tender bulb plants and Rex begonias, they seem to be happy with it. I won't use it for my hanging baskets or smaller pots of annuals though, its too free draining for those. I think it will be good for geraniums too.
Karen, I did (use it for indoor seed starting), and have been very pleased with it as a starting medium. I've had a tendency in the past to keep peat based mediums too wet, but this stuff worked like a charm. I sterilized it in the microwave first.
Thanks. I have made my own similar mixes for summer containers with fine pines, peat, perlite, and vermiculite. But I never tried it for seed starting, thought those bark chips might not be the best medium for seed starting. I hope I can remember that next year.
Did you hear a big loud Yippee about 1/2 an hour ago? That was me.
I am so happy to tell you that while I was away from home for three days something magical happened. It may have started before I left but I neglected to have a look at my containers the week before I left. I have three containers with sprouts!!!!!!
2 containers are California Poppy and the other container is Wallflower. I am ecstatic
I had to rush in and tell DH about the first container and then show him the Wallflower sprouts. Then I checked the containers at the back end of the back yard and voila - there were the California Poppies just waiting to be discovered.
Since this is my first try at WSing I am amazed. Gobsmacked seems to be my word for the day and I am truly gobsmacked!
Thanks to all who stuck with me and encouraged me when I had so many reservations. And Critter if you are reading this - yes - you get to share in my successes and I am giving you credit, along with Neal for my successes. I love the plural. Not just success, successes. Can't wait to see more now. I am addicted.
Thanks to all and I will keep you posted on further successes. So if you were actually wondering what that shrill noise was that probably shook the earth just a wee bit - it was me hooting and hollering and making a total fool of myself but I don't care.
After all I have germination and it is a wonderful feeling.
Oh those darned Maple keys. They were prolific here the fall before last and I thought I would lose my mind (that might explain a lot eh?) pulling all the sprouts up. I had used leaves from a neighbour and he has maple trees. They seem to have years where there is an abundance of keys and that year they were everywhere. I was really a newbie about mulching and didn't do a very good job. I learned the hard way and vowed never again.
You live. You learn. Seems that is the evolution of Elaine. I learn a bit almost everyday of my life. Too bad that by the time I have reached maximum absorption I'll probably start to get senile and forget everything it took me a lifetime to learn. That is so not fair. But nobody said life is fair now did they.
Well I'm definitely past the maximum absorption stage, but I did learn to rake those buggers up, and don't know how many millions I raked in the fall to avoid this, but apparently millions more everywhere and they're not particular at all about where they sprout - in soil, in mulch, on top of leaves, on top of rocks. I believe that if they were floating in space they'd sprout there too. I do believe that when the world is inherited by cockroaches and such, there will be sycamore maples there to keep them company.
Congrats, Elaine! That is very exciting! I'm still waiting on my digitalis seeds. I've sowed a number of different varieties, and no sproutlets on them yet. Nothing on the columbines, either. Lots of other stuff up, though.
Sprouts in the Penstemon digitalis, foxglove beardtongue, containers today. Still nothing from Carex, Asclepias, or Eupatorium, and very little from Aster and Liatris containers. Looking forward to the coming week, when it should finally warm up for a good stretch.
Getting green mold in some of the containers. Have popped tops and re-taped askew to let in more air.
I have a jug of Helenium that had sprouted well, but now there are none. I believe freezing temps got them, but that really surprised me since they're perennial. Have any of you had an issue with them?
I still have "White Swan" echinaecea to germinate, Dill, White liatris, Bells of Ireland and I know there are a couple more but it is too cold and gloomy to run out and check them. I am getting tired of looking and not seeing anything but gee the weather has not been conducive to growing plants from seed. So maybe a little success whe n the sun shines...
I did red and gold Helenium last year, and had the same problem--the first batch to germinate froze. However, more did come up, and much later, when I dumped the extra soil in another bed, more came up. That last batch did the best of them all. I think they must like the warmer temperatures.
Veronica... many of my White Swans have germinated. I think i have 7 tiny babies. I hope they come "true" as these are seeds from my garden. Looks like 12 seeds were sown. I haven't checked in a few days... as the weather has been garbage.
I wonder if some varieties of helenium don't produce viable seed, because mine (one of the red-maroon ones) has never seeded itself despite hundreds or thousands of blooms, many of which missed being deadheaded.
I haven't seen a thing from my Cleome or Liatris, the other one I thought would make an appearance is my purple hyacinth bean vine. But I got nothin there. In fact most of my vines are just popping up. I only have 2 Morning glories that have put up a sprout. None in my black-eyed-susan vine. I am really hoping some of the vines take off. I think I added up that I have over 800 linear feet of fencing. Now I know I cannot possibly cover it all but I do hope to add at least a little color out there.
Elaine, while they typically don't like to be moved, if done when they're small they transplant just fine. Many prefer the "hunk of seedlings" method of transplanting. That way you may loose a few, but those in the center of the little hunk are relatively untouched. I was skeptical the first time I wintersowed poppies, but they did just fine.
Elaine -- have you planted them out already? If so, you can also take a container of sorts and cover them. I've done that before with my milk jugs ... adds a lil bit of protection, especially if it is windy.
Had some old field goldenrod germination today. The green mold kept advancing in some of the containers so I sprayed those down with a very dilute vinegar-water mix. Hopefully that won't harm the seedlings!
No way did I plant them out yet. Too fragile. I noticed some mossy looking growth in one of my containers. Is vinegar/water the way to go with that or can I use damp off treatment (specifically for my seedlings)? See. So many questions. Sorry but it is the only way I'm going to learn and hopefully help others by the knowledge I have acquired.
I've heard chamomile tea for that green moldy stuff.
as for the container of poppies... you can make sure that container is in teh middle of all the others, if they are clustered... that is what i do.
and i havent planted out any of my poppies either. though they are probably big enough. I think it's my 8th Wonder Poppies that are the biggest. I also have Peony Poppies too. i think those are the only 2... though i should check my seed basket for more.
I meant to mention earlier, I've had the green mossy growth on containers before, but didn't worry with doing anything about it. It didn't seem to hurt anything. I think once the tops are removed from the containers, the increased light and air circulation will take care of it.
I direct sowed my California Poppies and annual Papaver varieties, and they're up and growing, ignoring any cold weather. Its been down to 27 since they've had true leaves.
I have sprouts! Its my Cal poppies! I just hope I can transplant after what I have been reading! I think I will just plant the whole jug in the ground-minus the top of course! JK! Anyway! I am just excited that I have sprouts!
Sprouts are such a small thing and yet few things give so much joy. Seeing these sprouts that set outside thru snow and cold just makes a person want to get all philosophical and emotional and other stupid stuff. LOL
Kathy - I completely agree with your feelings regarding seeing those sprouts make it through the tough times. I find it inspirational!
Shirb - That is what I was going to do as well. Just plop them in with the existing soil in the container and hope they don't get too stressed about their new home.
Sorry I haven't been around but I have been busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger these days. Seems I don't even have time to tie my shoes. Why all my appointments and commitments have to come all together, I will never know. Guess I am my own worst enemy sometimes.
Take care all and thanks for being such a wonderful, supportive group. I have learned so much from all of you and continue to do so.
I think one of the keys to transplanting certain seedlings is to do it on a cool day. Less stress on the poor things. I have found when digging and potting up columbines that they do well if I do it in the early spring and on a cool day or they really droop bad.
As is so often the case, we went from winter to summer in about a day, skipping spring. It has been so hot and windy the past few days that I'm reluctant to transplant very much. I had a flat of cups of 8 to 10 inch indoor-started Yvonne's salvia outside for a while the other day. The were bent over in half from the wind and one snapped at the soil line. I had to bring them back inside. They are screaming to be released to the ground. And the temp is supposed to be in the upper 80s with the same 30 mph winds today and tomorrow.
I might just spend some time today weeding out volunteer flowers and composting today.I have volunteer rudbeckia and verbena bonariensis coming up everywhere. I also need to add some more soil to my indoor tomatoes and unsprouted WSown castor beans- they have heaved up to the soil surface.
We spent most of yesterday at the Cincinnati flower show and running some errands- no garden time.
Karen -- your WS'ed Yvonne's germinated already? mine have not... I was really hoping for a bunch this year... so far, all i have is indoor sown ones. Two are a good sized... the biggest even sent out a single bloom that has been there at least 2 weeks now. I've been keeping them outside, and they have withstood the high winds... and even the hail we got yesterday... but then - after the hail, i put them on the front porch where they would be more protected, in case we got more hail... and it dipped into the 30's again last night. I no longer worry about those two.
I have [i think] 7 more lil seedling - they have second set of leaves already - if i recall correctly .. though they are only about an inch high. and i have to say... either very poor germination rate... or i am just doing something wrong.
58 seeds for 9 seedlings.
My bigger Yvonne's salvia were started inside, under lights. They were the ones screaming to get out of those cups. I planted them out today and will likely regret it. But they were totally rootbound and needing water twice a day. Tomorrow 85 degrees and 30 mph winds, and I will be at work. Fingers crossed on those. If they can hold on through tomorrow, the weather's supposed to improve.
The WSown ones are tiny- just showing signs of first true leaves starting. The volunteers are about the same size.
Swamp milkweed has now germinated & is really taking off fast! Partridge pea (Cassia fasciculata) and roundheaded bush clover (Lespedeza capitata) have also germinated now. Still waiting on Canada columbine, the gentians, the blazing stars, and the sedges. Lewis' blue flax now has true leaves & will be planted out soon.
mine got another good soaking...not that they needed it either. hopefully they'll get a coupla days to dry out.
I gave my neighbor 2 lil pots yesterday -- i just put them out by her bed... boy i hope they didnt blow away... i havent had time to check yet. I gave her some 8th Wonder Poppies and a Lavaterna [sp?] Silver Cup.
I am going to do some zinnias today and I did some Yvonnes Salvia yesterday...a bit late so I don't know if it will germinate or not. I didn't use all my seeds. Will save some for next year just in case.
Although its late, I'm still finding using the jugs I get faster germination than in other containers. I sowed 23 varieties of tomatoes a little over a week ago, and the 5 or 6 in jugs germinated about 3-4 days before any of the others.
I am have some success. Seems slow compared to all of you. What is kinda frustrating is that some of the WS plants I have that are sprouted, stores and greenhouses around here are selling already blooming. The good news is that mine didn't cost me hardly anything. I just hope they will grow enough before fall and the first snow!
I do have delphinium, tickseed, foxglove, mexican hat, and calendula sprouting! They are so cute and I'm very protective! It is going to freeze tonite and may snow again! I guess I just need a little encouragement! Dont mean to whine, just want to get my hands in the soil!!!!
Shirb, I had the same disappointment about the stores offering the same plants much more mature than my WS plants, and I was reminded by a DG member that WS is an early start to seedlings, but no competition for the commercial nurseries and just don't fool yourself to try to compare. Enjoy our home success, and cost savings.
Thanks Sonoita- Yeah your are right, if you add up all the little plants and what they would cost if you were to buy them mature, you would probably spend 3 times the amount! I think next year though I might try to buy a box of those containers that the rotesserie chickens come in. They are perfect for this project. The lids are clear and already vented. Just put holes in the bottom, then I added a coffee filter to the bottom to the keep soil in. I put my cherry brandy rudbekia in it and they are sprouted and doing good.
Thanks again for the encouragement!
Shirb, I know that self sown plants are not so mature as in the stores. But I found out the plants I growed myself, were much stronger and lived longer than the ones I used to buy. Those ones are grown inside under perfect conditions, but are not used to wind, rain and other bad weather. Ours are, so they will grow very well under all circumstances.
About setting seeds: only the 'tropical' annuals won't have time enough to set seed, but most of the others will do.
Shirb, I think they do that on purpose- lure people into buying colorful plants and setting them out too early, only to get frozen and then you've got to buy more. Your babies will be ready at just the right time. I have noticed that purchased bedding plants typically take longer to settle in and start growing than wintersown plants. They often start out smaller, but grow faster and surpass purchased plants. I think part of it is their roots get direct contact with the garden soil immediately, whereas nursery plants have to grow roots beyond their cushy little ball of potting medium.
Hey Jonna and gemini_sage, thanks for the advice. Im sure that our plants will be more hardy as mine have to go through a day or so of 60 degree weather and now we have a cold front coming through and we are supposed to get down to 32 tomorrow night. Should I bring those little sprouts in? I sure dont want anything to happen to them! Let me know...
If the covers are still on the containers they should be just fine. Mine never get brought in, once I covered them with moving blankets (a couple of years ago when we had a week of temps in the 20s in late April), but thats the only time I've given them extra protection.
Well I hate to say it, but I'm very disappointed with my wintersowing. The only things that are growing are the plants that I had good success with indoors - candy lily, blackberry lily, asclepias tuberosa, dwarf delphinium. Even the digitalis (successful indoors) I have only a few sprouts on the wintersown ones. None of the gaillardia (several kinds sown), gentiana, pulsatilla, blue-eyed grass, tricyrtis, columbine, etc. have shown any signs of life.
Columbine takes a while. I think I have 2 seedlings of Aquilegia canadensis so far, but otherwise that has been tough for me too (a lot more luck with it last year, though). My gentiana have sprouted, but the cotyledons are extremely tiny. Gentiana needs light to germinate, so they shouldn't have any soil covering them. Don't know if that's part of the issue or not.
Jsorens, it could be that, even though I planted the gentians on top of the soil, rain or snow may have pushed them beneath. I'll try to remember to keep watering, because if yous have only just come up, there may still be hope. Same with the others, but if the gaillardia was going to show, I'd think at least that would be up by now. I do have 2 seedlings of one variety. Also forgot to mention the echinacea. I have one single sprout in one of 2 containers.
Maybe it's necessary to scatter seed as if making chia pets in wintersowing. I spaced out all my seeds and only planted 12 to 15 in each gallon milk jug. Maybe that wasn't enough?
I was surprised by my echinacea as well. I think collected seed has spotty germination. I sowed most containers very thick and I got 2 spouts of the purpurea and two of the paradoxia. I was hoping for a few more than that but I do have some more seed I may just throw them out around the seedlings I did get and see if I can get a few more.
So none were commercial seed then? Was just wondering if some of the hybrids might be finicky about reproducing. The few I've grown as plants seem to be a lot less robust than the original pink ones. My white ones disappeared and another - summer something - are puny compared to the pink ones which flourish and multiply rapidly.
Tonya... yes, that is the name of the seed. i havent seen it bloom yet. but when i did research it, it said it was "rare" -- also from what i've read is... it like rocky soil. in my readings, many folks had troubles with it coming back -- soil issues.
If you wanted to pop me a sase, i'll send you seeds. Off hand i dont know what i have -- since i'm not home.. but i know the guy sent me A LOT of seeds. I'm in teh exchange.
tcs, yes I meant the purpurea. It's very happy in my yard, so you'd think the others would be too. But I can say the same for coreopsis. The new hybrids die out for me, so I've pretty much given up on them, but the old stuff I have to keep ripping out or it'll take over. It seems a lot of these fancy new hybrids are just wimps - may look pretty for a brief time, but have genetic defects or something.
perennialllyme... the reason i had the ?? was because i was not sure i spelled it right. i assumed those were what you were referring to... even though there is purple in the name, I too see them as pink . wouldnt real purple be awesome.
I've had pretty low germination rates with Echinacea purpurea this year, but I think the reason was that many of the seeds were still sitting on the surface recently. I sprinkled some coarse sand on top, and since then germination has improved. Those are big seeds, so I guess they need a bit more cover than most.
I've been out of state for almost 2 weeks, so came back wondering what would be left out of my jugs..surprise! I have 43 out of 61 that germinated. Many of them I had to open the jug cause they are CROWDED in there..got the bed ready and hopefully will plant most of them tomorrow after work.
Here's what I have:
My first time of WSing and I'm very happy with it. I basically threw seeds in a jug and let it go. *I did make a mistake of letting some of them get too cold and lost 5 jugs that never did come back. The ones that haven't come up yet, I've moved back into the sun to see if that will bring on the germination. Otherwise, it's no loss since I've got such a great variety!
CC: That's an impressive list! I had no luck with delphs at all. Some of my seeds were old so no loss, just disappointment. I'll try them again this winter. My Forget-Me-Nots did beautifully. Here's a photo as they start to bloom:
I really believe that mine did so well because I moved them out of the hot direct sun and put them in a partially shaded area when the weather was warming up, so they didn't get the late day sun that is so hot here in OK.
ClanCampbell, when did you winter sow? I think we are in the same zone but I didn't have luck with a lot of what I planted in January. Most of what I tried was perennials(sp). Going to have coneflowers, butterfly weed bush, baloon flowers and prarie sunflower. When the "monsoon" season started in early April I moved them to my carport and that may have caused some of the problem. The indirect light may have not been strong enough in April.
I have been quite remiss regarding posting to let you know how my WSing went. Physical problems along with other nasty family stuff kept me away from my computer.
I am not even sure if this thread is active but I will try.
This was my first year WSing and I had about 75% success. We have had such unusual weather this summer. Hardly any sun, frost was late leaving and much rain. I had a few plants die as soon as I planted them.
I am tickled pink with the results from WSing because if I hadn't done that I fear that I wouldn't have many seeds germinate. All the plants in my tiny indoor greenhouse died. Never had that happen to the degree that it did but it doesn't help when you knock over your greenhouse and everything spills out on the floor...sigh
Seeds that were directly sown had a better success rate but everything was late blooming and some of the seeds rotted because of the unusual amount of rain and lack of sun. We finally got some true Summer weather starting last week and it still continues. This is the strangest Summer I can remember.
The baggie system did not work for me and nothing at all germinated in the bags. I used lots of plastic containers too though and those were the ones that were successful. I even emptied some that didn't germinate into some planters and voila...I got some germination and healthy plants too!
I keep telling myself that I need to make a list of what NOT to do but haven't gotten around to it. Organization of my WSing went out the window and I have plants that I don't have a clue what they are.
My - Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate and Touch Me Not plants were successful and I just love them. Have to do some research on what I know I have to find out about seed collecting. I am so ecstatic to see my successes and thanks to all for your help.
I vow to be more organized next year (I thought that I was - Ha) and to learn from my mistakes.
Once again - A big Thanks to all who guided me and to Neil (hope I spelled your name correctly) for his wonderful seeds!
Elaine: Glad to hear about your experience with WSing. This was also my first year and I had mostly good results, although some things did not germinate. I saved a ton of money, though, and learned which plants I want to try again with and which I won't bother with. The Clarkias I won't bother with. They bloomed, but were so fleeting the effort wasn't worth it. The Gaillardias and Rudbeckias did best, along with the Dahlia Unwin's Dwarf. Those will definitely be used in greater abandon next year. They have grown huge! See below. The Salvia viridis `Palisades' did well, too, and the dianthus. I have some poppies that are planted and waiting 'til next year to bloom (I hope). Larkspur for some reason didn't do well for me.
Things I learned from my experience were to be more selective and limited in what I sow and not to start too early. Limiting the amount of seeds I sow will also expedite my getting the plants into the ground, which is another area where I failed miserably. In fact, I still have some WS'd seedlings in their pots on the patio. Just ran out of room and energy once it got so hot.
Seems to me that my Larkspur never came up until the second year?
It was not WSed though. Hmmmm?
I'm afraid that my enthusiasm is larger than my ability. But life is a learning lesson, just as I view my garden. Every year I learn new things and realize there is so much that I don't know. There are many mistakes that I will repeat because I failed to learn the lesson the first time. I am sure I am not the only person that has to learn the hard way sometimes, repeating my mistakes and then, perhaps, learning the lesson.
So happy to hear that you had success with WSing and learned along the way.
Many more successes for you this upcoming winter. Oh. I am addicted for sure .
I think I'll also slow down and not do as many jugs this year, mainly because I've got less area than I did before. And to add to the joy of WSing..I'm now in a whole different area! After my DH passed away in April, the kids talked me into moving back here to Iowa from Oklahoma.
So, please.. someone from this zone help me to decide when to start my jugs! :) Do I start them earlier or later than zone 7b as I was in last winter??
I really didn't get a chance to enjoy my flowers this year because of all that was going on and so I took pics of what was blooming for me before I left. Here's one of my Mexican Sunflower. I love this color!!
Clan, just looked back at my records, and I sowed mostly in February, with much success. We're in the same zone, so hope that was helpful! I think I started in January last year, and it got hot earlier in the year, so last year my plants were quite a bit bigger when I set them out. I started later, and then they just got repeatedly soaked in our constant rain this spring, so my plants were on the small side when I planted them in the beds. They did fine, though. I can't complain!
Welcome back to Iowa! I drive through Burlington whenever I go visit my parents in Knoxville, IA. It's a beautiful area! Good to hear you are close to family. That makes all the difference in the world.
Angie in NC, I wasn't able to get seeds from it before I left..I hated that! Once I find my container that has the seeds in it, I'll see if I kept some of them back though. I don't believe I did, but I'm not certain :)
Elaine, I honestly don't know what that flower is LOL.. I had them all on a spreadsheet and was being so careful..then when it came time to transplant, I literally was throwing them in the ground before they died. Hopefully some kind soul on here will enlighten us both!
Angie in IL, well next time you're headed my way, let me know and we'll meet for lunch or something! I thought this little corner of Iowa was zone 6a, not 5a. I know that most of the storms always seem to be further north near I-80. When I looked at the zone maps here on DG, I thought that's what it had..guess I better go check again :)
I'm glad to hear of all the newbie success stories. Don't doubt that you will continue to have some seeds that don't germinate. I've been at this for 4 years and have sown platycodon each year. It has never sprouted in 4 tries. I finally gave up and bought a plant at a half price sale at a local nursery a few days ago. It's getting ridiculous at this point when I've never owned the plant and don't even know if I like them! But remember, even experts who grow under lights for year are not always 100% successful either.
Here's a tip from a seasoned veteran for those having trouble with larkspur: Don't wintersow it in a jug, direct sow it NOW. If kept moist they will sprout soon in the cool fall weather, then winter over as tiny seedlings. Next year they'll be huge and beautiful
Here you can see some of my seedlings in spring, the tiny little ones on the far right. If you look closely and match by size and color, you can see them here and there, too
Believe me, if you can get those larkspur started now, before the ground freezes, they'll do well and be tall, stately plants by next summer. You just need to get the seeds on the ground now and mist them lightly every day, maybe twice a day if the weather is warm and dry. Once started they seem to have no trouble surviving winter even if they're only one inch seedlings. Last year it got down to below zero F., with no snow cover for insulation, and those babies didn't miss a beat.
This was the other side of that bed, picture taken from the center stone path.
Karen, its odd how some things work for some but don't for others- I've successfully WS Playcodon several times now, and often have gotten blooms the first year. I did note something last year though, the potting media used makes a difference for a lot of plants. In the past I'd always used Miracle grow potting mix, which works best for most things, but last year in mid sowing I started using a mix with a lot of fine bark that drains extra well. Some things didn't do as well in it, but others did better than ever, including Platycodon.
Every wintersower I know has started platycodon with no problem. I have tried them in different months, spring and winter, and never get a sprout. I've used both traded and commercial seeds. I think they don't like me or they don't want to live at my house. The plant that I just bought will probably die.
I'm not real fond of Miracle Grow myself. I have used it and it worked OK. I'm probably just politically prejudiced against the company. I did try one small bag of their organic mix last year. It's bark based and I liked it better than the regular stuff. It's pretty expensive though. I'll have to try harder to find Pro-Mix locally this year.
I know what you mean, I really don't like supporting MG company, sure wish Pro Mix was more readily available on the retail market, that was always my favorite. For so many things, it seems the peat based mixes hold too much moisture.
You can always mix in a handful of perlite to lighten the mix some. I sometimes do that and it works well.
Last year, when I couldn't get Pro-Mix here, I went to a couple of local nurseries where they start their own plants from seeds. They both had MG on display for customers but I searched for the growers and asked what they use for their own seed starting. One used Metro Mix, the other used Fafard. I bought one big bag of each and liked them both. Both were peat based but nice and fluffy and light, and drained well. I liked both. I still have some Metro Mix, will probably get another this year if not Pro-Mix.
I just want to say I LOVE THIS THREAD! I love that everyone is sharing the successes and discussing what didn't work, and that folks are sharing photos of the gardens made possible by WSing. It's just inspiring to see the fruits of our labors, so to speak!
Angie, great pics :) Why won't the poppies bloom this year? Are you talking Oriental or California..or a different type? I WS'd both of those and I got some pretty Oriental flowers this year. What was funny is that the California either didn't come up or it didn't bloom. But the Oriental did..and those seeds were around 3 years old!! I just threw them in cause I found the seed packet in a drawer LOL I've never done poppies before..are the flowers normally small or not? Mine were small.
Here's one of the pics..
Chris, thanks for the compliment. I don't know why my poppies haven't bloomed, but I assumed since I planted them this year that they wouldn't bloom until next year. You know, the first year they sleep, second year they creep, third year they leap thing about perennials. How lovely yours are. Mine are just sitting there as a group of leaves, larger, by far, than when I planted them, but no blooms.
I love this thread - this next winter will be my FIRST time to WS so I hope to have the same success as you all have! I don't have any WS plants to show (yet) so here's my dog as a substitute, lol. He's kinda pretty too. Cynthia
I love WS'ing as well and this will be my 5th year at it. My favorites to sow are Zinnia, Border Dahlia, Nicotiana, Nigella, Cosmos and Tomato. Although I do others, they are definitely sown every year. I have to say that I have a good success rate on all my containers. It is the plant that I am not always happy with. Either it blooms too late, is not happy in my zone/yard or just doesn't work in the general scheme of things. That is what I love with this whole process. The variety available in seed bypasses the offerings as local nurseries and the money saved is great!
Karen, I used to get Fafard potting mix from a greenhouse operation (where we bought house plants for the Florist shop I used to work at)- it was really good! I need to ask around about some more of that.
Hemophobic, great wintersown plants you have! I love hearing the success stories! The flower you have labeled Myositis, I think is actually Cynoglossum amabile, Chinese Forget me Not. I love them, the most amazing shade of blue! I've allowed them to reseed everywhere they want. Just this year I received some Myosotis in a trade- can't wait to see them bloom next spring! I understand they are perennial and reseed.
Gemini: You are probably correct. These were seeds that were given in a packet labeled Myosotis at Locust Grove in Kentucky when we visited there last fall and I sowed them. If the true Myosotis is perennial, that's for me. Whatever it is, it has a lovely crystal blue color and was quite attractive in flower. In fact, I've sheared some of them back and they are blooming again, a nice bonus.
Anita: I agree with you about WSing being a cheap way to try new plants not available at the local nurseries. Not to brag, because I am far from an expert gardener, but at most of our nurseries, I know more than the people running them. There is one glowing exception, but they deal mainly in shrubs and trees. I tried Clarkias this year and won't bother with them again. They bloomed but what a short bloom period and then they turned into dead little stalks. Not good. When you refer to border Dahlias, are you talking about Unwin's Dwarf? I had great success with those and plan to use them heavily next year in my borders. What a great plant. Long blooming and heavily blooming. Love it.
Do annuals do better at WSing than perennials? I have so many perennial seeds I've bought for next year, but would like to sow annuals too. Has anyone noticed if either works better? (We live north of Kansas City so our winters are not harsh.)
Wintersowing works best for me when starting perennials. I wouldn't say wintersowing is better for one or the other (annuals or perennials), but I've found if a perennial is hardy in your area, wintersowing will probably work for it, but with annuals it kinda depends on the nature of the plant. And its not so much that I've found annuals it doesn't work with, but some just need that extra time growing in a warm environment (a greenhouse, or under lights inside) to reach a size that will bloom most of the summer. A lot of things wintersow easily, but I start them in the house because I'm too impatient to wait till August to see them bloom. With perennials, most don't bloom till the 2nd year anyway, and the cold spell seems to help so many of them germinate.
Angie, if you let some of your Chinese Forget me not go to seed, you'll probably see volunteer plants next year. While they are an annual, I'm finding them to return reliably. I've also noticed they bloom quickly from seed, the plants that bloomed earlier in the year dropped seed, and those seedlings are blooming now. While I haven't been good about dead heading or shearing back, I've had a continuous show since early summer.
Thank you - I will be mosting sowing perennials since I am buying plants I want to see for years to come. If you don't deadhead, Gemini Sage, don't you get more seeds drop and more plants the next year?
GS: Oh, they certainly went to seed, all right! I didn't prune any of them back until several weeks ago, but the ones I did are reblooming. I will try to find some true Myosotis to sow this year, though.
hanseycollie, do you mean the Chinese Forget me Not? I do find more plants from one year to the next with those. They're kinda hard to dead head, because the individual blooms are small and born in sprays. By the time the spray of bloom is finished, there are seeds developing, so I just leave them. This year I've had plants at all stages of development throughout the summer.
Angie, I received some Myosotis from another DGr this spring, and they've settled in nicely. They had blooms and seed heads on them when I planted them, and I've notices a few seedlings around them! Hopefully next year I'll have plenty of seed from them to offer.
Angie, I just thought of something- be sure to list Myositis on your want list for the Piggy swap. I don't know if she saved seeds from them or not, but the member I received my plants from is a swap participant (mittsy), and I think there may be a couple of others that grow it too.
1800+ views of this thread, that's amazing. I just bought some seeds from valueseeds - they came really quick. I think Swallowtailgardens is my favorite - they have given me such great customer service and I like how they package their seeds. My neighbor is going to winter sow with me so we can swap flowers, how fun will that be?
Hansey, sounds like a plan to me! Wish I could convince my neighbor to do the same. She's an excellent gardener and has a great eye for design, but she doesn't tag any of her plants, so maybe it's just as well that she doesn't WS. I wouldn't know what I'm getting. Y'all enjoy!
I read on one post, Angie, about a gal who WSed so much that when it came to planting, she lost track of what was going where and just put them in the ground, LOL, that'll be me (or so I hope!). My neighbor friend has an amazing back yard and she has also never WS, so it'll be fun to do it with her. Her yard is pretty shaded whereas I left a huge area of ours in full sun (no trees) so I hope she can use some of my seeds. She is growing coneflowers in the shade and what WAS pink is now white. Isn't that odd? Cynthia
Well, the plant ghetto that lived on my patio last winter has finally been cleared off and I have resolved to be more restrained, but we'll just have to see if I can stick to it! I have great intentions, don't you know, but when it comes to gardening, I lose all sense of restraint and self-control. I'm a plant junkie!
Angie, I was looking at my daughter's empty room earlier (she's moved out) and one side of the bed is full of milk jugs, pop bottles, empty deli trays/covers... and I'm thinking to myself, "Is it obsessive when you purchase products just CAUSE you want the container to WS in?" I'd say you and I need deliverance from this obsession, LOL!!!! "Hello, my name is Cynthia, and I'm a plant junkie." Now you say, "Hello Cynthia!" Regards, PJA (Plant Junkies Anonymous)
Hello, Cynthia! My name is Angie and I've been a plant junkie for years! I know the feeling well. I size things up according to whether I can (A) get them in the car; (B) keep them living until I can get them planted; (C) what can I plant around them! I'd say I have a serious, perhaps terminal, case of plant addiction.
Oh, it could be worse, couldn't it? We could be addicted to something really harmful. At least gardening is only harmful to our bank accounts and our backs!
Hello, Lynn. Welcome to PJA! Your stash of WS containers looks so neat. By the end of winter, I had jugs all over the patio in various cardboard boxes and it was a real eyesore, especially as the weather warmed and the boxes started to deteriorate. Just recently got the last of them cleaned off! No self-control whatsoever. Pitiful, I am. But it was such great fun, I'll be right in the midst of it again this year, trying oh, so hard to practice some discipline. I'm already saving plastic containers, though! Have a very nice container which grapes came in, already has holes in bottom and it's deep. How lucky is that? Sam's Club has some wonderful containers.
I must be strong. I must be strong. I must be strong. (LOL)
Hi Cynthia! You might be talking about me :) I had around 43 containers that sprouted and then took so long to get them in the ground, that I just started putting them in without paying attention to where I was placing the plants. Then later I took pics of the flowers that bloomed, so that I could figure out what I had success with LOL! Can you tell it was my first time WSing?? :)
Isn't so much fun? I, too, ended up just popping things in the ground, without a clue as to what they were. They ended up so pretty, wouldn't have had so many flowers if I hadn't w/s. I even planted a couple of weeds, not knowing what they were.
Oh, my gosh, Lynn. Those dahlias are to die for! Are they from seed? My dahlias I think I am most proud of from my WS efforts. They've done so well. The bed looks great and so do you! I can see your pride shining in your smile!
Yes, I widened the beds all the way to the driveway and on the other side as well. I kept widening them as I kept planting the hunks of seedlings. I had no idea they would grow so well. I will post another picture showing the calendulas and the 4 o'clocks in the same bed. I am still working on them, the other side of the driveway is not as completed yet. I don't have the energy to dig out all of the sod, so I am putting down cardboard and Tagro on top. Because I wasn't prepared, I had to dig a hole in the sod and plant them, did the cardboard and compost later. I am fighting grass growing back in those spots.
I sure hope that a lot of those plants will reseed.
Gorgeous pics, Lynn! You've done a fabulous job! I did the same thing when I moved here, just made holes in the sod, planted stuff, then went back later with cardboard and mulch. In the spots where I removed a larger circle of sod, I had good luck planting this way, but in some spots the grass has been a real booger to get out of there.
I've had great results from lasagna garden technique. I cover the lawn with cardboard and pile on organic matter, as much as I can gather. This fall I'm doing 2 small new raised beds (4' x8') for tomatos. My husband got the wood, has to screw it together. I've hauled home lots of cardboard from work, have a bale of straw on hand, will also use some grass clippings, leaves when available, yard waste, coffee grounds, whatever I can find. I still need to get a little soil.
Lynn... I'm so right with you on this... this will be my first year to get my act together to ws... now I'm almost ashamed to say how many containers I'm going to ws... well ok, today... it is close to 200. Yes 200 folks.
My plan is to hopefully have enough plants to have a 1 weekend plant sale to make enough money to then be able to have more topsoil brought in... 70 yards is what I need...LOL I did 40 yards last year to create my raised beds, and this next year I need to restock the beds as well as create new ones. We have nothing but clay soil so everything goes in a raised bed.
I have collected some wonderful and unique perennial seeds that hopefully I'll get a lot of buyers... at least I know the members from my garden club will come as they can't wait to see what crazy project I'm up to next... Some of these folks I think live through my experiments... which is fine with me cause I know maybe somewhere down the road they will try something. I did get a lot of them interested in worm castings...LOL
So my mixture is a seed starting mixture that is sold locally and it does very well for me and isn't too expensive. This year I'm going to add in worm castings to see if when the seeds germinate the benefits from the worm castings will help them grow stronger.
My # one question is since I'm in zone 5, when is the right time to start this? in December or in February? I'm only planting perennials that are hardy in my zone, and that would (had they been plants) winter over in the garden anyway, in hopes of having better success rates.
thanks for any light yall care to send my way. I'm so excited about this. I wanted to start this last year but do to health reasons wasn't able to and now...
Janet: Check the germination time for the various seeds. That'll give you some idea how early or late you can WS them. If something takes weeks to germinate, you'll probably need to start it earlier than something that takes, say, 5 days to germinate. Although I have to say, I just sowed my seeds last year and wasn't too scientific or anal about it. Some did well, some didn't, but those that failed were mostly my inexperience. I did keep a table of date sown, seed sown, date of germination, source of seed (e.g., commercial or DG name). It was great fun and I intend to do it again this year.
Wintersowing begins anytime after winter solstice, so Dec. 21. Any time after that is fine for any hardy perennial or hardy annual (i.e. HP or HA to your zone). The only "trick" on sowing time is to wait until close to your spring (late March-early April for me) for more tender ones.
BTW, I've been gardening in clay all my life. My soil is good stuff now, without raised beds. All it took is yearly additions of compost and organic mulches. It has changed from that light tan rock hard stuff to nice black soil.
Lynn-- you're so organized. I haven't gotten that far yet... i just sorta plug along willy nilly picking seeds to sow... at least now, after the first year, I know NOT to sow the tender annuals so early.
LOL, I am not organized. Last year, I had so many seeds from the PS, that I had to do something. I kept playing with my seeds and sorting them into piles of what I am going to sow next, then shoving them all back into the box and starting all over again. Some seeds that I really wanted to try are still sitting in the tins, waiting for this year! Unfortunately, I got a bit burned out at the end, I sowed over 400 containers (some large, some just Starbuck cups), and then I realized that ALL of those needed to be watched to make sure they survived surprise frosts after they germinated, drying out, and needed to be planted in UNPLANNED and UNPREPARED beds. What was I thinking?!!! I was trying to keep track in my journal, but got overwhelmed and just stopped updating. If they grew, they grew, if they didn't, I wasn't going to stress about them. All in all, though, I felt the WS as a great success and will do it again this year. I am trying to convince some of my friends to give it a try.
>>I kept playing with my seeds and sorting them into piles of what I am going to sow next, then shoving them all back into the box and starting all over again.
LOL -- i do the same thing.
I'll rifle thru my boxes saying how i'd like to grow such-and-such... then they go back in... so i'm really cleaning house for this PS, and NOT asking for so much in return. I really need to limit what i sow.
yea... good luck. LOL.
I loved your green house thing though... quite ghetto. I just have my boxes, that look ghetto enough. Ahhhh, what fun we have.
This will be year #5 for me. So little space left to plant. I'm really trying to clean up my beds this fall, not finished yet. I still need a couple of days out there to yank stuff and cut others back. I started out digging up, moving, and/or dividing perennials but it's a little too late for that now. I'll just have to settle for cutting them back.
We had a hard freeze a few weeks ago and the few remaining tender annuals out there are pathetic. Totally dessicated, if you touch them they fracture and disintegrate in your hands. Ugh! I'm so far behind, I just can't imagine people so organized that they're already organizing seeds for the upcoming winter. How can you be in next year and I'm still stuck in last year? The story of my life.
Karen... luckily for me, i dont work, so i can go out during the day/nice weather and put in an hour here and there.
I'm finally home for the season... been home about 3 weeks. I've really only cut things back... going to do my dividing and potting up plants i plan to give away -- I'll do that in the spring.
I'm basically done harvesting seeds, only have to watch one more plant that is still blooming... other than that... i'm done. and with the seed swap in full swing... Lynn and I are planning for next year by dreaming of seeds. LOL.
Chuckle. I am still in last year, too. I have a big flower bed that I never got around to removing the leaves from a year ago. I only weeded there on a hit and miss basis, getting the easy ones as I was walking by or planting a new guy in the neglected bed.
In my dreams, my beds are luscious and full of blooms, no weeds, and properly spaced when planted. Oh yes, the shrubs and trees are getting mature, and nothing is being crowded. Can you tell that I have a problem foreseeing their growth potential?
It's funny... I LOVE Karens flower beds... so nicely spaced... all looks so organized. mine are jam packed as some of mine were direct sown... just tossing the seeds. I need to make more room next year and maybe even semi-organize my beds... so in my dreams, my flower beds look like Karens.
I haven't tried direct sowing yet. I planted things that I had no clue as to what they were, just plopped chunks of WS jugs in the nearest flower beds that looked sparse. Well, those little chunks grew and grew, and I had to increase the size of the beds. Then, of course, I had bare soil, so I had to go buy more shrubs and plants to fill in those spots. And, yes, they grew and grew, so I had to put down more cardboard to make the beds even bigger. And so it goes. More bare spots to fill in!
Angie... i was thinking about that...even though we are not WSing yet... you could always change the topic line to something like General WS chatter... and add a link that we have moved to a new thread... because - even on hi-speed, this one is getting sluggish.