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Winter Sowing Veggies??

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Has anyone WS veggies? If so, how is it different than WSing flowers and such? Any help or tips appreciated.

Garner, NC(Zone 7b)

I do tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, squash, and peppers by ws...herbs also do well with this method. I use the same method that I do for flowers, however, sow them a bit later than my perennials..about the same time I put out my more tender annuals. I don't bother for fast germinating things like beans. Hopefully, someone from TX will let you know when they start:)

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Stephanie ~ all that I wintersowed this year WAS vegetables and herbs. As I've never done flowers in this manner, I have no reference to compare it to.

I did feel the tomato plants I WS'd were hardier than those 'store bought'. I didn't buy any but had so many sprouted tomato plants I shared with others. Many of them said the ones I sprouted seemed hardier than the purchased plants on frosty nights. I will NEVER buy tomato or pepper or cucumber or squash or melons or... any other veggie starts again. Okra and eggplant need much warmer climate to sprout so I did not start those in this manner. I did have a few of the early squash/cucumbers that seemed to damp off. That was odd because others in the same container did fine.

I was late starting to WS but all did so well that I won't feel pressured to start any sooner this coming winter.

I'd say, try it, you'll like it!

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I do mostly flowers, the only veggie I've done is tomatoes. Last year (2008) they were tiny when planted out but caught up and did well by late summer. But this year the weather of early summer stayed so cool, cloudy, and wet that my WSown 'maters didn't do very well. Those started inside under lights did much better, produced way more fruit, and started producing much earlier. So weather can make a big difference in different parts of the country and from year to year.


Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Also, I think if you find tomatoes suited to your area they will produce better. I know the types sold locally are not always best chosen for our heat / humidity / soils / etc.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Pod~How did you plant your planters to make it easier to transplant them to your garden? We're thinking of trying plastic cups (6 or 8 oz w/ drainholes in bottom) inside the jugs. I've also thought of somehow dividing the dirt into four sections and planting 2 or 3 seeds per section in the jug. Any advice?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I just lightly sowed the seeds around in the jugs. I tried not to bunch them up in a wad. When they got their second set of leaves, I pricked them out individually and planted them. Now bear in mind, I grew mine in large pots this year in a rather unorthodox manner but I moved the seedlings straight to the 2 to 5 gallon pots they were going to stay in. I planted them low in the pots and as they grew, I would add more soil and compost, removing lower leaves. Planting in that manner insisted that the root system reach to the bottom of the pot. The great thing about it was the black pots provided more heat and on frosty nights, I could throw a cover over the pots for protection as the plants hadn't reach out of the pots at that time.

If I were going to plant tomatoes in ground, I would transfer them to two inch pots till the roots really begin to develop before planting in ground. That may defeat the principle of wintersowing tho. Have you been to on their tomato link? They also have a number of other tomato links. Wintersown is where I got a selection of seed suited to the southern climate to try.

This photo shows them in their permanent resting place and starting to grow. I had already started adding soil and compost to these...

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Pod, thanks for the picture, now I know what I should be doing.
When did you sow your seeds? You have inspired me to do this.
It will be alot easier than have lights & flats all over my counters.
Do you have a picture of your containers that you sowed your seeds?

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

That's a good idea to plant them deep. I do this when transplanting tomatoes. Hadn't thought about doing that with other veggies. I'm going to try to grow most of my veggies from seed this next year, so I'm trying to figure things out ahead of time. I don't think it's working though! LOL

You grow all your veggies in pots?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Stephanie, I only planted the tomatoes and tomatillos deeply. Not sure how the rest of the vegetables would like that. Don't let it rattle you on starting them from seed. It is so cheap that if they don't sprout just throw some more seeds in. Easy and fun... I am hooked.

Yes, this year I grew everything in pots. It was strictly experimental. The okra, peppers, indeterminate tomatoes (both Porter and Gardeners Delight), Ravayya eggplant and Spacemaster cucumbers are still delivering. I tried for a second planting of green beans but had limited success.

Hi Colie ~ I'm glad to see you around. I started the wintersowing around the first of Feb here. What zone are you in? This picture shows the jugs sitting up on shelves as I had two little stray dogs that were sweet but pesky. I have since found good homes for them both. 8 )) I worried too about fireants moving into the jugs. Being on shelves stopped that too.

Anyway ~ the jugs "ain't purdy" but far better than the clutter indoors.

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Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I don't remember what these plants were but I was so excited when they sprouted and began to grow that I took some photos thru the opening on the jugs. lol

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Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Glad I'm not the only obsessed winter sower! This is from March.

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pod, thanks for the picture & reminding me to keep them off the ground,fire ants are bad here,too. Glad you found homes for the two little doggies. Your planting jugs look neat to me. I'm in zone 7b/8a.
Stephanietx, I like the way you have holes around top of jug.
What size did you drill?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

LOL ~ the one snafu I had was Gardeners Delight tomatoes and Bibb lettuce got planted together in one jug. How on earth did I do that!?!! I sacrificed the lettuce for the maters.

Incidently, some of the herbs I wintersowed were cinnamon, Genovese, lemon and lime basils, calendula, anise, fennel and horehound.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Oops... I just sent without reading your post.. in your zone, to sow in Jan or Feb should be good. I found they grew too well and needed to be planted in the ground or would get frostbit in the jugs. But then, they'd get frostbit in ground. I would have to remember to cover them on frosty nights or the tender foliage would suffer.

edited as I just sent without reading my post... grrrr!

This girlie was so charming I almost regretted giving her away but she hit the dog lottery at her new home. 8 )

This message was edited Sep 6, 2009 4:36 PM

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Oh, what a cutie.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

The top holes were approx 1/4" and the drain holes on the bottom were about 1/8".

Pattie~how did the herbs do? I'm impressed that you grew cinnamon!! How did it do? I'm thinking of growing comfrey and horehound next year.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

No, it was cinnamon basil ~ sorry. I'd love a cinnamon tree but it would not be hardy. I have a small allspice tree that will demand warmer winter temps. If you crush those leaves your mouth will water. Also growing a bay ~ Laurus nobilis in a pot. I do have a comfrey plant in a large pot ~ 2nd year. I didn't start it from seed though. Horehound is similar to the mints for ease of sprouting.

How many 1/8" drain holes did you put to a gallon jug?

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I have tons of cinnamon basil. It's very easy to grow.

Looks like DH did approx. 8 drain holes on the bottom, 1/8" in diameter.

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