Winter Sowing Plans

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

What are you planning to winter sow this winter?

I'm leaning towards more Rudbeckias and Echinaceas. I also have some seeds that I ran out of room for last year and plan to try those this year.

This message was edited Sep 8, 2009 7:36 PM

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm going to WS most of my veggies this year, except beans and peas probably. Flower wise, I plan on doing more coneflowers and I don't know what all else! I probably won't do anything until early to mid January, though.

Jacksonville, AR

Mainly, I am going to watch this thread and sow what you sow!!
Ethinaceiamaniac had a suggestion about sowing (on another thread) that I am going to do. Did not like my first time results at winter sowing.

Are there certain coneflowers and rudebeckias that you have sown in the past that did good? Any that you are going to try this time?

Do you have favorite places you order/get your seed from?

Stephanie, do you raise a lot of veggies? Which ones work best for you?


Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

I'm sorting out my seed box and making up a WS list in my DG journal this week. I didn't wintersow last winter and sorely missed it by springtime. So much fun!

I'm planning on wintersowing lots of Native Plants for a remake of our woodland garden and a few 'meadow-y' spaces. Most of the natives here need 'cold treatment' for a few months, so Wintersowing will be perfect for them. Asclepias incarnata, Asclepias tuberosa, goldenrods, azizia, monarda, agastaches, echinaceas, rudbeckias, liatrises, etc.

Also will wintersow lots of different Aquilegias (columbines) and Digitalis for the front garden~~they need cold treatment too, so they will do well.

If I do veggies I normally don't start them out in WS containers until March or April since I find the seed rots if I plant them out before then (here in our wet winter weather).

Looking forward to a good WS season! t.

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

We had people asking us about Rudbeckia "Goldilocks." Out of all the plants I grew this year it got the most compliments. It's a yellow, double Rudbeckia with big fluffy blooms. If you haven't grown that one, you should give it a try.

I also will be growing tons of seeds I've saved of every kind of Echinacea imaginable. LOL.

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

I'm excited to see what I get from some of the Echies I WS'd last winter. They were from hybrids, so they may all just be plain purple coneflowers (which will be fine, since I didn't already have any). I ended up with one plant each from a yellow and an orange hybrid, and several from 'Double Decker'- they look healthy and have grown well, so I expect blooms next year. I plan on trying more this winter.

Also moving forward with Rudbeckias- I had the best luck ever with them this year! For some reason, success with them had been illusive to me till this year.

I discovered I really like WSing for various Ipomea species this year. This year I've had the best luck with Moon Vine's ever!

I plan to decrease what I've been starting indoors and pretty much wintersow everything from now on. So much easier, and I have much better luck. Its always such a struggle for space under the lights, I'll just use that set up for tropicals and Coleus from now on.

Warners, NY

Relatively modest intentions(?) if I don't get carried away! Echinacea paradoxa, more orange milkweed, E. pallida, but wait until I get my hands on those new seed catalogs!---------------(Once when we were first married, and usually broke, she didn't know what to give me for Christmas so she sat down and requested enough seed and plant catalogs to clutter the house all Spring--I had a pile of seed catalogs a foot or more high!)-----------Weedy

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

I love seed catalogues too - I like to just read them like some people read cookbooks. The bad part is I normally then go on line and order a ton. My refrigerator has a drawer full...literally full of seeds. And our yard is small! LOL

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I honestly have not thought about what i want to sow this winter.

I still have 3 milk jugs of Butterfly Weed to get in the ground.

Like Tab ... I have to go thru my seeds to see what i have, what i can give away and what i want/need to sow.

I lean towards plants that attract bees and butterflies and are drought tolerant.

Zins and marigolds are a must for next year, as I got to them too late and had poor germination ... my beds are lacking the nice fall color this year.

Cumberland Mtns, TN(Zone 6b)

yikes....i gotta have a plan? =)

I'm saving jugs. That's as far as ive gotten. well, other than all the seeds i saved from the plants I WS'd this past winter.

i'll think about it when i get back from FL, ha ha.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

FL??? Say whAT? Are you a snowbird? Do you spend all winter there? How can you wintersow in TN? LOL
Are you still home? I sent you some goodies yesterday.

Vegies ~ vegies and herbs here. It was great fun last summer and I hope to take what I learned and run with it. I plan to share plants with many friends.

I won't do more flowers as it will just stress me out to find places to plant them. If I learned anything from y'all, that was it! 8 ))

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I keep trying to cut back, and I have sown a lot less in the past 2 years compared to what I did in my first couple of years.

My goal this year is to make my beds more manageable. In short, far less plants in the same space. If I could just get out there and move/divide/cull I'd have a better idea how much space I have left.

I also have 4 or 5 jugs of summer-started stuff to make room for.

Hopefully I'll make a little progress out there today.


Pawleys Island, SC

I am planning to winter sow.

This will actually be the first time ever for me. I have grown things this way "accidentally" ( started indoors and gave up on them, so I threw them outside to be recycled later) I hope to winter sow lots of coneflower,daylily and shasta daisy.
who knows what else I may find before I run out of space.


Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Linda, my first year too. We are on vacation this week so I think I'll start my spreadsheet of the thousands (!!!) of seeds I've bought and gathered to begin being "organized". Being a newby, I won't know a shasta daisy seedling rom a daylily seedling, so will want to mark jugs to match spreadsheet. I'm hoping I'm not the only person in the world who it won't work for, LOL.

Thumbnail by hanseycollie
Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Put a plant marker inside your container as well as writing the plant name on the outside of the container. Then you'll know what's what when they start emerging.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

and one thing to remember when marking the jugs.... if you are going to write on the top portion of the jug/container... also mark on the bottom half -- as when it gets warm, you will most likely cut the top portion off...

last year, i used plant markers in some of my jugs, but marked on the top and bottom half of the jugs.

my first year, on many I only marked on the tops, then when i tossed the top half, i had a bunch of NoID's.
Plus -- make sure you use a fade resistant pen/marker -- nothing worse than having the sun fade the identification.

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

LOL, I can see me doing that - tossing the tops with the names. Yes, thank you, I will be marking both halves now. I heard paint pens work really well and they don't fade either. Will put markers inside too being such a newbie. Thanks for the good advice!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I used a #2 pencil on recycled old blinds or cut up margarine tubs. The pencil does not fade. I did mark the jugs with a marker too.

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Good idea - I'll do that. A no. 2 pencil, does it get any easier than that?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I used Paint Pens. and using the markers inside is fine too... because then when you plant out, you already have your marker made up.

my first year, i was planting out so fast, not having markers handy -- then i forgot what most was - especially perennials, as they didnt bloom -- so i had to ID most of them the next year.

better to be thorough.

This message was edited Oct 5, 2009 10:10 PM

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

BTW, also know some gardeners that bury the name so the sun doesn't fade the ink on markers.

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

Cynthia -

Here's how I labeled mine last year. It worked so well!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

echina --- i read the label, that being Purple Pygmy ... how did those turn out?? I purchased some from BlueStone, and i just love the blooms -- I'm hoping to collect a bunch of seeds, as for I only have 8 [hoping to share] but i was wondering how they WS. First year bloomer or second? I just think they are so cool looking. OH and i love the scent.


(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

The purple pygmy did very well. Tons of germination!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

thanks...that's good to know.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

I am Purple Pygmy did nothing!

I will WS Echinacea and Rudbeckia and then do some zinnia's and salvia in the spring. I am not doing as much this winter after all the failures.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

For the marker I stuck inside the jug, I used an old metal blind and #2 pencil. They're still readable!

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

I used to have more failures until I started using a layer of seed starting mix on top of the potting soil. I put potting soil in the bottom and then top that with a layer about a half inch thick of Jiffy Seed starting mix or similar. It seems to help when there is too much moisture.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

Now that might be worth a try.

Sanford, MI(Zone 5a)

thank you also for all the info this will be my first year ws and I had no idea what to do I think this is going to be fun ;0)

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Gloria -- if you haven't already.... do read the very top thread [sticky] in this forum... full of great information.

Sanford, MI(Zone 5a)

I read it and it did have a lot of info also but it still makes you learn more reading all that every one dose and how they do it I call it my confidece (sp) builder ;0)

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Gloria~You're so right! It does help to gather as much information and personal experiences before starting. I wish you well in your WS endeavor!

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I need to get in there and organize my seeds then make a WS list. I usually start winter sewing in mid-Dec. but I got my hot little paws on snapdragons Frosted Flame ,Brighton Rock. and Bronze Dragon. One year I sewed snaps(Madame Butterfly and Butterflies...I Think) under a polytunnel in Sept and got great germination so I figured they'd do just as well in my un-heated greenhouse this year then I can spot them out in flowerbeds next spring.

Sewing a bunch of panies, violas and Calif.poppies as soon as weather clears up so I get a batch of potting mix stirred up. Should have been started earlier but we generally are too hot to start them sooner.

Going to try primulas again this year. Not much luck in the past and the ones I did get to grow got spidermites real bad. I'm ready with a systemic this time.

I traded for some huechera seeds last year and got some super looking plants from sewing so I'm on the look out with any one w/ seeds w/bright and flashing leafed heuchea seeds for WS.

Oops! Sorry,I get excited when it starts getting time to winter sew....LOL

Some of this years huechera seedlings


Tons and tons of purchased seeds and trades to winter sew. Too numerous to list. I'm a seedaholic and the economy has cuutail plant purchases.

Thumbnail by bigred
Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

So P, do you sell plants in springtime too? If so, how do you think that business will be?

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

Yes,I usually sell at market from mid-April to first of July. This year we started at the beginning of March and I went until first of July took July and August off because not many people plant during our heat, Went back in Sept.but didn't do well so quit going at the beginning of Oct.
Business for me(just ornamentals)were off this year but I'm hoping it will be better next year.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I guess ornamentals aren't considered a necessity these days. If you don't sell fresh vegies perhaps you might try selling mater plants and other seedlings?

Ashdown, AR(Zone 8a)

I gave up on veggies after 3 yrs of loosing two gardens to flash floods.The economy will turn around sooner or later. I've curtailed plant purchases the past 2 yrs and concentrated on doing more by seed.

I sell herbs. This year I offered a few variegated tomato plants but there's several other vendors that do veggie starts. I offered bareroot plants this spring. Mainly from thinning and dividing plants. I can sell them cheaper so people can still garden and watch their budgets. I still ahve regular customers that have money enough to by potted plants. Houseplants did well this year and probably could have done better if I had more.

I quit doing cuts 2 yrs ago too but did noticed that one vendor did well with single stem sales this year so people still want their luxuries but just not in the volume of the past.

Cumberland Mtns, TN(Zone 6b)

LOL LOL LOL Podster. too funny. no way am I a snowbird. (not to offend any either) i just went for Fall break with my lil sister and neice. I am home! ready to sow. and sew.

while i was floating on that raft in the pool or baking my buns on the beach, I promised to come home and be vengeful with my gardening and my sewing machine.

all my gardening plan(t)s got sunburnt. and soaked in the pool? lol. i'm still sitting here ;)

i'm still a WS convert - newbie! ya'll ain't getting rid of me that easy =)
not when i'm still here picking peppers. perrenial seeds. about to wintersow poppies

heh-heh say that 3 times real fast


Pawleys Island, SC

I am home with a yucky bug today, so I think I will get in there and organize my seeds and lists and decide exactly what gets planted. Thanks for all the ideas. It will soon be time for me to get started. Our nights are beginning to drop into the 50's, so hopefully in a couple of weeks it will be cool enough.
I am still collecting seeds too.


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