Winter Sowing - 2010 - things rolling right a long

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

It's mid- January, how is everyone doing with their WS projects?

I Need to get things moving again. Haven't done anything for about two weeks.

but i have A LOT of seeds to sow.

didnt get creative with a new pic either.... all the snow in this image [which is very small, no need to click on it]
is long gone. much of our snow is melted away.... not that i want anymore either.

Thumbnail by tcs1366
Dallas, OR(Zone 8b)

Thanks jada, we don't use much milk either, and we don't drink pop at all. I don't buy water as our water here is very good. I need to learn to think creatively, hard for me to do. : ( Our weather is starting to get a little better so will be able to go out to the rock pile soon. : )
dmac, I put out an email to everyone close by to save milk/pop containers, then contacted my neighbors with kids. Hopefully they will start rolling in. : )

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Valley Girl,
Check for milk jugs at your local coffee shoppes (STARBUCKS!) I've been getting about 20 milk jugs every time I call them to save for me -- and some places will even give you the coffee grinds, too, for your compost pile!

Here's my latest update....

This message was edited Jan 19, 2010 11:15 AM

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

bad photo...let's try again...

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

third time's the charm...?


This message was edited Jan 19, 2010 11:14 AM

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Chalfont, PA(Zone 6b)

I just did a bunch of wintersowing this morning. I tried an assembly line style this year. I labeled all my milk jugs first and taped the corresponding seed packets to the outsides of the corresponding jugs. I then got a big bin full of my potting mix added water and mixed it up. I filled all my jugs with the potting mix. Then I sowed my seeds and taped up the jugs. It went pretty fast.
Here's a list of what I sowed today. I'm still waiting for some seeds to come in, but feel like I'm off to a good start :)
Achillea “Flowerburst Red”
Aquilegia alpina
Astilbe "Amethyst"
Columbine "Origami White"
Columbine "Tower White"
Delphinium “Centurion Gentian Blue”
Delphinium “Centurion Sky Blue”
Delphinium “Connecticut Yankee”
Delphinium “Double Blue Lace”
Delphinium “Centurion Royal Purple”
Delphinium "Magic Fountain cherry blossom/white bee"
Delphinium "Magic Fountain Dark Blue/White Bee"
Delphinium "Magic Fountain Lilac Pink/White Bee"
Digitalis purpurea "Camelot White"
Digitalis purpurea "Snow Thimble"
Hibiscus "Disco Belle White"
Lobelia "Fan Blue"
Lobelia cardinalis
Lobelia "Compliment Mix"
Penstemon heterophyllus “True Blue”
Prunella “Freelander Blue”
Pulmonaria angustifolia
Thymus serpyllum “Mother of Thyme”
Verbena bonariensis
Veronica "Sightseeing Mixture"

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Hope you taped the labels over with clear tape so the rain doesn't destroy them. Those box sealing strips should do the trick!

I sure wish I knew flowers like I know veggies, cause that's an impressive list you've got there.

I've got to learn my flowers!

Chalfont, PA(Zone 6b)

Oh, flowers are so much fun!!! Give them a try. I used a paint pen for my labels, and they seem to be able to withstand the elements.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I was like a caged animal for the last 5 days. Surgery on my left index finger left me unable to do ANYTHING I wanted to do in the garden or in the house (I did manage a one-handed WSing activity on the third day....)

But, by day #5, yesterday, the HOLIDAY!, I bit the bullet (almost literally when I forgot I wasn't supposed to flex...), and went out and did some light duty cleaning up on my concrete launching pad.

I found a great use for plant tape, too! For when your surgical bandage won't stay stuck!

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

Who needs to do anything in the house?? LOL

LOL about the plant tape! Great idea!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Steph ... it's still cold here [ZONE ENVY] though the sun is shining brightly today [havent seen that in a while]

I've got errands to run [though waiting a call from the Dr office] -- I need to transplant some plants, need more pots, and do a bit of Ws'ing if there is still time left in the day.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Ok. I just am just about to die. For some reason I ventured over into the tomatoes forum and decided to RE-read Dr. Carolyn Male's instructions on starting tomatoes from seeds. And under her first MUST DO item was clearly stated that tomato seeds MUST be started in artificial mix and NOT in the MG potting mix I used...I have sowed almost 20 jugs of tomato seeds....

I KNEW this two years ago when I was a total UBERnewb! I got all caught up in the WSing adventure, and I totally forgot this one critical step. The fungus are probably munching on my seeds as we speak....

I need a pill.....seriously....and, I bought ALL new seeds this time....

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Linda... i only use MG and my 'maters grow just fine.. are yours WS'ed or started indoors?

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Yeah, I don't get it. How does she define "artificial mix"? what's that? How is it any different from MG potting mix? I don't use MG, but most wintersowers I know (and that's a lot, on this forum and the other one too) use MG for everything with good results.


Dallas, OR(Zone 8b)

Gymgirl, I did the same thing, used MG. : ( I didn't know we weren't suppose to. You are really quite inovative. : )
tcs, okay my heart is beating again. That was a big scare, I planted all of my tomato seeds already in MG.
Wow, pgt that is a really impressive list. I love reading what others are sowing.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Hey, TC...
They're all outdoors in those milk jugs under the TEN HUT!! post above. Snuggled up in the MG potting mix...

I'm hoping and praying...

And I am sooooooooooooooooooo happy to hear that someone else uses MG for starting tomato seeds! You've given me HOPE!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

Linda^^_^^_^^_^^ (you 'n me and ValleyLynn doing the Miracle Grow dance!)

This message was edited Jan 19, 2010 4:05 PM

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Quote from Gymgirl :
I ventured over into the tomatoes forum and decided to RE-read Dr. Carolyn Male's instructions on starting tomatoes from seeds.

I DONT GET TO... ooops... over to that forum often.. but i'm assuming that those in the Tomato Forum start their seeds inside and under lights. You should not have a fungus problem when Ws'ing... from what i've read [in other places] the fungus issue is an Inside Sowing issue. your's should be just fine.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Karen.

I still have a vision of that little tomato volunteer that's growing in plain 'ole dirt out I'm glad to know there's hope!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Yah got a point there. Those instructions [i]are[/i] for sowing seeds inside, under grow lights. Which, up to now, is what I was doing. Wintersowing is an entirely different animal!

I've been mixing apples and oranges, trying to get a tomato!!! :{))

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I still don't get it. What's "artificial mix" and how does it differ from MG?


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Karen... that is true. I have not read her article though...

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

in the article that I just started browsing thru....


First, you MUST use artificial soilless mix. Regular potting soil has lots of
fungi in it .... So start with a good
artificial mix like Jiffy Mix (my favorite), or Pro-Mix or Peter's, etc.

I would think Miracle Gro would fall into this category.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Seems to be "soilless mix" vs "potting soil" but seems to me that most soilless mixes are labeled "potting soil" even though they contain no soil.


Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

This from the web:

What’s in a Soilless Potting Mix?
Most soilless mixes are predominantly sphagnum peat moss. Sphagnum peat is lightweight, inexpensive and in certain areas, renewable. Just as importantly, it’s well draining yet water retentive. Granted, until you get the peat thoroughly moistened, the particles can be very unpleasant to work with. Peat is also on the acidic side and most seed starting mixes have a soil pH around 5.8, which is fine for starting most seeds.
There are also amendments added to the peat, which can include:

Bark: Bark is added to improve drainage and air space within the mix. This means it will also decrease the water retention slightly. Bark mixes are better for use with mature plants that need to dry between waterings than for starting seeds.

Coir: Coir is a coconut fiber by-product and works similar to peat in providing good drainage while also retaining water. It’s often used as a substitute in areas where peat is hard to come by.

Perlite: Perlite is that stuff that looks like pebbly Styrofoam. It’s a volcanic mineral, although it does not affect the nutrient quality or the pH of the mix. It does add in drainage and in air and water retention, that magical balance. In fact, it is sometimes used in outdoor gardens to prevent sandy soil from leaching nutrients.

Vermiculite: Vermiculite is those silvery-gray flecks you see in potting soil. It’s a mica-type material that is heated up and expanded, to increase it’s water holding capacity. The particles soak up water and nutrients and hold them in the mix until the plants are ready to access them. Perlite is also good as a soil covering for seeds that need to remain consistently moist to germinate.

You may see vermiculite for sale at home improvement stores, for use in insulation or plaster. This grade vermiculite is not really suitable for potting mixes since it does not absorb water easily.

Some mixes will also include fertilizer and/or trace elements or a wetting agents.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Yes...but... walk around a store and read labels. Many are called 'potting soil" . If you read the list of ingredients they'll include the above in different combinations, but no soil. Betcha a nickel.


Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

Exactly. Those are all cheap ingredients you can add yourself or make your own mix.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Miracle Gro says "Potting Mix"

but -- I do believe we all know, not to use garden soil/dirt to start our seeds.

I think we can keep it that simple.

i'll second that bet *wink*

Colleyville, TX(Zone 8a)

I would like to try WS. I have lots of these containers. Would they work?

Thumbnail by bananna18
Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

My friend uses those big pretzel containers from Sams. She really likes them. I've never used them. I do like those honey wheat pretzels, though :-)


Colleyville, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, they are very good!
Should I leave the top on or off?

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I would either drill lots of holes or discard the screw on cap. Then you could just cover with clear plastic with holes, tape on with duct tape.


Colleyville, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks! Will hopefully show some progress on this.

Buckley, WA(Zone 7b)

I used MG last year, had good results. How about using coir? I am thinking about using it, mixed with some perlite, and maybe mix in some Tagro.

Colleyville, TX(Zone 8a)

I just checked on the potting mix I bought today (@Sam's...soil and pretzel store) It is MG and says it has forest product compost among some of the other items mentioned like perlite, coir and sphagnum moss.

Port Vincent, LA(Zone 8b)

I love, love this forum. I just like to say that every once in a while. You folks are the best.

Thanks for all of the wonderful questions and answers.

Karen, you never fail to make me laugh.


SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks for reminding me! I've got a friend who has been saving those big Sam's Snack cannisters all year for my WSing! I've got to go get them!

Like Karen (the WSing guru) said, I'd burn/poke holes in the cannisters and take the top off. Unfortunately, because of the height, we'll still need to slit em open to retrieve our seedlings.

I'm thinking, however, that if I cut my big square ones horizontally, like the milk jugs, I could start some special tomato seeds and deep root em as they grow taller, by just adding more potting mix as they get taller. By the time they reach the top, would be just about the time I'd do the transplant, and send them into shock with a good root system already in place.

How does this logic work for the tomato growers in this room? LMK soonest!

Dallas, OR(Zone 8b)

Very interesting thought Gymgirl.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Valley Girl,
I see you're a tomato grower. Bocabob started this over in his coco coir forum last growing season, and it worked like a charm. He started seedlings deep down in his 5-gallon grow bags and added coco coir as they grew up. He never did transplant them at all, and had a BUMPER crop of healthy, well rooted tomatoes.

Joy1128 recreated the experiment last growing season in her garden with the same results. I'd have to remove the seedlings from the containers to plant out to the 5-gallon eBuckets or the 20-gallon tree containers, but there'd be one nice set 'a roots on those seedlings!

Ok, you've convinced me. I'm gonna do this!

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Hey, I'm not the guru. That title belongs to Trudi and Trudi alone. I take no credit for her creativity or all her work. I learned most that I know from her and the wintersowing forum at GW. Later, I joined Dave's and picked up some additional tips here. I do my best though, to pay it foreward.- share what I've learned with other gardeners.

I've never tried those big containers from Sams, just because they're too big too tall for my taste. They look like work and bother. Above all else, I'm lazy. You know me, I live my milk jugs and 2 liters.


Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Anna! So good to see you over here! I think your pretzel jars will work great, just pretend they're 2 L Coke bottles.

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