Wintersowing Johnny Jump-up aka violas

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

I'm reading from the Stokes Seed catalog about how to sow Johnny Jump-ups aka Violas.. The instructions seem confusing to me. It recommends pressing seed into the soil surface and cover lightly with a dusting of fine soil. Then it says to cover seed flats with black plastic or newspaper. Keep seeds without light until germination. Choose a cool shaded area out of direct sunlight so you will not cook the seed under the plastic. I wintersowed some of same seeds last year in jugs and don't recall having a problem. Didn't follow any of these instructions. I think I only had one HOS..

Would like to hear your experience with this flower. I've bought them before as starter plants. I know they will reseed themselves and you will grow where you didn't plant them because the wind blew the seeds pods. If I needed to cover them with black plastic or newspaper, how would I handle that part without the plastic laying on the seed/soil? I could cut a piece of black plastic and pull it across the top of the jug, before I place my foil tape around the jug to close it up.

Selinsgrove, PA(Zone 5b)

I always winter sow mine. I sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil in my milk jug. Easy to grow.


Thumbnail by DEMinPA
Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I've done them twice now, both times WS with no problems. Probably just surface sow and stick outside.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

So maybe those instructions in Stokes seed catalog were strickly for people who grow indoors "under the lights?" I can't wait to start sowing ; started poking my drainage and air circulation holes on 18 jugs the other night iand had to quit because it was too cole in the garage. I even starting numbering the jugs that I poked the holes in, so that much is done, along with all my foil tape is cut to go around each milk jug and lap over a wee bit. Thank You again, Don.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Here in Dallas I just throw the seeds in the garden ... water .... and they will germinate as soon as spring is here .... easy

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Pippi -- generally - the directions on the packet are for indoor sown or direct sown seeds.

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

All you need is a couple snips of tape to keep the wind from blowing the jug lids open. It doesn't need to be completely sealed all the way around. Save your tape...

Calgary, Canada

The violas, Johnny-Jump-Ups, grow like weeds here.
I let them grow wherever they jump up.
They are easily pulled, if they jump up where they are not needed.

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Adding my 2 cents a bit late, but I agree with the others--violas and pansies generally are very easy to grow by wintersowing them. But you learn something new every day on this forum! Up to now, I've always taken care to lightly cover certain seeds, e.g. violas, with a sprinkling of soil as per instructions in my favorite book for seed sowing: Park's "Success with Seed." But come to think of it, that's for "regular sowing" under lights or direct sowing in the garden. Wintersowing is the way Mother Nature does it--seeds just cast around the garden, or in my case, into jugs. No need to complicate the process!

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

so Id better get cracking on this..OK soo do I cover any of the seeds large or small in my wsing jugs ? I too sow under lights small seed you dont cover and lg. seed you do ...

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I'm certainly far from an expert on this... but i think i read somewhere that - cover the seed about how 'thick' it is.... tiny seeds, surface sow, something like a morning glory, put it down about the width of the seed.... 1/8" maybe??

tiny like Poppies and Agastaches... i surface sow... others get a light cover. Some say they need "darkness" some say they need "light"

so - i guess it all depends on the seed too.

I'm sure someone has a link to a page that talks about all of this... but i dont have one.

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

I know Ive read it somwhere,that caused me issuses last year inside.Did I write it down ..NO >>>> LOL geez light no light big small LOL

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Tam, Joannabanana posted a message last year telling what needs covering lightly, what needs darkness and what NOT to cover. I'll put a copy in the mail to you tomorrow but I think there was a thread started on same subject a few weeks ago. Maybe you can search for Joannabanana's posting on Jan. 17, 2009 Post#6016757 under Seed Germination. Let me know if you find it and I won't mail this tomorrow.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

here is the post

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

thank you so much ladies,i dont have a printer hooked up right now..guess i can write this down !!!! Need to get my pc nephew over here..

just listening to the news,oMG South Bend Indiana 70 miles from here..40 inches of snow over the weekend..Blasted the record from the blizzard of 78 !!! And it was only Lake effect snow..WOW ..wishing it was us =} I love lots of snow.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

You had better get cracking sowing those milk jugs so you can get them outside before the snow arrives. I mailed you a copy yesterday of what Joannabanana posted about what seeds need No Covering, lightly covered, and darkness. If you can grow indoors under lights, this is going to be much easier. You'll love it! Ralph can help too!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

OK Im going to make my starting mix,with spagnum moss and perlite 2/3 moss 1/3 perlite.Read it on the back of the Bag ??? No One in our puny town had any seed starting mix..Ace,Walmart or TSC,yup I only have 3 choices !!! Was snowing too much to drive 25 miles yesterday. Im going to try it inside too when I start under lighhts.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Tamara -- have you ever been to Tom Clothier's site

GREAT SITE ... and if you do to the second section of "green thumbs" there is a link for Soilless Mixes.

**for all his links, click the Green Thumb icon.

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

Thanks Terese im going to go look ,I need to find somewhere or make my mix ,so Im not spending so much on it,can get costly buying the small bags.

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