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WHEN to sow these annuals

Clinton Township, MI(Zone 6a)

Got a nice box of seeds from my mom today. Over 60 varieties!! I researched when to sow most of them. But there are some I still am not sure when, or even if, to WS.

Anyone have experience with the following? When did you WS? I am in zone 6

Annual statice
Annual Aster
Swiss Chard


Calgary, Canada

I think that you could WS those anytime-----the seeds will know when to sprout.
That is the beauty of WS-----the timing is up to Mother Nature!
I am in zone 3 and will do WS at end of February.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Is it ok if tender annual seeds freeze? I know some are fine, like Cleome, Nicotiana, Verbena Bonariensis , because they self-sow from year to year. But what about Cosmos and the others that don't? Is it better o wait to do those?

Calgary, Canada

Cosmos, I direct seed a bit later, but still while there is light frosts.

East Kingston, NY(Zone 5b)

There were three articles on WS I read the other day somewhere in DG that said that you shouldn't WS tender annuals, I think. Hardy and half hardy were both ok. I'll try to find it again and put in the link.

East Kingston, NY(Zone 5b)

Here's the link. She says you can do the tender annuals, just not till after the hard frosts are over.

Clinton Township, MI(Zone 6a)

Thank you for the link! I had read that article a few times. Now I have it printed for reference.

Well I guess I would classify the nierembergia as kind of like a petunia. So I think I will do that end of March.

The safflower and swiss chard I will do now. Portulaca I have had reseed itself so I guess I will WS that now too and just save some seeds back just in case.

I still have no clue how to classify annual statice, annual Aster, or the Salpiglosis.

My gut tells me the statice is at least somewhat hardy. So I'll do that end of March too.

I absolutely love my Salpiglosis so I am going to be safe and save that for April.

I'll just flip a coin on the annual Aster!

East Kingston, NY(Zone 5b)

JVW, it looks like all three of those are half hardy annuals. See this link (scroll down till you hit the listing).

East Kingston, NY(Zone 5b)

P.S. I assumed that statice was limonium and it listed two kinds, a hardy perennial and a half hardy annual.

Clinton Township, MI(Zone 6a)

Thank you! This is a good reference.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Good morning Peoples! =)

Just a few things about the annuals you'd mentioned JVW. If you look at any flower's native habitat, that should give you a good idea of whether or not they will do well winter sown. Take Salpiglosis for example. Their native region is in the Andes. Those mountains get COLD in the winter time, and lots of snow. Salpiglosis self-seed also, so there you have their natural habit and habitat together: self-seeding followed by cold and snow. Perfect for winter sowing, in my humble little opinion.

Now let's look at some Cosmos. Most varieties of Cosmos occur naturally in meadow lands... yes, it is true that these are meadow lands of more southern regions like Mexico and Paraguay, but meadow lands indicate COLD. Cosmos also self-sow abundantly. These two factors together indicate success with winter sowing Cosmos. (my own personal successes also indicate to me, at least, that I will winter sow them again and again). ;)

Limonium... that one is a bit trickier. They are often grown in the fall and winter in western Europe, both indoors and out, by growers, and they also self-seed, so my guess would be YES, they are ok for winter sowing. (this is a guess, however). Natively they are "Mediterranean", but I'm really not sure specifically WHERE in the Med. they originate from. They can tolerate wetlands and dry. I figure, if commercial growers grow them outdoors in the winter time, why the heck not? =)

Now, about those Cosmos... heehee

Here are a couple pics of my own. I winter sowed these the second week of December of 2009, the year my area had that MASSIVE snow storm Dec/Jan and we had feet and feet of snow. These pics were taken in April 2010.

Thumbnail by speediebean Thumbnail by speediebean Thumbnail by speediebean
Clinton Township, MI(Zone 6a)

Wow, thanks speediebean! Good info. I guess I need to do more research where my plants originate from. Cool pics! Cosmos in April, that would be exciting!

At this point I have realized I am in way over my head with seeds and WSing. I have already done 68 jugs and I have well over 100 packs of seeds I still wanted to do. Now, I am crazy and I love to work hard in my gardens. But in reality this is even too much for me. So now I have to go through all the seeds and make some decisions on what will work for direct sowing. Cosmos is a great candidate!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Cosmos are SUPER easy to direct sow. < =D I still get "volunteers" on the other side of the fence in my neighbor's yard from that first planting.... heh heh. ;)

Often the name gives a good indication of their native region (eg: Alaska Shasta Daisy), or directions on the package will indicate if they can be WS'n. (eg: needs stratification, store in refrigerator for xx days prior to sowing, nick seeds before sowing).

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