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Starting Today

La Salle, MI(Zone 5b)

Well today is the big day for me :o) I am going to start my WSing - Thanks to all you who have sent or traded seeds with me and after dh gets up. Which won't be for at least another 3 hours :( lol

Anyway, I have a question. I have alot of different columbine seeds and a few different clematis seeds.

First for the columbine. I have like 4 different color purple. would it be ok to put these in the same container together (but divided) or should I put them in there own jug. I have gallon and 1/2 gallon jugs among other types of containers. But I have lots of other seeds to WS and trying to be conservative lol..

Ok for the clematis. when WSing these, do you put anything in the jugs for them to grow up on? if so What?

Also what seeds do you start first, I have read where some have already started seeds that need longer germination or what ever lol. (Can you tell I really am a newbie at this) but they didn't list what kinds they started. Which would have been a big big help...

Thanks, Connie

Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

Connie, I'm starting perennials now, and annuals in March. I'm in zone 8a

Burwash Weald, United Kingdom(Zone 9b)

Connie, welcome to the wonderful world of sowing seeds!

A good rule of thumb for winter sowing is if the plant is Hardy - hardy perennial, hardy annual, hardy shrub, hardy tree - then you are okay for winter sowing. Columbine, as far as I am aware, are all hardy, so you are pretty safe there. Clematis it is important to check - if you google the name of the plant followed by the word propagation you will probably get the information you need (although you will need the latin name to be specific).

A second rule of thumb if you don't know specifically what you are sowing (hardiness) is sow only half of your seed now, and half later. Then keep a notebook to mark down the results. This will begin building up your own library of information. It will be absolutely invaluable over the years. The notations can be pretty basic - note what you are sowing, approximately how many seeds and when you are sowing. Then note when the seedlings begin to appear, and how many. And then keep a note how they progress. Its fun.

If you have more than one of any type of plant you can sow them in the same container/tray with dividers - but besure that you put a marker so that you know what they are when they grow. This allows you again to build up your information base - so if you don't know a specific name, you might want to mark it with the source "Aunt Sally's Purple". This allows you to go back and get more, and to discard any that you may not like/want - or to pass on to someone else that absolutely exquisite find, but also give them the information that you have gained!

How cool is that - 3 steps to becoming an expert WSer. Good growing.

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

I grew columbine with winter sowing last year. The seeds are so tiny it is hard to keep them separate.
One thing you could do would be to put pieces of plastic in as dividers. One thing to keep in mind is that it is best to plant them on top of the soil. If you took a gallon jug and divided it into two or three and put around 7 or 8 seeds in it would probably be ok. Thin with a tweezers on tiny plants like that.

I will be starting my perennials in the first week or two of February. To find out which seeds you have that take longer to germinate you need to look each one up. I have to wonder just how starting earlier is going to help much since all of the seeds get planted before it gets warm enough to germinate. Can someone tell me?

I ended up repeating the divider part since I was typing when the last post came in.

This message was edited Jan 8, 2007 7:49 AM

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

You don't need to thin columbine; Just plant out as hos. In fact almost everything I WSed last year was planted out by hos and it worked great.


Lansing, KS(Zone 5b)

K~ please excuse me if this was answered before...what is hos? Thanks Pepsi for asking, seems like I get more confident in W/S ing as more insights are shared. Then I remember, afer all it's a wonderful, exciting science experiment!

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

garden6: hos is hunk-o-seedlings. It's Trudi's term for planting out, well, hunks of seedlings. If you have, say, 100 containers to transplant in spring, there will be no time to separate each little seedling. Just break off a small chunk (I usually use about an inch or so square), and plant as is. It's amazing how well it works. Donn says he sometimes flips out a whole gallon jug into his palm and plops it into the ground! My hand isn't quite big enough for that...But just about everything I planted last year was done in hunks and did very well. I highly recommend trying it.

Here's Trudi's description, probably better than mine.

Happy planting,

West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

It's an abbreviation for ' hunk o' seedlings'. . . when you wind up with scads of tiny sprouts close together, instead of trying to transplant each one singly, you grab a 'hos' in your fingertips and plant that instead.

To the gardener formerly known as cegoins, CONGRATULATIONS! I am very excited for you, too. I think you were the first person I traded with here at Dave's, and it was some purple Columbine for your yellow. But here comes the obligatory goofiness. Did you switch to pepsidrinker because pepsi provides the 2 liters for w sowing, like a Nascar sponsor?
:) I'll edit your old name out if you want, d-mail me

La Salle, MI(Zone 5b)

ROFL Mike,
Yes I remember that trade and no pepsi is what I drink lol and I use that screen name alot when I can, I also figure ppl would be able to remember it easier :o) Don't know why I didn't think of using it at sign up. Guess I was having a blonde moment. ;-}

Here in Michigan our pop bottles are returnable, but I don't care for the 2 liters, they loose there fizz to easy...

You don't have to edit a thing, cegoins is my name, I am not a shamed of it *big grin*

G6 no problem :o)

Happy Gardening you all,


Lansing, KS(Zone 5b)

Thanks all for your responses, I usally check in at night because I'm enjoying this site as well as gardening with a deeper commitment, so very relaxing and rewarding.... But last night, one of my pumpkins had a volcanic meltdown of epic proportions in her mind and what calmed her down?.... Sorting and putting potting mix into W/S containers! ;0)

West Central, WI(Zone 4a)

volcanic meltdown of epic proportions

I've got a DD that fit that discription perfectly when she was a teen, or perhaps from the time she had the terrible two's until she was well into her twenty's. Too bad that I didn't know about winter sowing at the time. You just never know what will calm them. Perhaps I need to share this info with my DS.....she has a 17 year old DD of 'epic proportions'. I suspect that just having to focus on something different, and having quiet time with her mom to talk things out was just what she needed. (((((((to all moms of teenagers)))))))

Lansing, KS(Zone 5b)

OMG Marie! this DD pumpkin is far from a teen, what in the world will I have to do when she has a meltdown at 13? ...we will have to take your advice, if W/S' season is off.. I must work her in the garden for quiet time with mom! LOL! ;0)

Burwash Weald, United Kingdom(Zone 9b)

Found this site when looking for Information on trillium hibbersonii - thought it was relevant to Connie's initial query: Seems to be a very interesting site. Hope you enjoy it.

Lansing, KS(Zone 5b)

Laurie~ thanks for the link, it was enjoyable and educational as well! ;0)

La Salle, MI(Zone 5b)

Oh wow Laurie, thanks, that is a new site for me :o)


West Central, WI(Zone 4a) may have noticed that my DD never really got over the terrible two's until she reached adulthood. She would not likely admit to that however. For the nearly 25 yr. old has become a very remarkable woman. Gratefully, she was off to college before my menopause started. My DS and her DD are anot quite so lucky.....they are each having hormones fluctuating. Not pretty! Good luck.

I just had to look back at the top of this thread to see what it was about. Oh yeah....winter sowing. I haven't started mine yet. I don't think that I got around to it last year until February. I saved all of my milk cartons from last year, so they just need to be disinfected before I start again. My goal this year is to actually get everything planted (that I winter sowed) before the first frost.

Wheatfield, NY(Zone 6a)

You can do it, Marie! just don't plant every seed in your seed box LOL

West Central, WI(Zone 4a)

.......or buy more than you could ever need or have room for.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Connie, I'm glad I now know that you're "Pepsidrinker!" LOL, I thought we had a newcomer in chat room the other day.... How *do* I miss these things? Blonde moments, indeed. :-)

About the 4 colors of columbine... what about doing a big pinch of each in the 4 corners/quarters of a 1 gallon jug? That way, if one kind doesn't germinate, you won't feel like you wasted container space on it... and it should be easy to separate the different colors via the HOS method at planting-out.

BTW, my HOS attempts didn't work well. I know many people do it successfully, but I think tiny seedlings just don't fare well in my garden.... especially if they're not "front & center" where I can give them some TLC (eg, water when needed). I do transplant little clumps of seedings into those nursery cell-packs, and then I plant them out when they've got decent roots. Maybe I just need deeper soil in my containers for better roots.

Try different things -- maybe even try different things with the same kind of seed, if it's something you really want to succeed with this year. You'll figure out what works best for you!

La Salle, MI(Zone 5b)

Thanks Critter :o) Sorry to throw you that curve ;-} I posted in several places that the name was being changed. Got a lot of chuckles over it to lol

Oh I am going to have fun trying different things :o) and if one doesn't come up, I have more seeds.


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