I just put out my first milk jug!

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

I put a large peat pot in a milk jug and sowed 5 columbine 'Orgami Red & White'. Here's my question: I'm in zone 5. Am I doing this too early? What will happen if you do it too early--the seeds will rot? How can you figure out when you should ws something that germinates fairly quickly when exposed to the right conditions? TIA, Tamara

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Columbines self-sow pretty readily by dropping seeds in late summer... so I don't think you need to worry about sowing them too early. Anything that self-sows in your area is an excellent choice for wintersowing! Hopefully the "right conditions" will come along at the right time, and you'll have seedlings just as mother nature intended.... granted, the odd weather we've been having this winter may mess with things a bit, but I'm sure we'll all have plenty of WS seedlings by spring!

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

Thanks, critter! I'm going to sow more, as we finish our milk, which won't be hard with 2 little ones who love it! I'm going to ws gypsophilia muralis (what about gysophilia repens...will that work?), papaver paeoniflorum, 2 kinds of pansies, 3 kinds of sweet peas, and another variety of columbine. That's about as ambitious as I'll get this year, as I am also undertaking an indoor-sowing-under-lights project. I'm excited/nervous to see how it all turns out. Tamara

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Tamara: How big is that peat pot? Is there only one per jug?

I tried just one jug with peat pots in a gallon jug last year. The peat pots were small- an inch or so diameter. Not one of those seedlings survived because they dried out too fast. Everything sown directly into potting soil in jugs did great.


Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

It's about 6" high and about 7" in diameter. I hope they do well. I always use peat pots because the idea of pricking out is too scary. ;-) I'm a clutz and I would kill the seedlings if I had to handle them. Tamara

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

This is perfect for your columbines. When their seed falls directly to the ground, it germinates quickly when fresh, but when the seed has ripened, either in the pod or from collecting, it requires freezing and thawing to germinate well. Sounds like you've got the recipe for success!

I'm using peat pots for poppies and larkspur that don't transplant well, and milk jugs for everything else. This is my first year at wintersowing; can't wait to see the outcome!

Do let us know how your sweet peas do. I've been curious if they would be a good candidate for wintersowing.
Good luck,

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Anything will transplant well if done when they are small. I did it last year with a gazillion poppies, nasturtium, lupine, everything, with no problem

Quote from Trudi: "Who says you can't transplant poppies?"


I will attach a photo of some of my poppies


Thumbnail by kqcrna
La Salle, MI(Zone 5b)

I plan on wsing some poppie seeds with the baggie method, that way I can just cut the bottom out and slide the baggie off... Just not sure when to start them.


Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Connie, I started mine on 12/22 - they sprouted and are now out in a hunk-o-seedlings by the mailbox. I also surface sowed all around the edge of the road to see how that worked out. I had a lot of poppy seeds this year, and I think they are so cool looking! I figured if I didn't get them out pretty quickly it would be way too hot here for them very early.

You're a lot colder than my area, so you may have the luxury of waiting a bit :)


This message was edited Jan 17, 2007 3:59 PM

La Salle, MI(Zone 5b)

HI Sunny :o)

I hope they wait. I have a lot of different ones and only going to ws part of each, that way if something happens to them I still have seed for them...

Some of the pictures of the various garden beds on this site are just breath taking. If mine come out half as pretty as those are, I will be well pleased :o)


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