Winter Sowing forum: Wintersowing 2013

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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Jan 3, 2013 4:08 PM CST
This will be my first year wintersowing. Is it time Yet!! Hurray! Hurray! I will get my jugs ready today and go through my seed stash.
What s everyone planting? Show off your Jugs! Big Grin
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Name: Margaret
Delta KY
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Mindy03
Jan 3, 2013 4:35 PM CST
I'm trying winter sowing for the first time this year. I'm using cell packs inside of cake containers with clear lids and sides.
So far I've sowed Japanese Maple and butterfly bush.
I have more seeds marked for sowing but no more containers here.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Jan 3, 2013 4:42 PM CST
This is zone 3 so there is plenty of time yet for wintersowing here.
I'll probably do it at end of February.
I have been direct sowing some seeds---larkspur, wallflowers, for-get-me-nots, columbine,hollyhocks, delphinium, iceland poppy.
It is a gamble as some will be lost to critters, and some may start and then get frozen.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Jan 3, 2013 5:58 PM CST
Sounds good to me.
I'm going to follow this http://garden.org/ideas/view/valleylynn/223/Time-to-winter-s...
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Jan 4, 2013 5:25 AM CST
Mindy, a larger, deeper container might work better for you than cell packs. Cells are so tiny that it can be hard to keep adequate moisture in them once weather warms and lids come off. Dry seedlings = dead seedlings. There are people who have been successful at it, but you make a lot of work for yourself. They might need to be watered several times a day. Also, their light weight makes them prone to blowing away, so you'd be wise to weigh them down somehow. And remember, the seedlings need adequate head room.

I don't have a list yet. I'll wintersow echinacea for sure. (I lost quite a few last year to aster yellows). My husband will be gone on several business trips later in the month. I'll probably get started then. And definitely tomatoes and some annual flowers closer to spring.

Karen

Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Jan 4, 2013 5:37 AM CST
I agree a larger container is easier to control .. the cells dried out for me too quickly as well.. I don't have a list ready yet either.. but will soon
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Jan 4, 2013 8:13 AM CST
Once school resumes I'll begin germination tests. I find these experiments interesting, and it helps to keep me entertained while I wait for the best wintersowing time (for me). I haven't had a whole lot of luck with starting my containers in January...here, mid-to-late February seems to work out the best. I've had a few plants come from January jugs, but not many. That's not to say that it's necessarily a timing issue however, it may just be because I chose the most challenging seeds to start early. Shrug!
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Name: Margaret
Delta KY
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Mindy03
Jan 4, 2013 8:24 AM CST
I'm aware of the cell packs needing more attention but I don't plan to keep what's in them in there very long. The maples need cold to germinate so they are in cell packs until I see green then as soon as they are big enough to handle I'll transplant them to larger pots. Normally I would just stick them in the ground once they get their second set of leaves but that's not a good idea around here since someone keeps coming to our property away from the house and digging up stuff. The maples are meant for an area just before getting to our house and I sure don't want someone digging them up before they get big enough to deter such activity.
The butterfly bushes also need cold but those will be potted up to bigger pots because they grow extremely fast for me once they take off.
I'm checking for a deeper container for other seeds to winter sow.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Jan 4, 2013 11:12 PM CST
I wish I could do more winter sowing here but our winters are just to inconsistent. We always have a warm up - like into the upper 70's for a few days in the middle of January which causes some seeds to germinate prematurely then night time temps will drop into the teens and low 20's in February. In past years I've lost a lot of seedlings because this. Now I just sow seeds that are solid zone 8 hardy.
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Unknown

Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Jan 5, 2013 4:15 AM CST
Xeramtheum, we've all had that happen occasionally. Consider, it's currently 24° here. But by Friday, it's supposed to be 59°. Keeping containers in shade does help to prevent premature sprouting. Also, I only wintersow perennials at this time of year. They tend to take a little longer to sprout anyway. For annuals or tender perennials, I use the same method, milk jugs outside, but I don't sow them until around March or April. Then for frost after they germinate, I just throw a blanket over them overnight.

Customizing the method a little bit this way really does limit a lot of problems. This will be, I think, my 8th year wintersowing.

Karen
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
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Joannabanana
Jan 5, 2013 8:42 AM CST
8 years! Karen, you are our expert! I usually don't wintersow until March too. We have had temperatures drop to -20ºC which is -4ºF in April. That's not common, it it does happen. Even a blanket is not enough at that temp if they had sprouted
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Jan 6, 2013 6:05 AM CST
In a case like that my jugs sleep in my unheated garage.

Karen
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Jan 8, 2013 4:28 PM CST
This is why Winter Sowing is a challenge in my area:

Thumb of 2013-01-08/Xeramtheum/dccb74
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Unknown

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Jan 8, 2013 4:36 PM CST
That wouldn't even break dormancy for seeds that need cold-moist stratification. I think that requires temps below 40'F.
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Jan 8, 2013 4:40 PM CST
Xeramtheum said:This is why Winter Sowing is a challenge in my area:

Thumb of 2013-01-08/Xeramtheum/dccb74


How long are your days now? Over 12 hours?

Joanne
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Jan 8, 2013 4:55 PM CST
Here, our 10 day forecast has highs as warm as 67° on Saturday, and as low as 32° on Thursday. It happens to a lot of us, Xeramtheum. And as Joanne points out, days are still short. Limited light.

If you keep containers in shade, and avoid sowing tender things until spring, it helps. I haven't had really early, problematic sprouts since my first year, 8 years ago. Then, I had sown some quick sprouting annual seeds. Now, I don't, until spring.

And I haven't started sowing yet this year. I've learned a few things in 8 years!

Karen
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
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Xeramtheum
Jan 8, 2013 4:58 PM CST
About that - it's just now 6pm and it's almost completely dark .. but it will get cold again .. we always have a January warm up - in a week or so the nights will probably go below 40 and the days in the 50's and 60's - but hey! Personally I LOVE IT as I really, REALLY hate cold weather.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Jan 8, 2013 6:20 PM CST
Me, too. We've had dirty old snow on the ground for weeks. I'll be thankful to get rid of it. Smiling It can't survive the temps we're going to get.

Karen
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
Pollen collector Morning Glories Greenhouse Bookworm Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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Xeramtheum
Jan 8, 2013 6:23 PM CST
I know this sounds nuts, but the hotter n humider it gets the more I love it. 95 degrees with 90% humidity is my dream weather.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Jan 8, 2013 7:33 PM CST
Why not try sweet peas? You can get tall vine type and also short mounding types. They will sprout and then enjoy weeks of slow growth. You may be surprised at how well they will do. Look for a daylight neutral variety, early to flower or the word "winter" in the name, so you will get blooms in about 12 weeks from germination. Frost won't harm the seedlings.

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