3rd Annual Not From the Seed Rack Seed Swap: Our Swapped Seed growing/sowing questions, discussion and details

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Name: Judy
Mid Atlantic Coastal Plain USA (Zone 7b)
Butterflies
MariposaMaid
Dec 7, 2017 6:58 AM CST
This thread is for sharing info and best practices for growing out the seeds we have swapped. I think that I am not the only one with questions! Several who have dibbed my
offerings have already contacted me. Sharing info on a specific seed how tos on a thread will at least make that info searchable by others long after this swap is done.
Name: Judy
Mid Atlantic Coastal Plain USA (Zone 7b)
Butterflies
MariposaMaid
Dec 7, 2017 7:01 AM CST
Hardy Begonia, Begonia grandis and Begonia grandis 'alba'

You have received fresh bulbils from my Hardy Begonia plants. Hardy Begonias produce both seeds in the flower heads and bulbils found along the leaf axils. Seed is fine and dust like. I included some dried flower heads in the same pack with the pink Hardy Begonia bulbils so you could try both seed and bulbils. Did not send flower heads for the white flowered 'alba' Begonia grandis.
Bulbils:
Thumb of 2017-12-06/MariposaMaid/591f77

Thumb of 2017-12-06/MariposaMaid/2756b5
Recommended:
As soon as possible, sow the bulbils in pots, on the surface of the moist soil, then stick the pots in a plastic bag in the fridge for 4-8 weeks. This will mimic what would naturally occur in the garden. After you take them out they should germinate at room temperature in one to two weeks. Make sure to keep the soil moist at all times.

Do the same for seeds by crushing dried flower heads and sprinkling over moist soil.

@Lalambchop1 re Winter Sowing
Yes, I think Winter Sowing would still work for Zone 7 and up, as bulbils when they naturally drop will sprout a little bit (note pointy end on some bulbils) and begin to pull themselves into the soil (protection)and grow some roots as winter cold sets in, much, to me, like acorns, and then send up top growth in the warmer end of spring. Zone 6 may already be too cold for them to settle in...I don't know...
Seeds should be fine for Winter Sowing as they don't really do anything until mid to late spring. The first year seedlings may be only small plants til following year... I like the bulbils because they are easier to pluck out as the bulbils stay attached! And the plants get bigger than the seed sown.

@Vma4922 looks like you and nature have already winter sown your bulbils! Around
mid May thru June look closely underneathe your plant for tiny little sprouts. You'll know them by their first tiny leaf just like the big ones with that shape and red veining. Some plants produce more bulbils than others and it fluctuates by years, too.
[Last edited by MariposaMaid - Dec 7, 2017 7:27 AM (+)]
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Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
Keeps Sheep Daylilies Hybridizer Garden Photography Cat Lover Hummingbirder
Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2 Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Lalambchop1
Dec 7, 2017 7:47 AM CST
It would be great if you would post this info in the database too. I'm going to plant mine today. Yippee.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Sandy
Tennessee (Zone 6b)
Region: Tennessee Birds Annuals Garden Photography
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Lakeside
Dec 11, 2017 7:00 PM CST
I could use some advice on how best to start poppies (somniferum). I've tried direct sowing a few times with little luck. I googled for directions and found so much variety, I'm confused. Some say direct sow in fall, some say spring. Some say start inside. Some say the seeds need cold stratification. Help!

I'm in eastern Tennessee. Zone 6b. We get early springs that progress quickly to long hot summers. I'm new to indoor seed starting, but anxious to try. I plan on setting of some shelves with grow lights. I want to try some "winter sowing" this year too. Are poppies a good candidate for that?
"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us." ~ Iris Murdoch
Name: Richard
Texas (Zone 7a)
RHarbison
Dec 12, 2017 5:20 AM CST
Sandy,
I'm in 7A. Here's how we sow poppy seeds.
November or December.
They go on top of the ground, not buried. If you mix the seed with sand it helps in the sowing process. I understand about your spring weather. Our poppies are usually done by May, just in time for other plants to take their place. Hope that helps you.
Name: Val
Near Boston, MA (Zone 6a)
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vma4922
Dec 12, 2017 5:52 AM CST
I have great germination with wintersowing poppies. The past 2 years, I wintersow them in nursery pots. I tend to plant too many seeds (so tiny!) in pots, so I take a shovel and "scoop out" 1/3 of the plants and repot (or you could plant in the garden)...I keep mine in pots and place them in the garden where I need pops of color. I didnt have any problem with transplanting some of the pot into another....poppies have long tap roots, but if you do it early, you should be fine.

Direct sowing, I have read alot of people do it, but between winds and heavy rains, among other things, the seeds would get washed away or displaced. I like the pots because I can control/see germination.

If you're not familiar with wintersowing, see Wintersown.org or http://www.agardenforthehouse....
The latter was a favorite site of my my first year....pictorial 'how to'
Name: Alana H
(Zone 7a)
Frogs and Toads Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter I helped beta test the first seed swap Keeper of Poultry Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
poisondartfrog
Dec 12, 2017 6:07 AM CST
I'm heading out the door, but for me both methods work. I can direct sow or wintersow. Wintersown plants can get a little lanky, but they do fine.

Problem I have with direct sown in winter is that birds and cats love disturbed earth. The first scratches around in the seeds, the second...buries them. If you direct sow, it is a good idea to put a few sticks or a screen loosely over the seeded area if you have issues with animals disturbing your sowings. Or, you can use a little straw (not hay) just like you would for grass seeds.

Gotta go.
Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
Organic Gardener Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses Butterflies Hummingbirder Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Esperanza
Dec 12, 2017 9:32 AM CST
@vma4922 , that is a good idea to keep them potted and just stick them where needed. Every time I put out poppy seeds they only last a few years and never pop up where I sprinkle the seeds. They will show up in pathways and other less desirable areas. Then after blooming and waiting for seed pods to dry I have to put up with the yellowing foliage. Last year I only had a handful bloom and did not bother with collecting any seeds so I dibbed on some for this next fall. I wonder if it will be to late this year for me to try sowing some in pots? I think the potted idea would be a better solution for me overall.
Name: Sandy
Tennessee (Zone 6b)
Region: Tennessee Birds Annuals Garden Photography
Image
Lakeside
Dec 12, 2017 11:12 AM CST
poisondartfrog said:

Problem I have with direct sown in winter is that birds and cats love disturbed earth. The first scratches around in the seeds, the second...buries them. If you direct sow, it is a good idea to put a few sticks or a screen loosely over the seeded area if you have issues with animals disturbing your sowings. Or, you can use a little straw (not hay) just like you would for grass seeds.

Gotta go.


Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions! I have enough poppy seeds that I may try several different methods. A light straw mulch might help. I hadn't really thought about it, but I bet a lot of my direct sowing attempts get washed away or covered up. I live and garden on a hillside with very few flat spots. Most of my sunny beds are sloped. Lots of various critters to scatter things around too. Winter sowing may be my best option because it would provide protection and a temporary flat spot for getting things started.

Thanks!
"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us." ~ Iris Murdoch
Name: Val
Near Boston, MA (Zone 6a)
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vma4922
Dec 12, 2017 5:32 PM CST
Audrey, wintersowing doesnt start til Winter Solstice: Dec 21, so you can easily WS poppies in pots in Jan/February, it's definitely NOT too late! Poppies can easily germinate in a couple weeks, they dont necessarily have to have 4-6 weeks of cold...You dont want them to germinate too early and then have to keep them alive thru the cold winter, so it's better to do a bit later than earlier (ie now)
[Last edited by vma4922 - Dec 12, 2017 5:34 PM (+)]
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Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
Organic Gardener Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses Butterflies Hummingbirder Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Esperanza
Dec 12, 2017 7:30 PM CST
Thank you Val, that sounds like a good plan. Thumbs up
Mentor on the Lake, Ohio (Zone 5b)
Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Samlav
Dec 12, 2017 10:16 PM CST
vma4922 said:poppies have long tap roots, but if you do it early, you should be fine '


How long are these roots or maybe a better question is how deep do the grow? I have collected many gallon jugs and plan to start filling them with 3-4 inches of soil. Since this is my first attempt, I was going to try with half of the seeds and place outside around Dec.21 or later, depending on how long it takes me to ready all these jugs Rolling my eyes. It seems like from what I read, in the sowing link given above, it doesn't matter if you start them in the jug now or 4-6 weeks before last frost in spring because the jug replicates the outside environment the seed is In anyway.
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
Keeps Sheep Daylilies Hybridizer Garden Photography Cat Lover Hummingbirder
Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2 Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Lalambchop1
Dec 13, 2017 8:03 AM CST
Samlav,
You can do a few jugs at a time.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Kelli
Northern Nevada (Zone 6a)
Morning Glories Organic Gardener
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KelliW
Dec 17, 2017 2:43 PM CST
thanks you much to everyone for wintersowing tips! i can't wait to start!

@seedrat is it okay to plant the walking onions outside now in zone 6? or should i just keep them indoors until next spring? it's starting to get down to single digits overnight now.
NW Indiana (Zone 6a)
seedrat
Dec 18, 2017 1:22 PM CST
Hi @KelliW: I don't know how soon your soil will freeze, but it's probably fine to plant them. I brought some indoors for the swap, then when I saw they'd sprouted I thought it was the indoor temps/lighting and I went to harvest more. However those still on the onion stalks had sprouted too, and I guess they stay that way all through the winter, and whenever the stalk falls over they start rooting.
I don't know if having been indoors for awhile the outdoor temps might shock them so you could perhaps put them in your fridge for a few days before planting them outside. And to be very safe, keep a couple growing indoors?


Regarding sowing poppies, a WS friend of mine had great success with a combination of direct sowing and wintersowing. She prepared a spot in the garden, direct sowed, then made a ventilated plastic structure over them to prevent animal digging and washing away, and to keep it nicely moist for sprouting. She may have done it in late winter, but I can't recall.
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
Keeps Sheep Daylilies Hybridizer Garden Photography Cat Lover Hummingbirder
Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 2 Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
Lalambchop1
Dec 18, 2017 2:09 PM CST
@seedrat,
Thanks for the tip on covering the direct sown seeds!
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Val
Near Boston, MA (Zone 6a)
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vma4922
Dec 22, 2017 3:55 PM CST
Sorry, I haven't been back to chat due to work and holiday preps/shopping etc! If anyone needs to reach me, I am not very good about checking in often...feel free to message me :D

Wintersowing poppies: I WS mine Jan and feb anytime, they wont sprout til april or so (Mass. Z6) when they are ready, but you dont have to worry about the taproot when seedlings. It's recommended to transpant your poppy seedlings early. I did so first year with some peony poppy mix, they were 3-4" and they transplanted fine. But they do develop a longer tap root and if transplanted late, might not like it much, which would also affect their survival.

Some perennials (not poppies - Ive had them sprout with 2 weeks of cold) require a longer (4-6 week) cold stratification process, that's why you WS in Jan/Feb.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALL!
Millersburg, OH (Zone 5b)
lparkslp
Dec 26, 2017 9:24 PM CST
We tried wintersowing some types of Swiss chars and other veggies and flowers and it was a disaster. Our school garden area is very windy and our milk jugs of soil and seeds kept blowing over. Nothing grew. Very disappointing. Any suggestions for us?
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Dec 27, 2017 10:31 PM CST
I suspect most common garden vegetables and easy-to-grow flowers are happiest being sown in spring when it is warm. When I used to have a vegetable garden there was no plant I grew that wanted stratification. Peas like cool soil, but most things needed warmth. Wintersowing seems best for some perennial flowers and shrubs and trees from cold climates that require a cold moist period (sometimes called stratification). Many of these are not fast growers, so would probably be less useful to schoolchildren who need quicker feedback. Some of mine even need TWO winters to sprout. Many perennial flowers do not flower the first year.
That said, it sure is fun to see stuff sprout in spring, months after setting it up.
I put my milk jugs in a huge shallow plastic bin. It has holes for drainage in the bottom, and helps the jugs stay upright. If it was really windy I might also thread some twine through the handles to stabilize them. Maybe a rock in the bottom of each?
Spokane, WA (Zone 5a)
Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
Angelbee
Dec 28, 2017 4:48 PM CST
lparkslp I am also in Zone 5. I will winter sow for my perennials in jugs in a couple of weeks from now. And then my vegetables and half hardy annuals in mid to late March thru late April.
Type of vegetables I do by winter sowing is Squash, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Celery to name a few.
Annual flowers that do well for me are Zinnias, Marigolds, Calendula, Celosia and many more.
I find the biggest killer on winter sowing is the plants die from lack of water. Need to watered regularly. Putting your jugs on top of dirt helps as wells putting in tub etc with dirt on bottom that hold moisture longer. I will also cover my jugs in plastic at night for more warmth later in the growth to keep them growing good during our late in season cold spells.
I cut my milk jugs about at about the 2/3 to 3/4 mark and fill with dirt to about 1/2 way mark. Want to get some good root growth.
Been doing this for over 5 years and love it. It frees up the racks inside so I can try temperamental seedlings and special tropical seedlings. And with this year swap have lots that need to be grown inside as well wintersown. Going to make for great adventure this spring.

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