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GreenGal
January 23rd, 2011, 09:48 AM
thanks guys... will try to find a spot slightly above ground.

WinterSown
January 24th, 2011, 08:30 AM
Just something I want to reiterate...

Tender annuals do reseed, they just don't sprout as early as hardy perennials. WS works with temperate climate plants, not ones that only need cold strat for germination.

kellygirrl
January 26th, 2011, 12:33 AM
Just something I want to reiterate...

Tender annuals do reseed, they just don't sprout as early as hardy perennials. WS works with temperate climate plants, not ones that only need cold strat for germination.

I cannot wait until I really understand the limits of Trudi's winter sowing. For example, basil, which I sowed last 2 years on my back porch when and where the temp would hover just above or at freezing. Stevia, too. They sprouted well, gave me lotsa plants. Do I dare toss those seeds out in bottles in the snow right now with my tomatoes? Why don't I try a few? Well, maybe I will.

BTW, I'm enjoying doing my milk jug containers using 2 containers, and no tape. I cut the first bottle as tall/deep as the bottle will let me right up to the handle. Then I can have more than 3 inches of soil if I want, which I've decided is helpful. I punch my holes with the kind of screwdriver with removable screw-thingies, BTW, cuz where the removable point is put in, the screwdriver is wider than the point, so when I punch the plastic, it works as an automatic "stop", thereby preventing winter sow-stigmata wounds to my supporting hand. Anyway, then I cut a second bottle for a top as tall/long as I can get it, and slide the bottom half/soil half of the other bottle inside, allowing plenty of headroom and requiring no tape.

aerostitcher
January 26th, 2011, 04:42 PM
I grabbed some cheap containers at the dollar store 6 for a buck. They are clear except for the lids which are pretty clear, but tinted blue. Will this cause any problems with germination?

Kellygrrl - I am so excited my Basil germintated no problems already and you have given me hope for my Stevia. :)

TastyofHasty
January 26th, 2011, 05:52 PM
Looking at, for instance, the Zone 6 germination record from the Wintersown.org webpage,

http://wintersown.org/wseo1/WS_Database_Z6.html

am I right in interpreting the line, for instance,

Achillea millefolium Achillea 'Summer Wine ' Jan N

means that seed for Achillea "Summer Wine" was sown in January, and the "N" means it did NOT germinate?

So if there's a "Y" or a month listed in the last-to-the-right column, that would mean it did germinate in that month?

Looking at the Achilleas, it looks like five of them did germinate, out of eleven. So that's a good way to check, for your particular zone, whether a plant is a good bet to germinate or not, seems to me. Achillea would by "iffy."

The whole "list of lists" for Wintersown is on here, for all the zones from 3 to 10, and Alaska:
http://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/Seed_Lists.html

plus, there are also seed lists, for the different zones, and even Extreme Climate Winter Sowing, Native Plants
The Frigid Zones ~ 2, 3 and 4
http://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/ExtremeZones234.html
with this explanation:
The list below has plants that have all been found growing and thriving in the wild of the coldest gardening regions. Many have hybrids that have been bred from them...these hybrids generally will be able to grow in the same plant zones and survive the same long and bitter winters. Please research your choices to see they are suited to your region.

Iowagardennewby
January 26th, 2011, 08:57 PM
Ok. Maybe I missed it in skimming, but does it matter what month you put the wintersown plants outside? I am in a cold zone 5, almost zone 4. We have a ton of snow out there. Would it make more sense to wait a while? I have never tried this, but am thinking about it.

Iowagardennewby
January 26th, 2011, 08:58 PM
Also, what type of soil is needed? I don't have a whole lotta money to spend, so think tight budget on this:)

puttgirl
January 26th, 2011, 09:09 PM
Iowa, don't know what Trudi would advise, but I'm in a cold climate, too, and I've wintersown seeds in January and as late as early March and both ways were successful.

kellygirrl
January 27th, 2011, 01:16 AM
Fellow Iowan:

Winter sowing commences officially for everyone on the winter solstice in December. (There is a "jacket rule" I've sorta forgotten as for when it officially becomes spring sowing.) Anything perennial or that might reseed in your climate (like tomatoes! or lettuce) is a no-brainer. Also things that require scarification, nicking, chilling. But then the list keeps going, and that is where we experiment, and debate. Trudi says she has had success with a lot of counter-logical things, like tropicals. If cabbage and bok choy and rutabagas sprout for me in Feb/March in zone 5 Iowa, bet you can winter sow them anytime in zone 4 Iowa; they just might come up later. I'm pretty sure that cukes and peppers don't winter sow. On the other hand, I start them early spring in winter sow containers in my hoophouse, something I wouldn't have thought to do without the vista of winter sowing opening up to me.

For soil, I hope one day to use composted leaves. Supposed to be better than peat, and good for seed starting. One day I'll plan ahead. Meantime I use a mix of sand, peat, anything like perlite/vermiculite/Turface MVP and a little regular soil from the garden. You want it light. I'd be interested in other people's thrifty blends, as well.

TastyofHasty
January 27th, 2011, 10:26 AM
Looking at the wintersown germination record for Zone 6, I noticed that seeds wintersown in JANUARY often didn't germinate until MAY, but seeds sown in February germinated in one or two months, while those sown in March germinated usually either in March or April.

Quite a lot of those sown in Dec. did not germinate. Just an observation.

On the lists, the Vegetables are listed under "V" for "Vegetable." Then the kind of veg is in the 2nd column. There's only one for Carrot for Zone 6; it didn't germinate(?) ... so I guess I'll hold off on planting carrot seed here till later.

MVNewf
January 27th, 2011, 10:48 AM
..

kellygirrl
January 28th, 2011, 12:13 AM
Looking at the wintersown germination record for Zone 6, I noticed that seeds wintersown in JANUARY often didn't germinate until MAY, but seeds sown in February germinated in one or two months, while those sown in March germinated usually either in March or April.

Quite a lot of those sown in Dec. did not germinate. Just an observation.

On the lists, the Vegetables are listed under "V" for "Vegetable." Then the kind of veg is in the 2nd column. There's only one for Carrot for Zone 6; it didn't germinate(?) ... so I guess I'll hold off on planting carrot seed here till later.

I admire you for studying and making sense of that chart. When I started out, I stared at it til my eyes crossed, then I gave up and just started sowing.

That said, I find it hard to believe that earlier sowed=later germination. You're not saying that the same kind of seed sowed in January came up later than the same kind of seed sowed in March?

kellygirrl
January 28th, 2011, 12:16 AM
The smallest bag you can find of ProMix would probably be more than enough for what you want to winter sow....remember, you are only putting about 4-5" of soil in a milk jug type container....thats a LOT of jugs you can fill with a small bag of Promix....I have never bought a small bag of it (only cubic bales) but I would think you could get a small bag for less than $8-10 dollars....and would be enough for a LOT of containers....

I've used two storage tubs (um, 18 gal? 22?) so far, and I've only scratched the surface of my list. Doesn't go far at all, to me! I need MORE, and I need it NOW!!

gerry
January 28th, 2011, 07:23 AM
I take off a week and the forum goes nuts! I don't remember it being this active last year! :) It may take a week just to get caught up.

I got all my veggie seeds that were on hand planted and outside, but I have a couple of more questions.

We have a warm spell coming this weekend. Do I need to remove the tops of the containers so the seeds won't burn? I don't want to punch a lot of holes in the lids and then have everything freeze next week,.

How do you tell if seeds have sprouted if the containers are all covered inside with moisture? I have to open each container to see if there's anything sprouted in there.

I'm planning to buy everything I can locally this year but the stores don't have seeds out till next week! :( I'M READY NOW!!

Excited and eagerly anticipating the new sprouts ...

gerry

MVNewf
January 28th, 2011, 08:49 AM
..

tsteven1
January 28th, 2011, 10:26 AM
QUOTE Iowagardennewby
what type of soil is needed? I don't have a whole lotta money to spend, so think tight budget on this


The smallest bag you can find of ProMix would probably be more than enough for what you want to winter sow....remember, you are only putting about 4-5" of soil in a milk jug type container....thats a LOT of jugs you can fill with a small bag of Promix....I have never bought a small bag of it (only cubic bales) but I would think you could get a small bag for less than $8-10 dollars....and would be enough for a LOT of containers....

I did the milk jug thing last year, and it was alot of work tending to each one. I ramped up PVC construction this year, and am using covered raised beds.
Tim

kellygirrl
January 28th, 2011, 11:49 AM
We have a warm spell coming this weekend. Do I need to remove the tops of the containers so the seeds won't burn? I don't want to punch a lot of holes in the lids and then have everything freeze next week,.

How do you tell if seeds have sprouted if the containers are all covered inside with moisture? I have to open each container to see if there's anything sprouted in there.


The directions for winter sowing actually do not suggest using the lid at all, if you are talking about bottles. For other containers, you have to punch holes in the top. That lets in moisture, let out excess heat and excess moisture, and allows the seeds natural exposure to the elements in a more protected environment. I don't worry about the heat until much later in spring, when to be safe I move my containers from the exposed south side to the east side of my house, between houses. My covers stay on until it is no longer "winter sow" weather. The bottles seem to keep them from drying out as quickly even when it warms up, but they do not overheat.

You can peek in the hole of a water bottle to see the sprouts (yippee). But I design all my containers w/o tape so I can look at my babies easier.

kellygirrl
January 28th, 2011, 11:52 AM
I did the milk jug thing last year, and it was alot of work tending to each one. I ramped up PVC construction this year, and am using covered raised beds.
Tim

I think that tunnels or cold frames would dry out faster than the little winter sow containers. My big problem with direct sowing, is keeping the surface of the soil consistently wet.

puttgirl
January 28th, 2011, 08:49 PM
Looking at the wintersown germination record for Zone 6, I noticed that seeds wintersown in JANUARY often didn't germinate until MAY, but seeds sown in February germinated in one or two months, while those sown in March germinated usually either in March or April.

Quite a lot of those sown in Dec. did not germinate. Just an observation.

On the lists, the Vegetables are listed under "V" for "Vegetable." Then the kind of veg is in the 2nd column. There's only one for Carrot for Zone 6; it didn't germinate(?) ... so I guess I'll hold off on planting carrot seed here till later.

Well, I guess that explains why I seem to have the most success wintersowing in February.

LuvsToPlant
January 29th, 2011, 06:16 AM
Looking at the wintersown germination record for Zone 6, I noticed that seeds wintersown in JANUARY often didn't germinate until MAY, but seeds sown in February germinated in one or two months, while those sown in March germinated usually either in March or April.

Quite a lot of those sown in Dec. did not germinate. Just an observation.



Good observation Tasty...
Thought I would share my thoughts on the above.

Of course the convienence of winter sowing to me...is getting a lot of it out of the way that can be winter sown.
That will free up space for me ...for the seeds that prefer later planting dates or do not need stratification.

Now with that said...You have to remember...the seeds will not germinate "till the time is right"...which gives reason to why they didn't germinate till closer to spring.
The seeds sown earlier will sit and wait till that time vs. seeds sown later...will germinate sooner because the time is nearer.

Good observation on the Dec. ...There is many different varitables...
...and could of been an enviroment issue for that year.


:)

WinterSown
January 29th, 2011, 07:09 AM
I cannot tell you how much I hate those charts. Luvs wrote to me asking about them and I will post here the same reply because it is just so much more easier:

Hi Luvs,

I didn't make the charts. They were made by members of the GW Winter Sowing Forum several years ago. I've never liked them nor did I want them made because it's only a record of the success or failure of the WSers which added the information, and its not a record of climate, how the seeds were sown, the depth the seeds wer sown, the soil, the skill of the gardener, etc etc etc. When the people who used to keep the records could no longer keep them or upload them to a secure place I offered to keep them at WinterSown as a historical record. I added them to the site in 2006.

Y is Yes, N is NO, and sometimes there is a month and sometimes there is not. It was silly for them to add a month without the climate information for that year for their location or when the seed was sown.

I wrote How to Winter Sow because of what it does to a gardener's mind--it develops creativity and upraises a persons sense of self. THat it is a great germination method is a bonus. I have gone through all the work and expense for the last decade that is involved with this endeavor because of great psychological value, This is why I have been hugely against that database which ignores/denies the most important aspect of Winter Sowing--taking the leap of faith.

Hope this helps,

T

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvsToPlant
Question on your chart...
Month planted / Month Germinated
What does the N and Y mean?
Thinking ..No and Yes?...if so...wondering why you didn't indicate the month if Yes.
If I'm totally off...please explain...
http://wintersown.org/wseo1/WS_Database_Z6.html

Thanks

margez
January 29th, 2011, 11:45 AM
Well, I took the plunge! I have done my first winter sowing. Twelve cranberry juice containers of tomatoes are just waiting to sprout. A co-worker gave me half a dozen clear gallon jugs that tea came in. I will be starting peppers and other goodies in those.

I had purchased an organic seed starting mix and used that, not Pro-Mix. It felt wierd. I am used to dirt. This old dog is going to learn some new tricks this year. It's a year of firsts:

First garden in decades.
First garden ever in Arizona.
First garden ever in raised boxes.
First use of plastic tunnels and plastic mulch.
First winter sowing.

WinterSown
January 29th, 2011, 12:48 PM
Good luck with the seeds Margez, you should have a great veggie garden this year. And because you are in zone 9, you'll be seeing green way ahead of the rest of us ;-)

Trudi

margez
January 29th, 2011, 01:35 PM
Thanks Trudi. My SASE with donation is on its way to you. I hope you'll help me to obtain varieties that will work well out here. I left wildcards so that you could pick some really great seeds.

WinterSown
January 29th, 2011, 01:50 PM
I'll keep an eye out for it, thank you so much.

T

aerostitcher
January 31st, 2011, 10:26 PM
Hmmm...I went away for the weekend and when I came home I had 2 more sprouted containers (Yippie!), but I had 2 other containers that sprouted a few weeks ago which were pretty cooked and half the seedlings browned. I am wondering if I should start taking off lids?? It is in the 30's at night and high 60's, low 70's daytime. Should I just lose the lids as seedlings grow? Also, the seedling that were in the opaque milk jugs were all fine...it was the clear plastic where they were cooked. Is it better to use the opaque in warmer areas?

WinterSown
January 31st, 2011, 10:41 PM
I have always suggested that people increase the venting after germination, if you want to toss the lids you will have to keep an eye on the moisture levels.

Opaque bottles remind me of greenhouses that have their windows painted light. It diffuses the intensity of the sun but is still very, very bright under the glass. If it works for you then use opaque bottles or just increase vents and water well as needed. If you've got a breezy and sunny day you should water the flats well before you go away for the day, then check again when you return. Each May I've got a conference that takes me away for several days but I don't stress over it because I move a sprinkler close to the flats and set it up on a timer so that it waters the flats during the hottest hours of the day. Also, I transplant ASAP, most of my seedlings go into the ground when they barely have their true leaves. If your ground isn't frozen them you can start transplanting.

TastyofHasty
February 1st, 2011, 10:23 AM
I've never liked them nor did I want them made because it's only a record of the success or failure of the WSers which added the information, and its not a record of climate, how the seeds were sown, the depth the seeds wer sown, the soil, the skill of the gardener, etc etc etc.

I wrote How to Winter Sow because of what it does to a gardener's mind--it develops creativity and upraises a persons sense of self. THat it is a great germination method is a bonus. I have gone through all the work and expense for the last decade that is involved with this endeavor because of great psychological value, This is why I have been hugely against that database which ignores/denies the most important aspect of Winter Sowing--taking the leap of faith.

Trudi, I took the leap of faith 3 or 4 years ago and have loved wintersowing ever since! Thank you for your hard work and your inventive mind, and especially for getting the word out!!

For some reason I don't get the yen to wintersow until about January anyway. I guess I like the break time from gardening ... it's only after a while and I'm thinking about all the work I'm looking forward to in Spring, and just sitting around all winter with not much happening, I start looking at various seeds I'm probably not going to bother to plant in Spring (rosa rugosa, for instance) and, hey, why not plant them now ... I love this method.

Oh yeah, and what you said about "it's not a record of the climate," iDig is one of the FEW gardening forums where people are encouraged to put the ZONE and place they're living at into the info available for each person on every post. Having been an iDig member for several years, I agree that that information is extremely valuable. Otherwise I'd be wondering HOW can people be growing tomatoes right now?? not realizing, they're in Mississippi or Panama or something. :)

WinterSown
February 1st, 2011, 11:15 AM
I know how that leads to frustrations. Especially for beginners who are in northern zones; they see the green wave rising from the south and they just rip their hair out or go off to other forums bemoaning the failure of the method and not themselves. Well, they indeed didn't fail, nor did the method, they just didn't realize that warmer zones will begin their germination first. Sigh. Many forums do have an option to show your zone or location, and I am glad its not mandatory. For some people, the internet is a very scary place, and obviously we don't know their life stories, so anonymity may be more than a preference, it may be a neccesity. I think that thoughtfulness, understanding and compassion should be the holy trinity of internet forums; it'a a very lofty goal that would save a lot of us from sleepless nights and heartache.

aerostitcher
February 1st, 2011, 01:16 PM
Thank you! I am excited to hear I can start transplanting. I will probably ditch the lids on some and increase the vents on some to experiment with what works best in my area. Also, thank you so much! Our Wintersown envie of tomatoes and other seeds arrived yesterday. The kids will be sowing those into plastic cups this afternoon. There is already discussion of a "Monster Tomato" competition. Thank you to for the instructions on seed saving also. I have not ever used that method with the disinfectant cleanser. I have only known to save them with the fermenting scum layer in a jar method, your handouts technique seems alot more pleasant than having jars of fermenting tomato guts everywhere :). I am going to add that to our homeschools "saving seeds" lesson plan later in the summer. I am sure I will have tons of questions about saving flower seeds as well later too. I just found and pick off a ton of dried up seed case buds off last years marigolds that are now just dried up skeletons in our garden. The seeds look good. Is that really all there is too it?

WinterSown
February 1st, 2011, 01:25 PM
Thank you to for the instructions on seed saving also. I have not ever used that method with the disinfectant cleanser. I have only known to save them with the fermenting scum layer in a jar method, your handouts technique seems alot more pleasant than having jars of fermenting tomato guts everywhere .

Oh gosh, yes! The sani-scrub takes only 35 minutes, with a half-hour break in there too while the seeds soak. It's so simple and its over and done with quickly.

I'm glad your happy with what you received, I appreciate the good feedback. Kids and seed sowing are a great combo, excellent for education and excellent for playing in the dirt, lol.

Iowagardennewby
February 2nd, 2011, 10:00 AM
Ok. I am sitting here with my seeds wondering what benefit there would be to winter sowing this stuff. Other than being able to do garden work in the middle of winter, I am not sure of any other benefits. SO, my lists of seeds that I am wondering about:

Mesclun mix
little gem lettuce
Spinach
cucumber
summer zucchini
peas
pole beans
tomatoes
peppers
tobacco
Is there a benefit for these plants one way or another? I am doing many tomatoes (thanks wintersown SASE) but I was just wondering what you guys thought about the others. I am in a cold region, if that makes a major difference. I guess I have never done this before, so any advice on this would be appreciated.

WinterSown
February 2nd, 2011, 10:19 AM
Wait to sow the cukes, zukes, beans until end of winter. What is the benefit? Well, you can do it now, and you'll have seedlings which don't have to be hardened off--well, that's about what is for the plants, but how it benefits you as a person is different from person to person. Best advice? Take the leap of faith and let Mother Nature be in charge of the germination.

kellygirrl
February 2nd, 2011, 02:09 PM
The benefit for me is, no setting up indoor lights and crowding the house, no damp-off, no obsessive watering, no worrying about hardening off, in exchange for healthier plants that get an early start with no transplant shock (especially true of early sprouters like cabbage etc), and most of my work after getting them in the containers and tossing them gleefully in the snow, is patrolling my hundreds of seeds that I could never have fit in my house and squealing at signs of new growth, and a wildly greater success rate than I ever achieved through indoor starts or direct seeding. :)

WinterSown
February 2nd, 2011, 02:20 PM
I think you hit the nail on the head Kelly--no obsessing. Well, that isn't always true the first year with beginners who are more unbelieving than believing, but by the second year you know what to expect and by the third year you're starting to hope that some of the containers actually won't sprout because you've sown several hundred and you only have room for just a few hundred, until you make a few new last-minute beds. LOL.

LuvsToPlant
February 2nd, 2011, 02:53 PM
The benefit for me is, no setting up indoor lights and crowding the house, no damp-off, no obsessive watering, no worrying about hardening off, in exchange for healthier plants that get an early start with no transplant shock (especially true of early sprouters like cabbage etc), and most of my work after getting them in the containers and tossing them gleefully in the snow, is patrolling my hundreds of seeds that I could never have fit in my house and squealing at signs of new growth, and a wildly greater success rate than I ever achieved through indoor starts or direct seeding. :)

****Ditto****
:)

Iowagardennewby
February 3rd, 2011, 11:05 AM
Can I winter sow cantaloupes in zone 4/5?

WinterSown
February 3rd, 2011, 12:45 PM
No, most of them are too long to mature. I'd wait to sow them in mid spring as they sprout quick, then get them into the ground ASAP. Provide some hotcaps or similar to protect the seedlings from hungry birds.

Iowagardennewby
February 3rd, 2011, 01:33 PM
No, most of them are too long to mature. I'd wait to sow them in mid spring as they sprout quick, then get them into the ground ASAP. Provide some hotcaps or similar to protect the seedlings from hungry birds.

Thanks. Last year I got a transplant from the local store and they were delicious. I might just go that road again. I appreciate the help. Oh, and I winter sowed my first tomatoes yesterday! They are sittin out in the snow bank. It is going to be amazing if/when they come up.

kellygirrl
February 3rd, 2011, 02:35 PM
...Oh, and I winter sowed my first tomatoes yesterday! They are sittin out in the snow bank. It is going to be amazing if/when they come up.

Now yer gettin' it. :)

WinterSown
February 3rd, 2011, 07:32 PM
Yeah! The roots on WS tomato seedlings are just amazing things. After the seeds sprout the tops aren't very fast growers, but the roots are doing their thing and my goodness, they are a big!

margez
February 3rd, 2011, 09:25 PM
My winter sown tomato seeds got the shock of their young lives last night - we had a HARD FREEZE!!! That is rare here. My aloe vera is much the worse for wear, the orange tree is gone, and two water pipes in my guest house broke. Plumbing repairs tomorrow for sure. Luckily, I just went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of PVC pipe and fittings to make trellis supports.

GreenGal
February 4th, 2011, 01:16 PM
One thing that never sprouts for me is sweet pea. I've tried every possible way, paper towel, direct sow, soak, no soak, broken coat, no broken coat. every way possible. the only thing I haven't tried is wintersowing. can you wintersow sweetpeas?

this year again i tried the moist paper towel method, but they molded on me...I'm not going to give up until I have some sweetpeas in my garden! so can I wintersow?

WinterSown
February 4th, 2011, 04:36 PM
Yes you can, they do very well. Sow them shallowly and in a container with ample headroom as they do grow fast in cold weather after sprouting.

T

Nastarana
February 5th, 2011, 09:18 AM
So far:

I have converted milk jug mini greenhouses out in the snow with seeds of:

cabbage, endive, lettuce, scallions, celery and carrots. I have hopes for especialy the carrots, a vegetable which I have never been able to grow.

Today on the planting schedule are Welsh Onions, and more endive/radicchio.

I don't think it necessary to WS radish. Is there any advantage in WSing green peas? They sprout quite well outside as it is.

Being in coold zone 5a, I plan to start tomatoes and peppers after the cool weather crops, probably about end of Feb.

GreenGal
February 5th, 2011, 02:10 PM
Thank you WinterSown.. I got five more containers ready. Will sow sweet peas in one of them. I'm hoping for better luck this time aruond.

WinterSown
February 5th, 2011, 02:16 PM
Peas can be direct sown, they do fine. In my garden, I have problems each spring with hungry birds snatching up seedlings just as they emerge--I imagen the fresh shoots are very delicious and very nutritious. So, I do WS my pea seeds in containers that have a lot of head room because the shoots do grow fast in the cold weather. Tangling of shoots is sometimes a problem but can be lessened, but never fully avoided, by a decent amount of spacing between seeds--like sowing one every two square inches.

w8in4dave
February 5th, 2011, 03:18 PM
QUOTE w8in4dave
I need to start mine also.. :D so no Basil huh?? Ok I will start mine when we gat back on the 3rd


w8in_____Have you winter sown before? I started all my basil under my T-5s last spring and when I replanted them in the garden they did wonderful...I just wished I could start them outside now, so I wouldn't have to bother starting them inside :D...I will just shove those containers to the side and hope for the best...and stick to the list of veggies that can be winter sowed.....

yes I think this is my third year... first year was a total flop!! So I kinda gave up ...then last year I was in here and listened to someone who knew what they were doing ...So I tried again...yea ummm over 100 tomato plants later.. Actually I 177 tomato plants last year .... So this will be my 3rd year :D If I remember right...but all I have done is tomatoes .... :D

GreenGal
February 5th, 2011, 05:48 PM
So I did some more wintersowing... here's the list.. collard, broccoli, sweet pea, parsley, four o'clock, black from tula, cilantro, leeks, sub arctic plenty.

aerostitcher
February 6th, 2011, 12:18 PM
My winter sown tomato seeds got the shock of their young lives last night - we had a HARD FREEZE!!! That is rare here. My aloe vera is much the worse for wear, the orange tree is gone, and two water pipes in my guest house broke. Plumbing repairs tomorrow for sure. Luckily, I just went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of PVC pipe and fittings to make trellis supports.

I am curios on how tou are making supports out of PVC. After a collasped row of giant loaded tomatoes plants last year...I need a better support system.

aerostitcher
February 6th, 2011, 12:20 PM
Peas can be direct sown, they do fine. In my garden, I have problems each spring with hungry birds snatching up seedlings just as they emerge--I imagen the fresh shoots are very delicious and very nutritious. So, I do WS my pea seeds in containers that have a lot of head room because the shoots do grow fast in the cold weather. Tangling of shoots is sometimes a problem but can be lessened, but never fully avoided, by a decent amount of spacing between seeds--like sowing one every two square inches.

I am having that problem now. I have to cover them up or the birds eat them all....same for the cucumbers.

LuvsToPlant
February 6th, 2011, 01:05 PM
w8in4dave...I am glad you didn't give up either.. :)

margez...Thats a shame...they gave no warning of the possible freeze?
In your zone...I take your tomato seeds already germinated?

TastyofHasty
February 6th, 2011, 01:35 PM
I am having that problem now. I have to cover them up or the birds eat them all....same for the cucumbers.

The birds are eating your sprouting peas and cucumbers? :eek:

WinterSown
February 6th, 2011, 11:32 PM
An easy, cheap and fast protection is to repurpose an empty water bottle. Cut the bottom off with scissors and toss away the cap, then "screw' the bottle down into the soil, centering the seedling inside the bottle. Keep an eye on the seedling, once it has grown enough that its leaves are touching the bottle wall you can remove the bottle--by that time the seedling is no longer a juicy, succulent sprout to be devoured by critters or birds.


This page has photos:
http://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/Transplanting_Tomatoes.html

LuvsToPlant
February 7th, 2011, 06:03 AM
Another method...is a plastic milk jug and it doesn't heat up so quickly as the clear.
especially on an unexpected extremely warm/hot early spring day...
Those days always come...after you leave the home. oohhhnooo
Or if you have a large area...cover with fabric row covers or reemay.
Making a "tent" over the plants
:)

gerry
February 8th, 2011, 01:41 PM
I think you hit the nail on the head Kelly--no obsessing. Well, that isn't always true the first year with beginners who are more unbelieving than believing, .

You're talking about me.

...but by the second year you know what to expect and by the third year you're starting to hope that some of the containers actually won't sprout because you've sown several hundred and you only have room for just a few hundred, until you make a few new last-minute beds. LOL.


WinterSown, have you been a fly on my wall? This sounds just like what I'm doing. I may end up getting a tiller, just 'cause I won't have time to turn all my beds by hand, especially if it keeps precipitating (snowing and raining) like it has.

It sure is great to have something to do inside this time of year, 'cause I sure can't do much outside! :)

WinterSown
February 8th, 2011, 02:10 PM
WinterSown, have you been a fly on my wall?

LOL! As WS progenitrix, I've been there, done that.

Gerry, skip the tiller (unless you really are jonesing for one) and build some lasagna beds. Scrounging around for the greens and browns may be a bit of a bother, but the beds are easy to build, can be planted in right away, and are super nutrient rich--they are so loaded with greens that it's like ringing the dinner bell for worms. Within a week of making an LB, the thing is half worm poop. Amazing!

kellygirrl
February 11th, 2011, 04:17 PM
Gerry, skip the tiller (unless you really are jonesing for one) and build some lasagna beds. Scrounging around for the greens and browns may be a bit of a bother, but the beds are easy to build, can be planted in right away, and are super nutrient rich--they are so loaded with greens that it's like ringing the dinner bell for worms. Within a week of making an LB, the thing is half worm poop. Amazing!

I second that. Take advantage of the fact that you're planting seedlings, and plant them into those layers of good stuff, and in a couple years you'll have way better soil than tilling. Those worms are mighty little tillers, with benefits.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Got 30 gallon and half gallon milk jugs finished yesterday. Yay me!:)

LuvsToPlant
February 11th, 2011, 06:52 PM
I'm so glad there are other...no dig no tillers out there...
:)

Yay you... kellygirl!

GreenGal
February 12th, 2011, 09:56 AM
another question about WSing. Do we need to water the containers when there's no rain or snow? The soil inside my containers is frozen (I think) and we are not getting raing any time soon, no rain forecast for a week. Should I water them?
(we are getting 66 degrees on this coming friday!)

WinterSown
February 13th, 2011, 09:47 AM
In above freezing temps, if you see condensation under the lid then the containers are fine. If you don't see condensation you'll need to add water.

Use this link for quick fixes to learn more:
http://wintersown.org/wseo1/Quick_Fixes.html

GreenGal
February 13th, 2011, 07:34 PM
Thank you for the link. Will read upon this more...

gerry
February 14th, 2011, 09:48 AM
LOL! As WS progenitrix, I've been there, done that.

Gerry, skip the tiller (unless you really are jonesing for one) and build some lasagna beds.

Wounderful idea, but it doesn't work getting rid of the Bermuda grass that thinks my beds are their beds. :( Most of what I am doing as I turn the soil is trying to control the stuff. Virtually nobody seems to have any constructive ideas for controlling it naturally. I did read an article that said it was controlled with sesbania, but they didn't say which variety and some of the many varieties are very invasive themselves. I'm trying to relocate that article so I can follow up on it. If anyone else has an idea this side of Round-Up, please let me know.

I did try one lasagna bed last year, but thru all the cardboard and newspaper came the grass! Ugh! Lost most of my herbs under the weeds.

TastyofHasty
February 14th, 2011, 10:38 AM
The thing that works best for me with bermuda grass is, cover with black plastic, the bigger the better (bought at Walmart), hold the plastic down with rocks or logs or something heavy around the edges, let it sit there for a YEAR, or at least through the ENTIRE summer. The sun bakes what's under the black plastic, killing it.

Tilling won't work, only spreads the stuff. Lasagna and cardboard, etc. won't work; its roots will live and it'll grow in long trails underneath and finally pop up through everything. Carpet only half works; it grows flat underneath the carpet in long trails, sometimes comes right up through the carpet, but if you leave old carpet down through the summer, fall, and winter, in early spring pull up the carpet and you can pull/dig up most of the long trails of bermuda with roots only about an inch into the dirt. That gives you a fighting chance.

Today I'm winter sowing Stevia.

margez
February 14th, 2011, 09:18 PM
Went out today to add water to the tomatoes and peppers in the jugs and saw green. One jug of kohlrabi has sprouted. Dozens of little kohlrabis with two leaves. WOW!

WinterSown
February 14th, 2011, 09:45 PM
Went out today to add water to the tomatoes and peppers in the jugs and saw green. One jug of kohlrabi has sprouted. Dozens of little kohlrabis with two leaves. WOW!

Did you do the happy dance?
http://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/Dual_Purposes/IMAG000.JPG

margez
February 14th, 2011, 09:58 PM
I did !!!!

MVNewf
February 14th, 2011, 10:20 PM
..

WinterSown
February 15th, 2011, 11:27 AM
Now we watch the green wave rise from the south and journey north. Every year its an amazing event that northerners envy and wring their hands over waiting anxiously to see green themselves.

bunkie
February 16th, 2011, 01:08 PM
ours are still buried in snow....but....i think i see a 'green haze' coming from Long Island!!!;)

WinterSown
February 16th, 2011, 04:01 PM
I wish.

We had the snowiest January on record and after a week of mostly above-freezing temps I've got a lawn that is still mostly covered with snow. I did a radio interview today and one of the things we discussed was the green wave and how southerners were seeing sprouts alreads and the northerners were standing around, foot-tapping and gritting their teeth in envious impatience. LOL.

aerostitcher
February 17th, 2011, 11:32 AM
The seed packets are in at the Dollar Tree! .25 cents a pack! I had great success with growing from them last year. I posted a picture on my blog. They had many more varieties than what is shown. I think I will be swinging by our other Dollar Tree today for more. Awesome price if you need to build your seed inventory.

http://aerostitchergarden.blogspot.com/

WinterSown
February 17th, 2011, 02:31 PM
Dollar and discount store seeds have always worked well for me. Generally, they're old OP varieties that our parents or grandparents grew. These varieties are still available because they've succesfully withstood the test of time. Every year my Mom grew plain-jane Beefsteak tomatoes and I always loved having a tomato and cheese sandwich for lunch.

LuvsToPlant
February 18th, 2011, 06:26 AM
Caution!.... to those who are experiencing warmer than normal temps on the East coast

This is why I have stressed in the past (Some of you will remember) to place your containers on the north side or shady areas of your house
The warm temps can stimulate germination...and in most areas...it is too soon.
The temps will eventually go back to freezing and normal temps which would NOT be good for most
germinated seeds...for we still have a way to go till planting time.

Beware!

WinterSown
February 18th, 2011, 09:06 AM
Luvs, et al.

Please do not put containers in full shade because it fosters algae growth. I've seen seedlings come up with some green algae in a flat. There is a red algae, I don't know its name, but when I've seen red algae it equals the death of the flat. So please, no full shade. EVER. Part shade is still fine.

Anything that sprouts right now is likely a hardy annual or perennial, and those perennials would be the type which remain semi-evergreen throughout winter. It's amazing to watch seedlings freeze and thaw, even burst up through an icy crust on the soil, yet still survive to be transplanted. On rare occasion you do see a few seedlings of a tender annual sprout, but it is never a full flat, and the seedlings will fail. GOOD! This is the beauty of Winter Sowing. It lets Ma Nature cull the weak. In my garden I don't want weak seedlings growing into weak plants which invite disease and pests to the garden.

Remember please, shade equals algae.

A warm spell may bring some germination, hardy seedlings will thrive in the swing of temps, weak seedlings will fail. Culling the weak is good for your garden.

T

LuvsToPlant
February 18th, 2011, 11:06 AM
wintersown...I think you misunderstood me... :)
First off...Red Algae is an aquatic plant that grows in water...most often in tidal pools
There is green and red algae and a marine plant.

Are you thinking of a fungus??

I want to add ...I am not suggesting to grow in full shade...
I am suggesting to keep dormant seeds on the northside out of direct sunlight
due to the warmth of the sun during the warmer days this time of year that can trigger early germination.
For the temps will resume back to freezing and cold temps ...till spring and warmer temp are due.
A shame for germination that is not ready for the weather.
I learned 30-30 years ago from this mistake....and have much success since.
Once the weather has warmed (closer to spring) I introduced it to more sunlight
waiting for germination

Most of my seeds are still under 2-3 feet of snow...in full shade
I have never had a problem with fungus ...or algae
:)

ezzirah
February 18th, 2011, 11:27 AM
I have lettuce plants! I have been excited to the point I have been posting on a couple boards I go to.

But I have not seen any life from my broc, cauliflower, cabbage, snapdragons and sweet peas. Now I did plant this at the sowing depth listed on the seed packet. Did they maybe rot? I don't know what to expect so I don't know what is normal.....

aerostitcher
February 18th, 2011, 11:54 AM
I have lettuce plants! I have been excited to the point I have been posting on a couple boards I go to.

But I have not seen any life from my broc, cauliflower, cabbage, snapdragons and sweet peas. Now I did plant this at the sowing depth listed on the seed packet. Did they maybe rot? I don't know what to expect so I don't know what is normal.....

My cabbages and peas are just coming up now in zone 8

bunkie
February 18th, 2011, 12:43 PM
last year we had very little snow which is unusual for us. i winter sowed a bunch and placed all the containers on our north side porch area in the shade. they stayed frozen all winter till the temps started warming up outside. they all germinated except for one container. as soon as they germinated, i put them in the sun. this is how i understand it was to be done, and it works great. the seeds might take a little longer to germinate this way, with the shade and cold, but they did just fine.

luvs, i have had a green type moss grow on my containers when they get too wet. maybe that's what ws is talking about?

LuvsToPlant
February 18th, 2011, 06:54 PM
bunkie...I too ....have luck with the method

Moss is a fungi....Yes...It could be what ws was talking about.
It spreads by spores
different than algae

If you have trouble with moss
disenfect...containers if used...everthing around the area with 1 part bleach 9 parts water
It must be present already in the area that you sit your containers
...or old soil...that have spores in the soil.

bunkie
February 18th, 2011, 06:57 PM
luvs, it's really more like a tiny moss-like cover. and it only happens when the plants get soggy or too much water. is moss a fungus?

LuvsToPlant
February 18th, 2011, 07:05 PM
bunkie we must of replying at same time :) lol
Please read my last post to you...
hope that helps

yes... moss fungi
most often already present

WinterSown
February 18th, 2011, 10:24 PM
What looks like algae to me could be fungi, it's disgusting looking and it happens with too little sun and too much soil moisture. Everyone will do it their own way, and the method is written that way too, but I have always been against placing flats in dark dank areas and always recommended against it. Part shade is fine, and once hot spring days set in it is a good place to set flats that haven't yet been transplanted.

Ezzirah, your flats don't all sprout at once, patience is a virtue, keep the faith.

kellygirrl
February 19th, 2011, 01:14 AM
I put my containers in full sun. When the weather is warmer, and they may dry out quicker, or burn in my clear bottles (don't want to fuss with them), then those still holding plants go on my east side, b/n houses. I've never lost any due to premature germination. I've read that it happens, but I've never experienced it. I'd rather get a little earlier germination on the south side, a little more maturity, a little sooner in the ground. They've always been ready for the elements, so far, for me.

ezzirah
February 19th, 2011, 04:21 AM
thank you everyone!

T - I was just worried about the fact I didn't have them on the surface, but stuck them at planting depth, I will be patient... Thanks!

LuvsToPlant
February 19th, 2011, 04:36 AM
Yes kellygirl...eastside works as well.
Just as long as they are not in direct sun the unexpected sunny warm days...which some of you may be
experiencing right now, in the dead of winter :)
Those little mini greenhouses (containers) can heat up pretty fast.

Wintersown...yes.. you probably a fungi...in most cases due to "too much" moisture.
Although...fungi is not a problem to most plants....just a nuisance.
Algae will form on clear/opague containers if to much water without good drainage...algae needs direct sun to grow.
It's your bacteria and viruses...you have to watch for.

Well again...I hope you all make it through...the unexpected warm sunny periods that some are experiencing right now ...without early germination.
I know I have a while to go before early spring...like 2-3 months before
I see any signs of growth...
:)

ezzirah...when is the last frost expected in your area?
...you should be ..ok... with the lettuce, since it's very hardy.

ellenr
February 24th, 2011, 06:22 AM
well - happy to find this thread.
I have been wintersowing for 7 years.
So far this year I have sown foxglove, gaillardia, arugula, lavender, sage and today am doing lettuce.
The best thing about winter sowing for me is that I can get my hands in dirt in the middle of February.
I have no sprouts yet. But wouldn't expect them.

But more than 2 months before I can put my sprouts in the garden.
I always jump the season cuz am so impatient.
I'll probably start to put things out end of April, altho the "official" day is Mother's Day. And use row covers to protect.

Re heating up in the container - yes - inside can get as much as 20 degrees higher than the outside temperature.

rane_grow
February 24th, 2011, 06:34 AM
Anybody in zone 7 wintersowing tomatoes or annuals ? or is it too early ?? :o

Iris

ellenr
February 24th, 2011, 11:34 AM
Anybody in zone 7 wintersowing tomatoes or annuals ? or is it too early ?? :o

Iris

Depends on:
How long til they sprout?
and
Are you likely to have a frost?

If you get a frost after germination, you'll have to protect tomato sprouts and some tender annuals.
Salvia for example will not survive a frost.
But others will, eg pansy, allysum.

kellygirrl
February 24th, 2011, 04:32 PM
IME, tomatoes are a no-brainer, winter sow anytime seed. The seed is not hurt by freezing, the plants come up when they are ready, and like other winter sown plants, they go out in the garden earlier than my last frost date whenever they have some true leaves, and do fine (unlike indoor sown plants). I know other people have lost sprouts, I haven't yet, so I just carry on. Trudi recommends over-sowing; if your sprouts are killed in your containers, just wait and another wave will sprout; they are the ones destined by nature to feed you that year.

I don't put nasturtiums or zinnias out yet. But I put out a bunch of other annuals and perennials.

ellenr
February 25th, 2011, 05:47 AM
IME, tomatoes are a no-brainer, winter sow anytime seed. The seed is not hurt by freezing, the plants come up when they are ready, and like other winter sown plants, they go out in the garden earlier than my last frost date whenever they have some true leaves, and do fine (unlike indoor sown plants). I know other people have lost sprouts, I haven't yet, so I just carry on. Trudi recommends over-sowing; if your sprouts are killed in your containers, just wait and another wave will sprout; they are the ones destined by nature to feed you that year.

I don't put nasturtiums or zinnias out yet. But I put out a bunch of other annuals and perennials.


Kelly, what varieties of tomatoes do you grow?
Are they a hardy variety, are they in a sheltered environment?

I lost all my tomato sprouts when I put them out too early. Fairly sheltered - up against the house, facing south-east.

The blanket sentence found in Trudi's information that "Plants know when they are ready" should be amended to "SOME".

I planted salvia one year, they came up in a warm spell in Feburary, and every last one keeled over, when the cold returned.

New Winter Sowers can avoid the disappointment I had.
Now I'm more patient, or I content myself with perenniels or hardy annuals like alyssum or batchelors buttons which will not be harmed by frost. Personally, I can't see spending the time and energy to sow things I know will not make it.

ezzirah
February 25th, 2011, 06:54 AM
At what point are they big enough to go into the garden? I have sprouts in my bottles and the soil temp outside is good for lettuce. I guess what I am wondering is if they have to be a certain size?

Thanks!

w8in4dave
February 25th, 2011, 07:21 AM
Kelly, what varieties of tomatoes do you grow?
Are they a hardy variety, are they in a sheltered environment?

I lost all my tomato sprouts when I put them out too early. Fairly sheltered - up against the house, facing south-east.

The blanket sentence found in Trudi's information that "Plants know when they are ready" should be amended to "SOME".

I planted salvia one year, they came up in a warm spell in Feburary, and every last one keeled over, when the cold returned.

New Winter Sowers can avoid the disappointment I had.
Now I'm more patient, or I content myself with perenniels or hardy annuals like alyssum or batchelors buttons which will not be harmed by frost. Personally, I can't see spending the time and energy to sow things I know will not make it.

I have always been told to put containers on the N. side ,keeps them from getting to warm and coming up early then dying off when it gets to cold again.
I just winter sowed my tomatoes yesterday, I know I was going to do it along time ago , a few months to be exact but , between broken wrist and laziness it just didn't happen till yesterday.... I cannot w8 now :D ..
I used milk jugs, seeds starting dirt ,off brand from the hardware store, drilled little holes on the top and bottom and cut them in half. Taped them with duct tape after I planted the seeds I know I did over 100 seeds ....this sure saves alot of money at the greenhouse, come tomato planting time.. All I planted was Tomatoes nothing eles ...

ellenr
February 25th, 2011, 09:22 AM
hmmm - I would have thot it was too early.

guess the ticket is keeping them in the North, so they don't sprout too early.

100 seeds!
good for you.
When will they be ready to go in the ground?

Hope your wrist is ok now.


I have always been told to put containers on the N. side ,keeps them from getting to warm and coming up early then dying off when it gets to cold again.
I just winter sowed my tomatoes yesterday, I know I was going to do it along time ago , a few months to be exact but , between broken wrist and laziness it just didn't happen till yesterday.... I cannot w8 now :D ..
I used milk jugs, seeds starting dirt ,off brand from the hardware store, drilled little holes on the top and bottom and cut them in half. Taped them with duct tape after I planted the seeds I know I did over 100 seeds ....this sure saves alot of money at the greenhouse, come tomato planting time.. All I planted was Tomatoes nothing eles ...

ellenr
February 25th, 2011, 09:26 AM
At what point are they big enough to go into the garden? I have sprouts in my bottles and the soil temp outside is good for lettuce. I guess what I am wondering is if they have to be a certain size?

Thanks!

What I have read is that once they get their "true leaves" they are ready.

WinterSown
February 25th, 2011, 11:43 AM
I transplant my maters when they are just barely showing their first true leaves. In my garden, I have to protect the seedlings from slugs, bugs and critters. Please use this link for info on the transplanting method:
http://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/Transplanting_Tomatoes.html

PS...WS your tomatoes now. Any tomatoes.

kellygirrl
February 25th, 2011, 01:25 PM
ellenr, I hear people lose their babies, it just hasn't happened to me yet.
Sounds like you lost yours after you transplanted, not while still in the containers?
I put some early sprouting greens in my hoophouse, so they would grow faster, but I put things right in the garden, too. Tomatoes come up later than other things for me, maybe April, and get planted out a week or two ahead of our May 15 frost date. Sometimes I cloche things, though, so they'll grow faster.

I start my containers on the south side, for earliest germination, and move to north or east when the sun/temps are hotter, and I'm worried about drying or burning (don't want to open and close containers).

Because I can get lots from recycling center, my favorite container requires 2 milk jugs, bottom cut tall, top cut long, then slid together with no tape. I like having more depth for root growth. I don't like using tape.

I started a whole bunch of long-blooming violet seeds in the big mesclun boxes. They will grow slowly, won't fill up the soil or the overhead space until it's good for planting. I want more edible flowers.

rane_grow
February 25th, 2011, 05:53 PM
woo hoo !! I have coreopsis sprouts !!:D

http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn163/irishendry/th_coreopsis2011.jpg (http://s304.photobucket.com/albums/nn163/irishendry/?action=view&current=coreopsis2011.jpg)

WinterSown
February 25th, 2011, 05:59 PM
Bravo Rane! Congrats on the sprouts.

ellenr
February 26th, 2011, 07:57 AM
[QUOTE=kellygirrl;718967]ellenr, I hear people lose their babies, it just hasn't happened to me yet.
Sounds like you lost yours after you transplanted, not while still in the containers?
QUOTE]

No mine were in the containers when they got felled by a cold spell. In fact the WS'ers in my zone would not have their tomato sprouts emerge before end of March/Apr.

Well - whatever works!

You've got a good system.

And congratulations to the person with a coreopsis sprout!
I won't have sprouts for a while, doesn't stop me looking every day tho. :)