Winter Sowing

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#1
Is there anyone here that would like to share info on wintersowing ?

Winter sowing, is a technique, where you sow seeds inside of a container with approx 3-5 inches of soil...most people prefer to use two liter bottles, or milk jugs.

You place the soil, and seeds inside of the container, which consists of drain holes, and the cap removed.

Water the soil, then sow the seeds...and place container outside after the winter solstice...and wait till spring, and be pleasantly surprised.

There is more details, but I wanted to see if we could get the topic going...:cool:

Last winter I WS over 200 containers, and only had 9 containers with no germination.

Do you WS ? What do you WS ? How many containers will you do this winter ?
 

Mainegal

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Mine didnt do as well as yours did last yr. I'm not going to use the newspaper pots this yr and I'm only doing a few containers as I didnt get many saved this yr...
 
#3
I plan to start mine right after the holidays. I still have some containers from last season, and I found a friend that wants to do it together.

I think it is imprortant to have the 3-5 inches of dirt, so the dirt stays warm enough...and it gives the roots a good area to grow.

Last season I had plants that were not even 1/4 inch high, and the roots were 6 inches long.
 
#5
I did try it with some Roma tomato seeds last year in 3 pots. I had a little bit of a late start, but I still had about a half dozen plants come up that way. I used gallon milk jugs.

I do have a question though. The exhaust from my gas furnace is just a couple feet from ground level. Would that be a good place to put containers since it would probably get some warmth from the discharge or would that cause things to grow too quickly?
 

Mainegal

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
I don't think it would be a good place to keep your containers but it's my opinion only as you want to keep them frozen over the winter
 
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#7
you do not want to place the containers near the heat...or you will have sprouts come up before they should, and they will most likely die...
 
#8
flwrs4ever When do you start your winter sowing. I am very interested and want to try this year.. Let me know what plants and when some should be planted Thanks Linda
 
#9
Linda, I will try and type more info tomorrow, but most people start on the winter solstice...and it depends on your zone for some of the plants. Look for perennials or seeds that need stratifycation.

I didnt go by any list of seeds, I took a chance with anything, as long as it wasnt tropical or annual, and those I did winter sow, but I waited until March to start them.

I Promise to write more, when I am not so tired..LOL Ill come up with some lists.

Kym
 
#10
Winter solstice made me remember something from the Old Farmer's Almanac. Planting according to moon phase. Above ground plants during new moon and underground ones during the full moon.

And thanks for the info about the heating vent. I'm not going to put anything there now.
 

Gloria

Super Moderator
Staff member
#11
I plant my Veggie gardens in the Spring by the Moon's phases. I don't plant till I check the almanac. Here in the south east US, I use Grier's Almanac. I've found vegetables.. like peas and beans.. if planted at the wrong time, will make a beautiful bush but not much on them to eat! I've never used it for plants and flowers but that could be the reason some of them just don't look picture perfect. I think I'll try it for flowers in the Spring.
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
#12
I do WS but in Florida you can directly sow in the graound. Which makes it even better. How ever birds and ground critters will dig you seeds up. LOL
 
#13
Wonderful success in zone 5

I WS last year and had wonderful success. I used mostly 16 oz water bottles. I used some larger milk gallons and 2 liter bottles but it was harder to transplant. I had almost 100% germination using the soilless seed starting mix. I started mine in January here in zone 5. Here are the things I sowed: Allium, Baptisia, Blackberry Lily, Butterfly Weed, Chelone, Clematis, Columbine, Coreopsis, English Daisy, Painted Daisy, Daylily, Delphinium, Dianthus, Echinacea, Flax, Foxglove, Gaillardia, Geranium, Geum, Helenium, Hibiscus, Hollyhock, Honeysuckle, Hyacinth, Iris, Joe Pye Weed, Liatris, Lobelia, Lupine, Mist Flower, Morning Glory Bush, Obedient Plant, Penstemon, Poppy, Prime Rose, Rudbeckia, Sedum, Silene, Sweet Pea (everlasting), Sweet William, Thalictrum, Trumpet Vine, Verbena, and Zebra Mallow.
I had several different varieties and did several containers of each and ended up will way too many plants. I had no problem giving them away thought. Anybody even remotely thinking about doing this...you have to try it...you will be amazed....I know I was. Good luck to you all and as always....Happy Gardening!!
 
#14
I plan on making a photo album of pictures of my winter sowing from last year...thought it might help anyone just learning.

I am planning on starting my WS this week, cant wait to play in the dirt !!
 

Dale

Super Moderator
Staff member
#15
I plant my Veggie gardens in the Spring by the Moon's phases. I don't plant till I check the almanac. Here in the south east US, I use Grier's Almanac. I've found vegetables.. like peas and beans.. if planted at the wrong time, will make a beautiful bush but not much on them to eat! I've never used it for plants and flowers but that could be the reason some of them just don't look picture perfect. I think I'll try it for flowers in the Spring.
Gloria I am from the old school as well. We plant by the almanac. The way I look at it if the moon can control the tides in the ocean then why not the times to plant and harvest in the garden. Bring on planting time, I am so ready already.
 
#16
Finally Started

I got my first 50 containers planted today.

So far I have planted:

Agastache Purple Licorice
Allium Christophii
Allium Rainbow mix
Anchusa Blue Shower
Asclepias Ice Ballet
Astilbe Pale Pink
Astilbe Purple
Candy Lily
Carnation Giant mix
Delphinium mix
Delphinium Blue Mix
Delphinium Black Knight and Galahad mix
Dianthus Lavender
Dianthus Sooty
Echinacea Arts Pride
Echinacea Green Envy
Echinacea Magnus
Echinacea Razzmatazz
Echinacea Ruby Star
Echinacea Sundown
Echinacea Sunset
Flax Blue
Flax Scarlet
Forget Me Nots
and
Gaillardia Tizzy

Still have a ton to do and hoping to have it all out in the yard by the end of January. Will keep you posted on how it is doing. If anybody wants pictures, let me know and I will post them.
 

Gloria

Super Moderator
Staff member
#17
Wow Melly, you're on a roll! Bet you're all tired out from all that planting but are you kidding.. sure...we'd like to see pics girl, bring em on!
 
#19
wow sounds like ws might save me some room. We mostly start everything in the house under grow lights. right now we have primrose, begonias, african violets, calla lily, blue spruce sedum, rosary vine, brugs, heart leaf philodendron, and more to come today
 
#20
more more more

I sowed some more WS tonite.

Tonight I sowed:
Primula drumstick mix
Columbine Red/Purple
Columbine Orgami Yellow
Columbine Cameo Mix
Columbine Violet with Yellow center
Columbine Granny Caps
Columbine Winky Blue
Columbine Green Apple
Columbine Sweet Rainbows
Columbine Clementine Blue
Columbine Clementine Rose
Columbine Clementine Red
and
Columbine Clementine Pink
17 more bottles so that is a total of 67
I am out of soilless potting mix and our Walmart does not have it, so I guess I am done until I can get to Kmart....hopefully they will have it.

Gloria you wanted pictures so here you go
1. With cap on bottle, take a sharp serrated knife and twist to break
through plastic. If you don't leave the cap on the air pressure goes out
once you puncture the bottle and the bottle colapses making it harder to
work with.
2. Continue twisting both directions to make a hole in the bottom of bottle.
3. Cut into the side of the bottle almost all the way through leaving a little
hinge
4. Hinged bottle, you can now take your cap off.
 

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