Most successful W/S

manicorganic(eastern ontario)January 8, 2008

I'm going to give this Winter Sowing a try this year and was wondering from you experienced ones out there what annuals/vegetables/perrenials did you have the most success with?

Anyone in Canada try w/s tomatoes? I hate having them move around from window sill to sill.


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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I always have good luck with annual flax, cosmos and alyssum. Perennials that have done well are polemonium, verbascum (waaaaaaaaaaaay too well!), lychnis coronaria, and dianthus, that i can think of right now.

I've done vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower but not tomatoes - not worth trying in zone 3, though when we've had mild winters, tomatoes have reseeded here.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 11:12PM
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I've tried tomatoes for the last couple of years and with winter sowing can't seem to get enough of a jump in growth at the start to get a ripe tomatoe in the season. The start to our summers is cool and damp which doesn't make for good winter sowing tomatoe growing. I live in Nova Scotia.

Having said that, I would actually encourage you to give it a try. Eastern Ontario, I believe, has earlier summer weather than we do and your summers are hot which would be ideal for great tomatoes. Try it for a couple of years and see what happens. We might both be pleasantly surprised!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 11:50AM
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Well I guess I could say I have winter sowed tomatoes. One winter I threw out some tomatoes from a can and in the spring I saw a few seedlings sprouting up. I didn't think it was ever possible since the tomatoes were cooked. But they grew. I kept a few plants just to see how they would grow and they were pretty healthy. Oh , I live in southern Ontario, zone 5b.Hope I was able to help answer your question.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 2:55PM
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Could you detail planting of the cauliflower and broccoli please such as soil mix, depth, planter, etc. I am a first-timer and surrounded by scowling negativists so want to do well with this. Thank you.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 8:43PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I just plant them in a WS container as if i would be planting them in a garden or inside under lights. Seed starting mix, and normal planting depth. I transplant them into the garden when i would usually transplant seedlings.

Good luck - it's always nice to prove the nay-sayers wrong!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:02PM
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Last year was my first year and I had good luck with Poppies, Ammi, Dames Rocket, Kochia, lettuce, spinich, onions, red flax, Night Stocks and Delphiniums.
These all had good germination and really flourished.

Marcia, when are you eating broccoli and cauliflower when you WS them, compared to buying plants? Is it much later or do they catch up? Toots

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 6:16PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

They tend to catch up, Toots. I've had best luck with kohlrabi. When i think of it, i guess the cauliflower didn't catch up this year because i had a couple of nice heads at Thanksgiving! LOL

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 9:52PM
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Hi Toots, what month did you start your successful winter sowing of the above items?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 11:21PM
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Marcia, oh that's a good idea to start seemed like I was waiting forever to try one (last year was my first time growing it) then all of a sudden a whole wack of them were ready. A few a bit earlier would be great.

Gladzoe, I WS'd delphs, and catnip (also did well)in February, Shasta Daisies ( I think they did well but I can't remeber for sure) in March and the rest in the first half of April. We had a super cold March last year, so I hadn't attempted to WS much that month (just the Shasta Daisies and some Trollius of my own seed(which I thought germinated but it ended up being weeds:( ), although I think I will try to this year...see how it goes.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 9:13PM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

I have a question. Does it matter when you WS certain plant seeds? As I'm reading the response from xtreme_gardener it reads like it does (eg. delph/catnip in Feb. Shastas in April ).
I thought the idea was to just get the seeds planted and out before spring preferably before the snow melts. Am I wrong? Should you delay planting various seed varieties until closer to spring...others in the dead of winter?
Or is it just because it's so cold outside that " you " personally don't want to venture outdoors to stash the containers?
Confused!!?? Fill me in.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 10:44AM
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I'm a Ws'ing newbie, but a couple things I've picked up from others here are:

#1. Seeds can suffer from temperature shock so in my climate that could mean right up until about Aprl 15th. One should either pick milder days to put seed out(like -30 C is not wise and even though I should be climatized to that I even get shocked when I feel it!, but -5 or -10 would be fine) , wait till later in the season when the temp doesn't fluctuate so much, or use the fridge or basement etc. to climatize the seeds before you put them right outside.

#2 It really depends on the seed...some (although they can still suffer from shock) need the cold stratification in order to germinate (ex. Rudbeckias), so earlier would maybe be better (it usually says on the seed packets if they need this). Other seed would be shocked, climatized or not (like some annuals), and still others are in the middle ground and don't need any stratification, but are also pretty resilient to the cold and temperature fluctuations of a Canadian winter.

#3 Warmer zones seem to get away with WS'ing a little earlier, but it still depends on the seed and shock level.

Maybe a fellow FarNorther could help me out on this, but didn't we have a thread going last season that listed what we were sowing and when? I'll do another search for it...

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 11:54PM
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Kanuk, here's the link to the FarNorth Forum thread on Winter Sowing from last year and it may give you an idea of when folks are sowing different seeds, but the main WS'ing site may be of more help to you as far as what seeds need what:

Here is a link that might be useful: Winter Sowing 2007 Far North

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 12:06AM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

~ thanks for the follow up on my question(s). I appreciate your input. Obviously I still have so much to learn. I better get started because spring is fast approaching!!
No rest for the gardener... now that I discovered Winter Sowing!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 8:15AM
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