Winter Sowing Crazy!!

kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)February 7, 2008

Hi fellow gardeners.

I just started "winter sowing" after discovering the technique at

I live in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. Last summer was the first summer here on our new property. I'm told by locals that our climate here is a Zone 5 however it's shown as a Zone 4 on the map. Any gardening I've done was done last summer here and I think I was quite successful in all that I planted. ( Yay me!! lol )

Because I have a large undertaking WSing will be of great value to me in savings ( $$$ ), selection, quantity of plants and hopefully hardiness.

I started plantiing on February 3 and so far have 32 containers planted.

Foxglove,Lupine, Matthiola Bicornis(Evening scented stock),Persian Poppy,Butterfly bush,Rubeckia Hirta

Question: Because I wasn't planning on Winter Sowing I didn't have a set up arlready in place for keeping my seeded containers. I have presently been placing them on shelves inside our unwinterized shed. Is it alright to keep them there until I can move them outdoors completely before the snow melts?

We currently park our car inside a plastic structure called a Tempo. A temporary winter garage & unheated. Closer to spring I plan to remove the car and use this structure as a " greenhouse " by adding shelving units to hold my containers.

What do you think? Good idea or bad? Your thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in Advance.

kanuk aka Bruce

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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Bruce, your containers should be okay in there, but you really don't need to have any kind of set-up for them. Just put them right outside in the snow now - they can go on a deck or up against the house out of the way of traffic, doesn't matter.

As far as putting them in a greenhouse, i've heard of people doing that. Your seeds might sprout sooner, so you'll have to watch for late frosts and you'll have to make sure to water them lots because the heat of the greenhouse will cause them to dry out faster.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 9:52PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Bruce, I don't know if I misunderstand you, but the beauty of winter sowing is that you do not need to shield containers in any way. You just put them right out in the snow now. You can put them on a deck as Marcia said, but I put mine in the area which becomes my veggie garden because there's nothing there now. Also, with winter sowing they germinate right out in the elements when they are good and ready, and you don't have to worry about hardening them off, or moving them out. You can just leave them there until you are ready to plant them out. I don't think you have any need for your 'greenhouse'. You may want to put a shelving unit outdoors, and have your containers germinate there. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 6:34AM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

Thanks Marciaz & northerner_on for your advice. I think I will skip putting the containers into the temporary gargage/" greenhouse ". As you say it isn't necessary and it just leads to having to water more etc. Yay! One less complication already.
I would love to just plunk the containers on the deck however we get extreme winter winds here. The BBQ already blew off the deck and broke.
So I'll start placing them in the snow out of danger of being disturbed as suggested.

1. Why is it necessary to place lids on the containers? If the containers were set out on stable outdoor shelves/table tops sure not to be toppled over .. could they not just be left uncovered eliminating the fear of the sprouts hitting the tops of the containers? The snow that might collect in the open containers would just be added moisture. Aside from the protection aspect the lid might have is this a viable alternative or not?
Also because they would not be placed directly in/on the snow one wouldn't have to worry that as the snow melted the containers would tilt/spill/move etc.
Or is the lid used to create a mini greenhouse effect? Would being exposed to the elements be simply too much of a challenge?

2. When placing the containers outdoors do you take into consideration the light/sun that the sprouting seeds will be receiving in that location? ie: should it be partial shade, full sun or does it vary depending on seed/plant type and specifications?

3. Am I complicating something that was intended to be simple? LOL

Thanks again to both of you for your time in responding. I truly appreciate it.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 10:25AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I think i can answer your questions, Bruce.

1) The containers that we use for WS are mini-greenhouses, as you say. They provide a bit more protection for your seeds and future seedlings - sort of like Mother Nature, but better. All containers should have vent slits and drainage holes. You can water your containers when they eventually need it by sitting them in shallow trays of water. As the outside temperature increases, you can make the vent slits larger and as the seedlings grow, you will eventually remove the lid.

2) Yes, definitely take light into consideration when setting out your containers. Mine go on the west side of the house and many are on the deck up against the brown siding, which adds to the warmth. However, as it gets warmer later in the spring, i move the containers to different areas of the yard so that they aren't in the direct sunlight. Otherwise they dry out too fast and there's danger of fried seedlings. :(

3) Yes. LOL Just kidding! Everyone has questions at first. Winter sowing makes so much sense that it's hard to grasp at first - it's hard to believe that it will really work. After you do it for a few years, you really bless its simplicity. I'd love to live in a climate where i could WS petunias and impatiens, but unfortunately i still have to start some things inside!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 9:49PM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

Marciaz3 ... you're the best!! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions and to help clarify some things.
I certainly look forward to seeing the results of winter sowing. I think I'm hooked.
I'm in trouble already if all that I've planted comes up!!
And let's not even talk about the seeds yet to come. Oh boy I'm going to be doing the " run & plunk " for sure this spring. Thank goodness my neighbors can't see me!! lol

Thanks again. I hope to be able to share some photos of my endeavors in spring/summer.

Above you say "slits" in the covers. I have used a soldering iron to melt holes ( the size of a paper hole punch ) in the lids. I wonder if I should cover some of these up. I've spaced 8 holes in a 4.5in.x 4.5in. snap on lid. Perhaps it's too much ventilation for such a small container to start out.

Happy planting Marciaz3.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 3:30PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

You're welcome, Bruce. :) I remember when i was a newbie and had lots of questions and patient people answered me. Just returning the favour!

Yes, that might be a bit much ventilation in a small lid. Tape over a couple of them for now. The ventilation isn't usually a big deal until it starts getting warm out - too much and the containers dry out, too little and they get too moist. I've grown moss in a few containers myself!

Hey, listen - we all go through that panicky notion of wondering what the heck we're going to do if everything sprouts. You can trade with friends, sell at a garage sale, donate somewhere, whatever. Or just crowd them in somewhere. :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 10:30PM
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sharont(z5 can)

Bruce, if you do decide to use your 'Tempo' as a greenhouse I'd recommend you put shelving on the side that doesn't get direct sunlight. Also run electricity to the structure for a fan set up on a high shelf for air circulation. As marciaz3 said it will get quite warm in there. But plants will grow faster!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 1:55AM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

Marciaz3_ LOL!! Ya know not everyone can grow moss!!! You really do have a green thumb.
I will tape up some of those vent holes. It might be a bit of chore to dig out my first batch of containers from beneath the 4 feet of snow ... but if I must. :-)
Space is not a concern. I will just have to plan & prepare more beds.
Who said winter is a quiet time for gardeners!! Boy were they wrong.
Thx again Marciaz3

Thanks Sharont for your advice on how to better utilize the Tempo as a greenhouse. Excellent. I would never have thought of a fan and I would surely have placed the shelves on the sunny side thinking that they would prefer it.
Wrong again!! LOL
Now I just have to decide whether I want the plants to grow faster and tree sap on the car!!! *** scratches head***

Happy Planting!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 8:49AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Bruce, don't bother digging your containers out of the snow - they'll be fine for now. When the snow starts melting, then tape up a couple of the holes. What type of containers are you using? I try to use as many milk jugs as i can but even my son can only drink so much milk. I also use plastic juice jugs and 2-litre pop bottles when i can find them. Strawberry containers are convenient but they have way too many holes in them and dry out too fast.

As for the plants vs. tree sap question - no contest! :>

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 9:36PM
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Wintersown containers love snow! It's what they're supposed to get! No warmy by the house, in a garage, in a greenhouse, nice and cozy like a mouse (I'm sounding like Dr. Seuss here)!. But coddling..this is what it's all about. Maybe a bit of water in the spring on warm sunny days so your sprouts don't dry out, but other than that..Fuggedaboutit!
Bottles in Feb 2007

This year I haven't bothered with the stools & 2x4's..theyre just out on the ground.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 12:00AM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

Marciaz3- I've been buying food storage containers from a Dollar Store. They're about 4.5"X4.5"X3"deep with snap on lids.I find they're just a manageable size. I get 4/$1. In my limited experience I prefer transplanting seedlings when their roots have filled their container. It's easier to handle them for me. I'm hope to achieve that using these containers. In the meantime I've been saving 2 litre pop bottles for seeds that grow taller quicker.

Wendy2shoes ~ OMG!! I want mine to look like that!! Holy moly!! So organized. It looks like a work of art. I love it. Seriously. That's what I want.
Stools and all!!!
I get your point. Don't fuss!! Let them fight the elements. "Survival of the fittest".
Question: Do they sell you the crates that hold the pop bottles?( Or will I have to do night time drive-by's to collect them??)
With the winds here I need something secure like that!

This is so much fun! Thanks to both of you for your input, inspiration and support.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 10:03AM
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I was lucky to know someone who worked at a grocery store. Coke used to charge a deposit on them to the retailer, but it was too cumbersome to manage. Now they are free for the store to use.
I can't recommend the drive by method..(aiding and abetting (?))
I'll pull a Schultzie here.."I know nothing...I see nothing".

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 3:07PM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

Too funny wendy2shoes. :-)
Some people have all the connections!! I'm gonna ask next time at the grocery store. Maybe I'll luck out. In the meantime I'll just keep collecting my bottles.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 4:24PM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

Okay. I'm taking a chance here. I didn't want to start a new thread so here goes...( doh! )
I was working away planting today. Having a great time when for some reason I wondered how "permanent" these markers I'm using could actually be. To my horror ... not very!
Anyone else encounter easy wipe off permanent marker syndrome? I've been labeling my containers using permanent ( questionable ) marker on duct tape. I place the labels on the underside of the containers as advised to do over at
What's up?!! Is it the duct tape? Is it the marker? Please don't tell me I should be using waterproof mascara 'cause I ain't got none!!!

Help! lol

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 6:07PM
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Bruce..get thee to Canadian Tire or Home Depot and get yourself the shiny foil type duct tape (it's what HVAC guys use-not regular stuff). It has a peel off paper backing and is really sticky.
Use a ball point pen, press hard, and make your label.Pull off the backing, cut it and stick it anywhere on your bottle. The pen doesn't show much, but the pressure "scribes" the words into the tape.
One tilt to the light, and you can easily read your printing.
I use mini-blind tags marked with wax china markers inside my bottles. They don't fade.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 6:22PM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

wendy2shoes~ First the coke trays .. now " mini blind tags "!!!!!
I suppose you're going to tell me you own a Blinds to Go shop!!! lol What the heck are mini blind tags?
Thanks for the insight wendy2shoes and once again ... thank you for taking the time.
Shiny tape .... here I come.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 9:23PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Mini-blind tags are made of pieces of old mini-blinds. I cut them in 2-3" pieces and use Sharpie markers to write on them. The Sharpies eventually fade but the writing often lasts a couple of years.

Wendy - i'm cheating a little bit. :)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 10:09PM
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Sometimes people throw out their mini-blinds, or they can be found at Value Village or the Sally Ann. I cut them about 4-5" long, on the diagonal, and write my seed name on them. They go inside my bottles, inserted in the potting soil.
When I plant out in the spring, they go into my garden with my plants.
I think you can see some of them in the foreground of this shot, near the birdbath.

P.S. I make my own garden edging rocks too, out of hypertufa. (there's a forum on that here as well!)I buried a garden hose out to the birdbath so I don't have to lug pails of water to it. Amazing things you can get up to once the kids have left home!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 10:18PM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

Okay! Just let me say how fortunate I feel to have found you guys. I'm not only learning tons but I'm being inspired as well.
Thanks for clarifying the " blind tag " thing. I would never have thought.
The photos have been especially inspiring. Thanks wendy2shoes! I want to come and stay with you for a week or so. I can tell I'd learn a lot.
I'm not even going to start about making rocks. I think I'll have plenty this spring to do if all my seeds sprout into healthy plants. * gulp *
Again I " thank you " both. I'm so excited to put all you've taught me to use.
Forever grateful.
PS. Going to search Rock making 101 right now!! lol Just couldn't resist.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 9:52AM
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Bruce..the description of your property on "your page" sounds amazing. Would I love to live somewhere like that! (I'd have a chicken coop and hens running around in my garden, keeping down the bugs, and providing free range eggs and fertilizer!). I'd have them in my little back yard if they came in the "cluckless" variety.
It's too bad that our bylaws, created in the 30's restrict us townies from so many things that would lessen our footprint and provide nourishing, organic food.

Some of us can't even hang clothes outside!

I don't think you'll have to make rocks. You'll probably be pulling them out of your new beds.
Can't wait for it to warm up a bit. Think I'll sow some more seeds this afternoon.

Please post some pictures of your property!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 12:41PM
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sharont(z5 can)

Another way to use the white or beige blinds found at Goodwill Stores or other second hand stores is to cut them slightly shorter than your dollar store food storage containers. Use a pencil to print on one side and a permanent 'Sharpie' pen on the other side. The 'blind label' can be stuck inside the container in the corner. Perhaps you might be able to read though the plastic! The print will be under the soil, which protects them from the sun.

If you are into spending more money, there are labels available at Staples that are sun/fade resistant. Done on computer these are massed produced of course as these labels are used by certain nurseries on fancy push in plastic markers.

Watch for Styrofoam grape/produce boxes at the grocery stores. These would hold your containers.
There are also dollar store pots 10/$1.00 that can be used as starters. Put pots into zip-lock bags from Wal-Mart (or $ store) label with a Bic black pen or sharpie inside and outside ($ store labels!) and on the outside of the bag. I've not found any animal intrusions in my winter sown zip-lock bags ever!
Labeling is the most important process of sowing and the most time consuming!
Bruce, are you keeping a sowing record book?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:22AM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

wendy2shoes~Boy we're on the same page. I've been wanting a chicken or two but haven't had time yet to get around to building a coop. When I lived in Edmonton in the mid '80's I had a chicken named Teriyaki. But that's another story.This winter we have a family of foxes living down in the stream ravine that feeds into the river. I'm now a little hesitant having chicken(s). Maybe a hypertufa fortress would provide adequate protection from the foxes!! Now there's a project.
I hope to one day have Sebastopol geese. Some images here ...
Yes this property is magnificent. It took our breath away the day we visited it and we sold everything and moved to a town we knew nothing about. It's turned out to be a wonderful adventure full of great new discoveries.
The property previously served as a summer residence for Catholic clergy as well as many families of their Church. Many of whom paid us unexpected visits last summer unaware that the property had been sold. They shared their stories and memories of time spent here with loved ones. We've been blessed to find such a site.
I'll post some pics very soon to give you an idea the site.
NO rocks!! That's one thing I do miss being raised in NW Ontario. ROCKS. Rock cuts. It's very sandy here no rocks/boulders to speak of unless they've been transported in from elsewhere.

Sharont~ another great way to use the mini blinds. It's already become necessary for me to utilize a better labeling system. As you probably know it can very easily get all mixed up when you're dealing with large numbers of containers. No the organization part of sowing is not the most enjoyable part but important nonetheless!
I haven't quite got my system down yet. A small note pad is sufficing for now but I'll probably start a word document to keep things in order. I prefer hand written in journals myself but some times that gets sloppy.

Thanks again for the insights and guidance. Much appreciated.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 9:34AM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

Wendy2shoes~ I prepared some property photos however when I went to post them it seems necessary to have an outside account ( photobucket, flickr... )to host the photos. Is this correct or is there an alternative method?
I'm presently not interested in opening another account/membership.
Can one simply paste photos into the message field window?

Today we received more snow to snuggle around our winter sown containers. I'm now awaiting the arrival of more seeds for perennials & ornamental grasses. Between now & then I have to seed all of my current seeds so as not to be up to my neck in seeds, soil and containers. A person would be hard pressed to accomplish all this planting if they weren't using the winter sowing method. It would be utterly impossible in my opinion.
I do notice people giving me weird glances as I'm spinning the seed racks in the retail stores. As if to say ... " isn't it a little early to be thinking about all that! "
"Ha!! Jokes on you" I say... as I spin the display and pick off the last package of "New for 2008" seeds!!! Mwhaaa haaahaaa!!
Happy planting everyone.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 8:08PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Yes, you need a web account to post pictures here. There's a way of doing it from your computer in the GW Galleries, but i've never really figured it out. Just as easy to do it from Photobucket.

Okay Bruce - raised in NWOntario - you have to tell me where!

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

thanks marciaz3 I'll take a look at the GWGalleries thingie.
I grew up in Sioux Lookout Ontario. Where are you in NWOnt? Have you been busy winter sowing as of late??? Do tell.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 9:33PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Sioux Lookout! I'm in V. Bay! Small world, eh? :)

No winter sowing for me, not since the end of December. It's been too cold. The containers i have outside are covered in snow. Maybe this weekend or next - it's supposed to start moderating, thank goodness. I do have a few things started indoors, hoping for blooms by the first weekend in May when our horticultural society is hosting the Annual District Meeting.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 8:27AM
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Instead of buying seed, check out the Canadian Garden Exchange forum. If you don't have seed to trade, there are usually people there offering seed for a SASBE. Check out my list and see if there are seeds you would like and e-mail me with your wants.
It's a great way to get lots of different seed(and cheap), especially when you have a large space to plant.
Wendy L.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 3:02PM
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Yeah, for sure Bruce re: seeds. Anything in particular you're looking for? I've w/s'd a lot of perennials already, but I have quite a few left. Tons of annual seeds that I will not be able to sow all of.
Email me through 'mypage' and I'll get a good selection out to you.

p.s...want some foxgloves?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 8:33PM
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Your foxgloves are beautiful, Wendy!
Bruce, I could also spare some seeds if you would like some.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 8:46PM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

wlongon5b- Thank you for pointing me to the resources available over at the gardening exchange forum. I'll have to spend more time looking over all that is available there. Yay!! More time browsing ... less time planting. lol

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 3:36PM
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Hi there, been reading all the posts and am learning allot. If I want to start hollyhocks by winter sowing and using 2 litre bottles, would I cut the bottles in half, insert the soil, seeds and leave the tops off? Will they flower this year?

Thanks - never tried anything like this before.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 3:32PM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

Welcome bellabella_2008

Isn't it amazing how much there is to learn on this website. It's certainly a great place for anyone the least bit interested in everything from gardening to home improvement...and beyond.
I'm also new here as well as to gardening but I've already met so many kind, generous people willing to share their time in helping out a newby like myself. I'm sure you'll find the same.

Another great source of information is
There you will find answers, data based information and lots of pictures to steer you on.
It is there that I found that hollyhocks have been successfully sown from Zones3-9. This will good news to you.
I'm not experienced at winter sowing myself. This is my first attempt at it.
Regarding the use of the 2L pop bottles for your hollyhocks I would assume you would follow the procedure as you would no matter what seed(s) you were planting.
Therefore ... cut the bottle but keep the top. It's important to tape the top back on until the seeds have sprouted. When it is safer to expose them to the outdoor elements the lid will be removed. The idea is that you are creating a mini greenhouse by leaving the top part of the bottle on. The baby plants would be too fragile to survive without it at first.
You must leave the screw top off the bottle for ventilation and you may also want to add a few more vent holes/slit in the top of the bottle as well.
The bottom portion of the bottle must be given drainage holes before you add your soil and seeds as well. Very important.
Be sure to really clean the bottles well before you plant in them.

Personally I would cut it lower than half way. It would give your seeds more head room if they grow tall & fast. I only say this because I know hollyhocks are tall plants but I don't know if they sprout and grow quickly.

These are just general responses to your questions. I was more concerned that you seemed to think that you didn't need the bottle top. You do.

Like I said...for really good indepth advice check out the website I mentioned above. Lots of info and pictures too.
If you have any more questions feel free to ask. Maybe someone with experience will answer you.
You could also start a thread of your own asking your questions. That would ensure it would be seen and addressed by a larger audience.
I only knew you posted here because I'm connected to this particular thread.

Anyway...keep the bottle tops so you can reattach them.
Not sure about when they will flower. Take that question and start another thread in the gardening section regarding " hollyhocks " and you'll get all your answers I'm sure.

Happy planting.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 5:23PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I've winter sown hollyhocks but they didn't flower the first year. I'm not sure if all hollyhocks are biennials but it seems the ones i have are. The plants came up this past summer but didn't flower. The year before, they were gorgeous, so i'm keeping my fingers crossed for this summer.

There you go, Bruce - you're already helping out someone else. :)

Btw, did you live in Sioux all your life? I've been there a few times and it's a nice place.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 9:18PM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

Hey marciaz3

Ahhh shucks!! I'm indebted the many fellow WS'ers who've come to my aid. It's the least I could do. I hope I didn't scare bellabella_2008 from continuing on her quest to grow those hollyhocks with my long winded explanation. Also hope I gave her correct info.

If hollyhocks are biennual you would have to re-sow every year to ensure that you would have blooms every year then...right? Knowing now how quickly one growing season passes that doesn't seem like the ordeal it once did to me.

My Father was born, raised and still makes his home there. Although I was born in Sask. and moved to Sioux Lookout when I was 3 I consider SL my hometown. I completed my education there but left shortly after to "discover the world".
The impact of growing up surrounded by the natural beauty of those forests and lakes has carried with me throughout my life.
No matter where my moves have taken me I have always had a residence that has a view of water.( Obviously I've never had to live in the Sahara ) I just can't live without it. Funny isn't it.
Were you there on vacation/business or took a wrong turn!!?
BTW how goes the WS-ing? I planted 18 containers today for a grand total to date of .....**** drum roll pullleeeeze ****
" 81 " !!
WHwhhhahaaa Holy moly!! 81

Yes it was a great place to grow up.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 9:59PM
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Bellabella_2008 and Kanuk,
When you are doing your 2L bottles, instead of taping them back together, make a slit or a Vee in several places on the cut edge of the top part of the bottle. Now you can bend the top and slide it into the bottom part. This way, in the spring, it is easy to pop the top off to water, also, when it is hot the top can be removed and popped back on for cool nights.
Last year was my first year wintersowing and one mistake I made was one warm day I neglected to take off the lids went away for the day and I fried some of my babies:( I won't do that again!
Everybody was so kind when I first joined, so now I try to do the same. Bellabella_2008, I will make you the same offer I did for Kanuk. Go to my page and check out my trade list. If you see a few seeds you would like, you can have them for a SASBE. Happing Planting, Wendy L.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 9:32AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Bruce, i grew up on Lake Superior and also never live far from a lake anymore. My sister found the same thing - she was living in St. Catharines for awhile and then in Toronto and then she moved to Cambridge. She ended up moving back to Toronto to be close to the lake. I don't live in sight of Eagle Lake but it just takes a minute or two before i see it - just a puddle compared to Superior, but it's a lake. :) And some years the beaver pond behind our house almost qualifies as a lake. LOL

Yes, that's the idea with a biennial. My hollyhocks self-seeded, though, so i had a few first year plants last year. I had a bad year for WS - i used mostly strawberry containers because that was all i could get, and many of my seeds either didn't germinate or didn't do well at all. Live and learn. I found a source for milk jugs and have gotten a few 2l pop bottles from my son's family.

I had intended to do some WS this weekend but it was colder than predicted. Next weekend for sure. I don't have a lot to do for myself but i'm planting things for my son and his family who are going to start landscaping this summer.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 9:59AM
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gail_ish(5a ON)

Hi all,

My hollyhocks bloomed last year, & I planted them last year  take a look:

Aaaahhh, summer....

All the best,

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 10:47AM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

Gail ... OMG! That's so incredibly encouraging. Thanks for posting your pictures.
As a first time WS'er I continue getting these moments of " this better work " or " why haven't people done this ages before?? " ..
But to see the successes you've had makes planting my next 81 containers worth it. lol
Gorgeous & now I want horses too!!
Question: Did you WS your front bed ornamental grasses? What about the mauve poppies and malva?
If so, are those their first year growth/bloom?

Thanks for posting Gail. I'm super motivated again.
I needed that.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 11:18AM
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