Zones for winter sowing

ljpother(3a)February 15, 2009

At wintersowing.org there are seed lists for zone 3, but I notice most of the posts to this forum are zone 5 or better.

Are there winter sowers from zones 2/3/4? If so how successful are you? From some of the comments I have seen, starting the plants isn't a problem but getting them to bloom or fruit during a short summer is.

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gladzoe(3a)

I tried last year and had a few successes. I started in Jan though and that may have been a little early for Winnipeg. Last year was also such a weird winter with a horrible May snow storm, so I'm not judging based on that year.

This year I'm going to try at the end of March or early April.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 11:09PM
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ljpother(3a)

Thanks for the reply.

I found the straight Winter Sowing forum to be more active. I have planted some spinach; but, I think most of my ws planting will be in March. I decided I should wait for my potting soil to melt :) I'm going to start long season plants indoors and possibly duplicate some ws to compare.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 3:17PM
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kioni(3)

Hi lj.

I have a friend who's just shared with me her first picking of the year of spinach, and it was good - crisp, thick wrinkled leaves. She was told by an old gardener friend to seed her spinach in the garden in late September, early October, and it's to sprout and get to the 2 leaf stage before winter hits (just how to time that she couldn't say). Hers got to the 4 leaf, so she wasn't sure how it would survive the winter, but it did. Here we are, middle of April, and she did her first picking last week. We had really cold weather the 2nd or 3rd week of March, it got down to -20 (or so it felt, I would have to check envi Canada's site for temperature history for our area), and the spinach did fine. Just a note, I checked out where she plants it (actually, she lets the summer plants grow and seed the area for her), and it is in a very sheltered (by large trees that wouldn't shade it too much) area, up against a white sided garage (which would reflect additional sun and heat) that is positioned to the plot's east, and there's a large fence to shelter from north wind, so I'm guessing she's got a microclimate that is a few zones warmer than a more exposed back yard (like mine which gets the full force of winter fury and west wind ripping through it).

I'm adopting gladzoe's opinion, of wintersowing later than winter, I'm going to call it 'spring sowing', I know the marigolds and allysum should sprout and grow a bit outside, and I am trying zinnia's with caution, since I just don't have the window space needed for indoors. I'm not fooling myself, my starts will be smaller than if I had grow lights and started them 6-8 weeks before frost indoors, but I am confident they will be larger than if I direct sowed in the ground like the package says, and I should get blooms a little early.

Good Luck, let us know how any experiments turn out.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 10:38AM
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