WS supplies

greylady_gardenerSeptember 15, 2007

I have been saving containers for WS for the last while and am now thinking about other things that I need to gather to have ready to start planting in a few months. I was wondering what kind of soil would be best. I already have some of the type for cuttings and seed starting, but wondered if it needs to be a bit heavier mix since it is going to be outside.

Besides soil and containers, is there anything else that any of you have found useful to have?

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It's a great time of year to buy compressed bales of container soil, especially if they have a rip in the plastic. You can usually get them marked down 8-10 bucks from the 20-odd they cost retail. I have one sitting in my garage right now, in anticipation of dumping about 1/3 into a big tote to start my wintersowing.
Depending on the containers you're using, waxed produce boxes are great for keeping your bottles, etc. together on your deck/table, whatever. They seem to withstand the vagaries of winter until you're just about ready to plant out.
Old window blind slats, cut into 4-5" peices on an angle are great plant markers. I use them inside my w/s containers, marked with a wax china marker. They follow my sprouts into the garden, and are very sun/rain resistant. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 11:04PM
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Thank you so much! I had been wondering about how to keep all the pots, etc., in an upright position, and how to transport them, without making dozens of trips, if I want to move them to different areas. The waxed produce boxes are a good idea!..........and I hadn't even thought about how to mark them.....I guess it would be a good idea so that I know what is what! :) I have a lot of pots that I gathered on recycle days this summer....I couldn't believe that people would just get rid of so may pots! I have also been saving all my containers that look like they are deep enough for planting, so I am good in that department.
I am so excited to try this method...(love growing things!!) and I have been gathering seeds EVERYWHERE I go.

thanks again for your help, Wendy


    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 3:31PM
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I was going to go and look at a second hand shop for some blinds to mark my pots, but instead a neighbour had four sets out at the curb yesterday. I only took one as they were large, so now I just have to get them ready! :-)
Wow!! this is sure a way to get lots of plants for cheap! Pots and; blinds for (I just have to get something to mark them now); from gathering and trading.
What would you all say is your success rate with this method? I am being optimistic and believing that it will be hugely successful and I figure that next year I will either be very popular with people or they will run when they see me coming because I will be forcing plants on them LOL!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 9:12AM
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I've found through experience that the black wax china markers work best (2 for a buck at the dollar store). Sharpies, etc. fade eventually. As far as success rates go, I'd say I'm at about 85-90% germination. What is a "dud" one year goes great the next. I think some winters and springs are harder on different seed (Up/down temps..really wet weather). But..the ones that succeed do really well!
Here's early April

And here's early August!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 3:05PM
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Your garden is beautiful, Wendy! did you put the pop bottles over the plants after they were planted or did you just set the pots in the garden to figure out where to place them?

Thanks for the heads up about the china markers at the dollar store.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 6:50PM
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I really like the blinds since I first started using them this year. I have to contend with dogs, racoons, deers, etc. in the gardens and lots of times they knock the labels/tags down, breaking them and such. The blinds are another story in that I cut them into long pieces lenghtwise and place 3" in the ground for stability. Haven't had any broken or move from it's place yet.

The china marker Wendy suggests are very good. I also use Garden Markers from Lee Valley Tools. They are UV resistant and do last quite a while. So far I haven't had to replace any writing on labels.

Germination/success rate? I know it's high, but even when something doesn't make it, I'm OK because there's so much that did! I'm persistant though. It took 4 winters to get Joe Pye Weed to germinate, but then again seeds of Gas Plant (Dictamus Alba) germinated in one winter. You never know! :O)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 7:15PM
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Well I went back to my neighbour's garbage and took another set of blinds. :-) I still haven't gone to the dollar store and looked for the china markers yet, ...but I will soon. I also came across some great styrofoam cases that will make really good holding/transporting boxes for putting the containers of seeds in for setting them outside. I work at a grocery store and these were the cases that globe grapes come in.....I just made sure the produce guys knew that they should save them for me. I won't have to worry about them getting wet and falling apart. They will be perfect!!
Seed saving and trading is underway!! I love growing things and I can't wait to get started. I don't have a very big yard, so I am going to have a lot to give away....I am very confident about germination LOL!!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 9:01PM
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Hi greylady...just be sure to punch some drainage holes in the bottom of the styro boxes (if they're not there already). Your w/s bottles won't like being waterlogged. After my bottles start sprouting, I set them out in the garden just to get an idea of where to plant..short in front, tall in back, etc.
However, I always get a few surprises, like 4 foot tall Zinnias..(lol)
Have fun this winter..we'll be here for any advice or help...I really used this site a lot when I first started.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 6:37PM
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They have some slits in the bottom at the sides but could use more I am sure. I will do that before using them.

Looking forward to trying this out...I am counting on lots of advice! :)


    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 9:37PM
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If your using 2 liter pop bottles the cases they come in at the stores work great, and they won't hold any water. Around here the store normally has a huge pile of them outside, just ask them.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 10:44PM
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