what and how to winter sow now?

mommyto2(NC7)January 9, 2008

I want to winter sow some things this month, but I've never done it before. I'm hoping someone can tell me what types of seeds can be sown now and what is the best method to do it. I have larkspur, poppies, rudbeckia, columbines, daturas, lavateras, snapdragons, and several others. What should I sow directly in the ground and what should I start in containers? I also have a small, unheated portable greenhouse in the backyard that I'm using to overwiter some seedlings. Can anyone give me some ideas as how to do this wintersowing thing?

Thanks so much!!!

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Tammy Kennedy

there's a whole forum devoted to wintersowing- i'd go there and read up to get your basics. then, there was a thread last winter where we talked about what we'd tried and what worked well in situ, as well as container sown. try searching in this forum for it.

i sow larkspur, poppies, rudbeckia, nigella, bach buttons, sweet peas honesty (lunaria), columbines, milk thistle and bells of ireland in situ from fall til about feb. also, lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, peas and any of your winter veggies can be sown in situ. it's always worth sowing 2/3 of your seeds of any one type in situ, and the remaining 1/3 in a container the first time to see which method works better. you will get better germination in your containers, but you also have to separate and plant them out. if something does well directly in the ground i do it that way as it's a bit easier for me, esp for large amounts like lettuce. if you have a tiny amount of seed, do it in containers to control things. most things except super tropical stuff will do well sown in containers following the winter sowing method. i know there are lists on that forum. good luck!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 11:48AM
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Wait until mid March and sow with some bottom heat. Set out after the frost. In z7 probably late April.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 11:49AM
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Tammy Kennedy

don, that's traditional sowing. she's talking about a whole 'nuther thing. works just as well if not better by letting ma nature do the hard work. mommy2two, there's a thread going on right now about winter sowing.... ck it out.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 10:03PM
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I wintersow perennials and very hardy annuals early (late Dec - Feb) and wait til March and April to sow annuals like zinnias that can't take our late freezes. I still sow them in the WS containers because it is so much easier to keep them moist for germination.

There are lists (by zone) of plants in the Wintersowing FAQs that should be very helpful to you.

I also sow larkspur, nigella, and poppies in situ. But this year my poppies are not coming up. I think it's because they haven't stayed wet enough so I'll probably sow some more in the containers so I won't miss out on them completely.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 8:58AM
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Thanks to all of you guys for the great advice! I'll check out winter sowing as well.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 12:34PM
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