I am amazed at this winter sowing stuff

ncdirtdigger(7b)January 21, 2009

This is my first year winter sowing, and I gotta say, I am amazed.

I sowed a week before Xmas and had sprouts within a couple of weeks. Being new at this, I potted up a few of each variety and put the rest back out. We have had temps from 60 to 17 with some snow thrown in and the sprouts are still doing fine. I was sure that the freeze would do them in.

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Yes, it can be addictive. I like it because I can try to grow some of the more difficult to find natives, most of which take two years or more to germinate and need stratification. I have also been very successful with hardy cyclamens. I am still having a little trouble in the growing out stage, i.e., potting up and trying to get them to a good garden size. I also have to remember to put the seeds in a tall container if I plan on leaving them in there for a few seasons. Oh, it gives me some plant swap material, especially for the native plant lovers. Have fun.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 7:49PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Try starting the seeds later in the season (say January or so after the colder temps arrive), then you won't have to worry about them germinating too early and you having to pot them up and bring them inside. The whole concept of wintersowing is that you plant during colder temps so they have all winter to go through freeze thaw cycles and they don't germinate until spring when they should. The seedlings then germinate outside and you don't have to worry about hardening them off. Potting seedlings up and bringing them inside is not part of wintersowing as it is most commonly done.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 8:07PM
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Oh, I never bring mine inside. That would not be the point of winter sowing. I just pot up in the summer or late spring in order to share with friends...when you get 25 or more of one thing, you usually don't need that many! Also, there is no problem with early germination, but some of these natives that take two years just to show up benefit from being in a pot for a season or so before being placed out in the woods. I know these little ones do OK in a really natural setting, but I want the seedlings to be a little larger so that I don't plant over them.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 8:27AM
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I really love the wintersowing too! I am going to make a little pop bottle of something for one of my friends today so she can try it too. She says she never has luck starting seeds in the house. I never did either--too much of a pain getting lighting finding space. Wintersowing is perfect--you hardly have to do a thing with the seeds until they are actively growing and it is warmer out. :) Love it!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 8:10AM
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My problem is that I tend to sow every single seed in the packet and somehow a gajillion of them sprout! I can't kill my own children so I fret and fuss over all of them until I am worn out. Oh, and I also forget to label them so I have vast collections of unknown seedlings.

One thing I do is sow seeds in deep containers (like 6 inches of soil). That way I don't have to hurry up and transplant when things get rockin. And when I do get around to planting them they are on longer roots.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 9:27AM
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I too have the can't throw out the babies syndrom. I like to take cuttings of everything in my garden just to see if I can propagate it. Fortunately for me I have four acres and plenty of room to put things. I still have a new dawn rose in a pot that has gotten huge. I don't have any need for it or any plans for it put I hope to find it a new home soon. I have to give away multiple weigela every year and yet I fill my coldframes every year with more.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 9:25PM
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I became addicted to WSowing several years ago and just love it - I also have that mothering instinct and can't throw any out even if I end up with a gazillion. I have hollyhocks that I started last summer still in a 6/cell pack that have lived through all the temps so far this winter. I REALLY do need to get them into the ground. I am late this year in getting stuff started but then my perennial beds are pretty full from past years of WSing. My main focus is ornamental grasses now. It also lets me have more plants for the swap ......


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 3:27PM
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transplanted2scin07(7b upstate SC)

I'm trying it for the first time this year. I only have 2 containers sown so far. I noticed a tiny bit of mold in one today. I pinched it out, but wonder if anyone else has had this problem. Do you just spritz with alcohol to keep it at bay?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 9:28PM
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lilamy(zone 8a)

Is it too late to start some shasta daisies, painted daisies and coneflowers? Okay...and maybe a few other things...?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:13PM
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This is my first year at winter sowing. I've sowed several different container with seeds that I got at the High Point seed swap. I can't wait to see seedling. I'm going to be so excited if this winter sowing thing really works!!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 1:17PM
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quirkpod(7 Lewisville NC)

Yes, I always Winter sow in January also, to delay germination. Glad to see that method confirmed here. Judy, I was at the seed swap too! Would you like to come to my Spring plant swap? I went to your page to click your Email Me link, but it isnt there. Any hopes of activating it so we can get in touch about trading? NCdirtdigger, I went to your page too, and your Email Me link isnt activated either. I would like to help you find homes for those things you've got potted up and ready to go. I have a huge list of things likewise. I have an April plant swap each year. Please email me for details and consider yourself invited. I hope you live near the Triad, but you dont say on your page. Spring is almost here and it's time to see the Winter sowing kick into action! I can never use all of the seeds that come up. I sow directly into the garden. Here's my list.

Here is a link that might be useful: trade list

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 4:17PM
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lilamy(zone 8a)

On Feb. 21st I started Shasta Daisies, Salvia, Coneflowers and Foxgloves in dollar store plastic shoeboxes and put them outside. It has rained, snowed, been frozen over...yet I have sprouts in every box! I have a great deal fewer of the coneflowers so far, but they seem to be the slowest of the group.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 2:34PM
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