How many winter sowers are here?

rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)December 20, 2007

Yeah, I'm getting antzy to start...

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nonews(Zone 7 NC)

After the holidays are over, I will begin in earnest. Actually I am in Statesville. :) Nancy

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 2:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Me! Me! I stopped at Park Seeds the other day and loaded up on half-price seeds. They are having a great sale right now. Fertilizers at half price and nice varieties of huge Amaryllis bulbs for $5.00 apiece. Those within striking distance of their retail store in Greenwood, SC should make the trip. I did not check out the perennials on sale as it was pouring rain. Their winter display gardens are beautiful and worth the visit.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 3:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm here!!! I can't wait...I've had my seeds for about a month, collected jugs for a while and I am getting dirt for Christmas. I've got a lot of seeds to try. I'm just concerned about the drought. In the jugs, I think my seedlings will do fine its just getting them established. But I am getting a rain barrel for a present. I hope to be more active on the board then than the last few months. I've got a whole new set of questions with my new yard. Shannon/Dirtrx

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I guess it's not really technically winter sowing, but I typically start the seed stratification Jan 1st, in plastic bags in the fridge. This year I've already got the roses going, but I have a few other woody iris plus iris seeds left.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 6:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I started two years ago and had a great first year, followed by a medium second year. Last year the frogs, apparently looking for moisture,killed lots of seedlings. I sow mainly natives which require two years. However, I was excited today to see many Jack in the pulpits putting up a leaf from this past summer!! The cyclamens (not native) that I sowed two years ago are still in the milk containers but look great. I plan to plant them out this next summer...or pot up for swaps. I gathered lots of seeds from the mts. this past year and hope to try them out this winter. I think winter sowing is so much fun...and as I get a little older, I have more patience for it. I got hoooked on GW via winter sowing but mainly check Carolina and natives now. The winter sowing thread is almost beyond me.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
karen__w(z7 Durham, NC)

I'm so slack, I've been dropping most of my collected seeds on the ground near the parent plant. I did start out some Aesculus sylvatica that I got from a friend. Last time I did those the squirrels dug them all up and moved them to different pots, though, so it could take a little detective work in the spring to track them down.

NCrescue, I highly recommend that you bring the cyclamen to the swap.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tammy Kennedy

ooh, yeah, bring the cyclamen! we'll gobble them up for sure! heh heh. karen, i'll arm wrestle ya! :D

i will start after the holidays. i'm worried about the drought so i may not start as many as would normally. plus, the budget's tight and i don't think i can splurge as much as normal on seeds. for some things i do a modified version- i keep refining to fit what seems to work for me. this will be my 3rd year wintersowing. i had the same problem as ncrescue with a lot of seedllings last spring/summer- dadgum toads can be a pain sometimes. because we are close to a swamp we have scads of them- most are the small boogers that love that nice soft dirt and can fit into the cell packs and smaller containers. quite a few times i'd go to move a flat and have 2 or 3 hop out indignantly, like how dare i move their cushy beds.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 12:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Winter sowing is what got me started on GW so been doing it a while. Some of the 1st seeds I sowed that 1st time was Batchelor Buttons and Love in a Mist. I still love them! Have pretty nice patch of the LINAM finally established. It's mixed in with other stuff, but still shows off real pretty!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 1:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rosebush(z7 NC)

Count me in! Won't do as many as last year (This is what I'm telling myself!) but plan to start sowing again next weekend, when things have quieted down. . .
Had a near-disaster last weekend, with the wind blowing over a shelf of seedlings that I hadn't yet planted out. This time (reminder to self) I'll plant out everything - plunk and run! :)
Happy sowing!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 9:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tammy Kennedy

pretty pix- thanks for sharing! now, root, did you direct sow those or wintersow in containers? i've been direct fall/winter sowing nigella for years (well, actually after the first year it sowed itself for the most part), as well as larkspur, poppies, batch buttons, honesty, irish bells & some others. i'd always heard all of those preferred direct sowing, so i've not really tried the wintersowing in containers with them. most of them are well established for me anyhow, and i wouldn't need to (except maybe some poppies in stranger colors that come in limited amounts), but i'm curious.

the first time i saw winter sowing referred to i assumed folks meant direct sowing, but finally figured out they meant container winter sowing. we need more distinct terms. i'm easily confusled! :) to clarify, in my prior post, i meant i'd been container wintersowing for 3 years. i've been starting seeds inside and outside directly for 10+ years. i think direct sowing is my favorite since it's so easy, but it only works for certain things. container winter sowing is a close second, and has almost completely overtaken my traditional indoor sowing- it's so much easier! not that i need to tell y'all that- you're where i learned about it! thanks!!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 9:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Tam, I winter sowed them the 1st time and now the LIAM reseeds itself. I've never been able to get the B.buttons to resow. I figure it's due either to mulch or healthy varmints around here eating the seed up.

I direct winter sow too, but when I first started getting into all this I didn't know a lot about either method, lol.

I've tried poppies munerous times, both methods and last year was the 1st time they ever grew and bloomed for me (direct sown for the umpteenth time). Just never had any luck with them until now for some reason. One of my 'happy dance' moments last summer. :D

A lot of stuff in that bed (picture) was winter sown and it's beautiful in the spring and early summer, but after that it goes down hill fast. Which is why sometime this year I'm totally redoing it with Bottle Brush Buckeye and pink Muhley grass and a lot of good mulch. It's a hill backed by woods, and dry dry clay soil, also not a lot of direct light, but too much for shade loving plants. I struggled with what to do about it and decided to go native there, and I wanted something that would pretty much take care of itself. There's a lot of iris higher on the hill and a couple huge patches of ice plant along the bottom. Also wood phlox, coreopsis, scabiosa, garden sage, daylilies, licoris and more plus species tulips scattered around. I've got a LOT of digging and moving to do, but once it's done I'm hoping that it'll be a nice focal point as you come up the drive, drought tolerant (it's a bear to water) and maintenance free for the most part.

Rose, I tell myself every year to behave when it comes to winter sowing. I just don't listen! Besides there's always the swaps to take the extras too,... but with the drought I'm going to try to behave!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 12:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is my first time starting seeds indoors in the winter. I have never been much into seeds, preferring to use cuttings, but I am wanting to try something new. I got a cool 4 tier plant rack and a couple of grow lights, and have actually started already. Mostly I have lots of tiger lily seeds that I planted in the fall, now they are hanging out in the house until spring. I also have a couple salvia cuttings that I rooted and a couple calla.

I have seeds from my bleeding heart vine that I am going to try and sprout, as well as Hawaiian Lily seeds, candy lily, Baptisia, cardoon, hummingbird vine and Blackeye Susan vine. This is fun!

Merry Christmas!


    Bookmark   December 24, 2007 at 8:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Planning to get started tomorrow and the day after while I have some time off from work, then really get going on the weekends in January and February.

Last year was my first wintersowing attempt and it went SO well! It would have take years (and a LOT more money) to see the kind of variety and blooming show that wintersowing allowed me to enjoy. I'd never had much success with seeds before but now - stand back!! I can't wait to see what can grow this year!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2007 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

If I had gotten my soil ahead of time it would have been a good day to sow and avoid the masses out shopping today, lol. I might get brave after while and stick my head out!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2007 at 9:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Since this is my first time winter sowing, I couldn't wait... I set out 6 containers on the official first day of winter!! Then we got rain!! I hope the covered seeds won't drown. I still have a ton of seeds left to sow, or trade. Did I hear that we may have a seed swap soon?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2007 at 1:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carla17(Z7 NC)

Planning on reading how to's and start.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 10:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
irislover_nc(z7 nc)

I'm a sophomore winter-sower. I had pretty good luck last year, and a lot more of the perennials bloomed for me their first season than I had thought would. I'm gonna try to hold off 'cause last time I did them on the 28th of Dec and we had that week of warm weather the second week of Jan or so and 90% of my stuff germinated. Whether it was required or not, my DH and I spent the next month or 6 weeks throwing a blanket over the containers at night if it got down in the 20's. I was like a new parent all over again fussing over them so I may wait a couple extra weeks. We'll see if I have the willpower!


    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 3:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've had pretty good success at it for a few years now. I never start before January because of the holidays. The only seeds I have bought this year have been daylily seeds from the Lily Auction and since I don't have any indoor system for growing them I will probably WS the majority of those. I try to start at least a couple of new plants every year to have something to take to the Spring Swap.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 6:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Irislover, I know how you felt about your seedling babies! I was so tempted to bring them inside or cover them when it was really cold. But I planted a lot of things early last year and didn't cover them and they were fine! The only things I lost were some tender annuals when we had that nasty freeze around Easter. Zinnias just can't handle that. The bachelor buttons I sowed early, though, were already planted out in the ground in February and they showed no damage at all. Lots of other varieties came through the frosts and freezes without coddling, too. None of the perennials I sowed had problems with the cold. I don't know why it works but it does!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 8:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Have any of you tried 'winter' sowing chicory/Cichorium intybus or milk thistle?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 5:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I am new to the Charlotte area. I did some winter sowing on dec 22 -- the soltice was too busy. I did lolla rosa lettuce, perillia, purple coneflower and butterfly bush. I hope they are OK. I put water trays beneath and the rain was so heavy, I hope that they did not drown. I removed them now. I used to winter sow in North Jersey -but the weather there is so different. I plan to sow the things that need a cold spell soon, like delphiniums, snapdragons, and obedient plant. Up north the lemon balm and malva did better if winter sown in early-mid March. It would be great to hear what worked for anybody down here.

Happy to meet everyone,

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 3:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tammy Kennedy

i have wintersown milk thistle in situ many years. they seem to do best with that. i have also wintersown them deep, into toilet paper tubes with one end squished so that i can transplant them without shock and that's worked pretty well. you still need to transplant when they're little. they want the bulk of the winter in the ground, since they get big and flower as soon as it warms in spring. maybe not quite as much for you since you're a little cooler, but for this area, for sure.

as for the chicory- i'm not sure because it was so long ago that i initially sowed that that i don't recall (once you have it, it'll reseed itself for you!). it would probably work great in situ, as that's how i do radicchio and salad chicory, both of which are the same plant. actually, unlike the lettuces, they nearly always become pesky perennials for me that i'm forced to pull when i want to plan something else. so, frankly, if i wanted chicory and didn't have it, i'd get one of the pretty red ones for salads, and plant that, then let it bloom- it's the same bloom but on a prettier plant. my guess is the root would work just as well for herbals/roasting/brewing as the regular weedy roadside stuff. not that i've ever used it that way...

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 10:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I use the winter sowing method described in the winter sowing
forum. I use containers like milk jugs or pots with saran wrap for coverings. This method has better results than sowing situ for me.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rosebush(z7 NC)

Zebrina, Welcome to NC! I'm not too far from you, in Hickory. You mentioned lemon balm - just a note: it will take over here! LOL Mine spreads all over the iris bed and comes back every spring. Helps keep the bugs away and is wonderful for tea.

Rootdiggernc,forget what I said about sowing less this year (What was I thinking?!) As I looked through my seed stash over the weekend I apparently lost all will power. . .Too many "must-haves" to cut back. LOL
Finally got started with a few things: Farmer Bell Poppies, sedum, English daisy Rose Carpet, foxglove, "Green Apples" columbine, rose campion - more to come next weekend or whenever the mood strikes. :)

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 1:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
karen__w(z7 Durham, NC)

As I feared, the squirrels have now moved all my seeds to other pots.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 2:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Karen, OH NO!! Maybe you'll still recognize them when they come up elsewhere.

Right now I'm using flats with the clear lids. I have to put a small rock on them to keep them from blowing away which also keeps critters out of them. The rest of my containers (not sown yet) will be milk jugs which have too small an opening for critters. 2liter bottles work wonderfully too.

Rose, Only two flats sown, and one of those not full yet, so I'm being soooo good! LOL. Of course I forgot to mention those I'll sow for the greenhouse. Only one flat in there so far of lettuces. I started that one for winter/spring eating. We tore up my little raised bed that I used for spring lettuce, peas, spinach, etc... for the greenhouse and then decided to put the gh some where else. I used that spot instead to build a temp cold frame. I'm already missing that bed, the soil was so rich and fluffy.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 3:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This will be my fourth year winter sowing. It is very addictive. I plan to start next week. I learned my first year not to start in December. I had seeds sprout because it was so warm and then lost a lot of seedlings in early January when we always seem to have a cold spell (like now).
Zebrina, welcome to NC. I live just outside of Concord not too far from Charlotte.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 10:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
karen__w(z7 Durham, NC)

I figure they must be around here somewhere. I found them last year, so I'm not sweating it. What really ticked me off was the year they kept dumping out the baby Arisaema sikokianum onto the driveway. I'm keeping a closer eye on those this year and will build them a screened-in porch if I need to.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 12:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Pamela Church

This will be my second year winter sowing and I'm holding off. Last week temps in the teens and this week 70's? Wacky weather! I'm going to get my containers ready to roll and probably will start my perennials the last week of January.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 7:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Does anyone have any experience growing Lobelia Cardinalis from seed? I'm trying two things this year:

1. I've put some seeds in small cups in soil and covered them with saran wrap and put them in the fridge.

2. I've put some in containers for winter sowing.

Does anyone have any advice that will help ensure their arrival in spring - or comments in general?!


    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 4:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I gave up growing them in containers - now I just sprinkle the seeds wherever I think they will grow. So far only one plant has ever bloomed this way. Cardinal flower is so easy to grow but I have a hard time growing it from seed. Even when I have had it growing wild on my property it seemed to come and go, some years good, some years bad.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I used winter sowing for L. 'Alba" and got good results. They all transplanted well, too. Only problem was that some reverted to the blue. I also scatter the L. cardinalis seeds from plants on my property. That works, too, but then I have to dig them up and replant. I use a pre-emergent due to Japanese stilt grass where these plants are naturally, so I have to collect seeds or they won't, of course, reproduce.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tammy Kennedy

l sylphitica (prolly spelled wrong) did pretty well for me as winter sown in containers, and the common annual ones do too, so i'd guess that cardinalis would do ok.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 7:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is my 2nd year. I haven't started yet but will next week or the week after. I'm running out of room in my small yard so won't be doing much this year. Most of mine will happen in March for annuals.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for the warm welcome. I really appreciate all the info on when you sow down here.

I got my first seedling. The lolla rosa lettuce from my little brother came up. It will be great if it makes it through the ice storm. I think move it to the porch for some protection.

Need to sow more soon. Did anyone notice the seed sale in Walgreen's -- 10 for $1.00. They did not have the packets in the store. Some sale. I got a rain check.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 9:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have some seeds that I'm putting in the fridge in Feb. -- Marsh Phlox, False Rue Anemone, Grass of Parnassus, and Va. bluebells. I've never grown these from seed before. I saw a bloom of Grass of Parnassus at the Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill, and it was amazing -- it has these fantastic white veins. Like looking at a plant under UV light so that you can see the tracks that pollinators follow on flowers.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 11:14AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Hello all, long time no speak
It's Nannerbelle. I already had a ID on Houzz so this...
Callistemon citrinus & Cordyline australis --Winter hardy plants?
Hello, Has anyone had experience in keeping these plants...
Heirloom Seeds
Greetings! I've been away for a while. Puzzled by...
Privacy shrubs in upstate South Carolina - Thuja or something else?
I live in the upstate of South Carolina. My Leyland...
Looking for some medium tomato ideas
I am not really interested in growing the biggest tomato....
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™