I was going through some old jugs today, and found 2 individual sprouts of Sporobolus heterolepis. They're about 4" tall and healthy looking. I potted them up and will bury the pots for the winter. I hope they survive!
what do you mean by jugs???
And, are you sure they are Sporobolus and not just a happy little weed :o)
Jugs as in winter sowing containers:
Here's one after the Columbine germinated and grew a bit:
The jug in question had Sporobolus sown in it, and the sprouts are definately grasses. I'll just have to grow them out for a firm ID. It's definately possible that some other grass seed flew/blew into the opening of the jug since early March, when it was sown.
That's cool Donn. I guess winter sowing can bring surprises. Last year you sent me seeds of Purple Love Grass and Festuca Glauca 'select'. I didn't use them all so I will sow some more this winter. The Purple Love Grass is a neat little grass. I really like that one.
I am a self-confessed control freak when it comes to growning things from seed. You know, the damp paper towel route, in and out of the fridge for cold cycles, etc. I have been thinking of sowing my seed 'in situ' ~ BUT, your method would give me a nice transition between control and au naturale :o)
are the tops on the bottles closed AND is the bottle in a bag at the beginning. It is hard to tell in the photos ...
I will just have to think what I can use as bottles.
A..no tops on the jug. I use the 1-gallon clear food storage bags to cover my hand hole in one side. Just cut a notch in the center of the bottom, and invert over the jug. Others ony cut the hand hole on three sides, and tape the flap back in place with duct tape.
For even more control, you can partition the interior of the jug:
Then either sow plugs of plants, or different types of seeds in each partition. You can also use news pots inside for smaller cells.
Don't forget to cut drainage holes in the bottom of the sides of your container.
2-liter beverage bottles are also very popular containers for winter sowing.
Here are a few good resources on winter sowing:
Winter Sowing Forum Frequently Asked Questions
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The Winter Sowing Forum Database. This is the list of plants which have and have not worked, by zone:
This is the Excel Version.
This is the text version
The WinterSown Educational Organization Website:
Wow Donn! Really cool, expecially the four-partition one!
I too started saving containers - of detergents, no water jugs like those in Italy :-( - for the next year.
But I have a terrible doubt: you told me it's better for me (because of my USDA zone) to sow my grasses in early Spring. Should I use the same winter techniques of yours? (jugs covered with plastic etc. etc.) Thank you!
I use winter sowing techniques in winter, spring and summer. In warmer seasons, you have to be more aware of bright sun and moisture, but the humid environment of the container is a great place to start seeds. It keeps them safe from being washed away by rainstorms, or eaten by critters.
Thanks Donn, your advice is precious, as always. I'll keep on saving jugs and other types of containers, then!