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Anybody w/s yet?

Posted by marric Z5a Ontario (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 1, 10 at 9:53

Happy New Year everybody. I just know that no one has a hangover this morning!
I'm already thinking about starting w/s. This year I will try planting some tree seeds now. I managed to get some catalpa seeds from a friend. After that, I will wait a couple of weeks and then start my perennials. The annuals wont go in til March or April. Anyone else eager to start? Marg


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I haven't even sorted through my seeds yet!

A few years ago, i got some catalpa seeds. Two trees grew but only one made it through the second winter - i left them in containers because i wasn't sure where to put them, but buried them in the winter, of course. I've planted the one that survived, and so far, so good. Always worried about it, though!


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I am just staing out with WSing so I have done about 16 or containers. I am planting as I get containers. mostly perennials only


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I'll start planting in my green house when the potting soil thaws. :)


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I've wondered about WS in a greenhouse, what a person would do. Containers without lids, maybe? I don't have a greenhouse, so it's a moot point for me - just wondering!


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

  • Posted by xaroline zone 3 Calgary Canad (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 2, 10 at 2:09

Somehow I have already done WS up to 26 milk jugs. Mostly what needs stratification. Myrrhus odorata (sweet cicely), Aconitum lycoctonum vulparia(a yellow monkshood), Eupatorium maculatum(a Joe Pye?), Lovage.
Wild Blue clematis, Pleated Gentian, Sticky Geranium, Rosy Pussytoes, Meadow Blazing Star, Gaillardia.
Heteropappus Blue Knoll, Pyrethrum, Rehmannia.
Mountain Hollyhock, Maximillian Sunflower, Hollyhock mix, Delphinium, Braun-blanquetti snapdragons, Campanula Pyramidalis, Columbine meadow rue.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

Sowing in a greenhouse

I winter sowed in my unheated greenhouse mainly because I had it and flats and cells to seed in. It really didn't make any sense to cut up milk jugs that are worth $.40 each here. Because of our zone we get wide fluctuations in temperature well into May. Spring temps normally range from -15C to 15C plus or minus 5C. Cold hardy isn't enough. So I added 400 litres of water to moderate the swings. The water put a bottom of -0.5C on overnight temperatures. That allowed me to move indoor starts and overwintering geraniums into the greenhouse.

Also, I have a cold frame that I haven't got ready to use.

Last year was my first try and I used a lot of old seed and planted mainly annuals. Results weren't spectacular but demonstrated the concept. I'm being more aggressive this year. Jugs or not, I'm planting more. I was planting what I would buy, instead of what I needed.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

Marg,

Catalpas are so fun because they grow and come into bloom so fast, relatively speaking for a tree/shrub. I've grown a few of two different varieties. One variety I believe is speciosa -seeds gathered and shared by my neighbour, and it has the most marvelous orchid like white blooms with purple markings. The other variety I got from a seed catalogue, was supposed to be a shorter variety and cream flowers or pink. I believe it was bungei, but don't actually remember. Well, the blooms are a yellowish colour, but so tiny compared to the other one I have that it was a dissappointment.

In any case I love what I believe are speciosas or Northerns. The only problem is they are late to leaf out like the Rose of Sharons, and sometimes lose branches. But no problem since they have such marvelous flowers. Good luck with your seed.

Mary


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

November was such a mild month I decided to experiment with winter sowing seeds in pots without covers. No zip lock bags just flats of pots ready for snow cover. The possibility of mice eating the seed is high. There are 80 pots behind my greenhouse. Most of the seeds needed months of alternating temperatures. Some only weeks but they are there until the snow melts! Dont ask what Ill do with seedlings after sprouting as my green house will be full, by then, of stuff germinated inside under lights and brought out for acclimatizing! The sun will hit them for four to 5 hours a day by then and Ill have to scramble to put up a shade cloth in frozen ground!
As to unheated greenhouse winter sowing, I have 60% germination usually. Pots are in zip lock ($ store or Wal-Mart) bags to retain moisture. I have to be careful of timing. Some annuals can't be put out too early. Even some perennials will germinate in a warm spell, like in a February thaw when temperature in GH raise to 20-25 C in sun. One pot of perennial Silene sprouted and then died in the next wave of -O Celsius temps! If you have saved lots of 3-4 inch pots, they are the right size for a medium size plastic baggie. The down side is having lots of soilless mix inside not frozen so its available to sow seed at any time during the winter months.
Hoping everyone has a good year for winter sowing! The secret to success, I would believe, is to put pots in a place away from direct sun.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I have just sowed 31 varieties over the week-end in chicken take-out containers. They are outside my unheated greenhouse. I have so much to learn from you all! I will be careful to put them out of the bright sun. Last year, on the ground of the GH I had cuttings, acorns, small tulip bulbs and perennials I use in my large flower pots. I also WSowed a few seeds in autumn but only had success with Ecchinacea and Feverfew aureus. But I sowed Lavatera with success when the soil could be worked. This year I will use cake domes as cloches and try HA but in spring only. I like to experiment and will surely try something with the 3-4 inch pots in baggies since these would be nice for trading seedlings. Tanks for the hint. This year I really want to WS a lot since as I want to start next season with only new 2010 seeds. I still have more to WS since i'm only up to letter G and am eager to learn.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

  • Posted by marric Z5a Ontario (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 11, 10 at 14:41

pivoine: Since you are up to the letter G, I w/s gazanias last year (March I think) and they did very well. I've only done about 6 flats so far, all perennials. I don't do to many annuals anymore.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

Marric,aren't Gazanias half hardy annuals? Here in zone 3 I don't beleive that these would have time to get to the flowering stage...our last frost date is June 10. I usually start these indoors but I will try some hardy ones in spring.(bachelor buttons, cleome, poppies, cosmos and the like) just to know. I was wondering if snow is essential in WSing. Sharont I hope you will let us know about your November winter sowing in pots without covers. Still at the letter G.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

  • Posted by marric Z5a Ontario (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 14, 10 at 9:40

My w/s gazanias started to flower in late July or early August, can't remember exactly which. It gave a great splash of fall color. They were still flowering in mid to late Sept. When I sowed them inside the first year, they only flowered about a month earlier. I have done them inside again this year but also will do some outside later. I like the fall color. We had some really cool nights and it surprised me just how hardy these were.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I sowed my first 24 pop bottles last night, all native perennials which need a cold-moist period in order to germinate. Last year I planted my seeds too late for good germination, so I am hoping for better things this time around. I still have more sowing to do, so have been sorting through my saved containers, picking out the best ones. I would like to complete sowing most of my "B" seeds this weekend. I usually follow William Cullina's germination guide and "B" seeds are ones that need the cold-moist period for germination. "A" seeds will germinate in warm temperatures, so I will do those later.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

  • Posted by marric Z5a Ontario (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 16, 10 at 9:02

I've sown most of the perennials that need the cold/moist period. I thought it was a good time to start because the weather was -20. Right now it is about +2 and a lot of the snow cover is gone. Do you think that temp. change will hurt the w/s? I hope it turns colder soon, never thought I'd say that! I still have a few more flats to go but I will wait til it gets colder again. Marg


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

  • Posted by jroot 5A Ont. Canada (near (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 17, 10 at 9:37

I hope not, Marric. I had mine out on the deck for the past month, but it looks rather bare out there now. I think, I'll go and gather some snow and toss it on top of the WS trays.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I did two containers this afternoon - wow, eh? LOL


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

Wow, Marcia, keep them coming!
I did 18 containers so far. I can do even more since now I'm in a more warmer zone, zone 6a instead of 4a like in the past 2 years LOL. That's a such nice, warm winter south here!
Anyway, I checked all my seeds I have to sow, and all are for a warm germination, so I have to stop and continue maybe at the end of next month.
Happy winter-sowing everyone!


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I think I'm up to 50 now, but the containers are all different shapes and sizes. We may be getting rain tomorrow, so I hope they don't get flooded out. I know we're supposed to leave the continers out no matter what the winter weather, but I'm a little worried.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

Maybe put them up on a table or something so they can drain more easily.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

  • Posted by marric Z5a Ontario (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 24, 10 at 8:42

I cover mine with boards, mainly because we have strong winter winds here. It also helps keep the rain out. I only use the boards when the I hear a storm is coming.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I thought the snow cover was tempering the weather tantrums and that the temp changes was what stratification is about. If I'm wrong please set me straight because next time I will WS in the greenhouse (unheated). I will try Gazanias later on Marric, this could be a very interesting experience. If it works here it could open a few doors. Still sowing some (part time) since I'm having a kitchen makeover. This post is very instructive...sharing experiences...Wish I had found earlier!


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

  • Posted by marric Z5a Ontario (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 24, 10 at 10:26

Stratification is when you give a seed a cold, damp, moist period. This happens naturally in winter. The cold period varies on the type of plant you are growing - it can be as little as a few weeks or in some cases a few months.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

Snow cover is good for your containers. Somewhere i have a picture of mine covered with a foot and a half of snow! LOL Ontnative was worried about rain. I have sometime put my containers into trays to water them, but then when rains, they soak up the water and get pretty wet. Some springs it's drought or drown! :)


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

My containers are in a somewhat sheltered, but elevated area, so I think that they will be O.K. So far, no rain.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

Don't worry about them guys! Wintersowing or outdoor treatment is what seeds need - alternating cold to warm, snow to rain, wind to sun. The only thing I'd worry about is if the soil mix doesn't drain well, if thawed or the soil mix that dries out too quickly if thawed. Well I'd also worry about rodents and tippage.
Tender annual seeds need to be sown later.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

More sowing planned for today. We finally have some snow, about 1 inch, to cover the containers. I'm sure other parts of the country have over 1 foot (or 2). However, they don't call this the "banana belt" for nothing. I'm still waiting for native plant seeds to arrive from the NANPS seed exchange, but other than that, am excited about the assortment of seeds I was able to aquire this winter. Thanks in part to those of you that I did trades with. One of my favourite seed sources is Gardensnorth (formerly of the Ottawa area and now in Nova Scotia). They are so efficient and prompt with the orders. Never any concern about when or if the seeds are going to arrive.


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W/S Perennials

Is it to late to sow seeds likePoppies,Daisies or other perennials,this is my 1st year doing this

orchidnana


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

  • Posted by marric Z5a Ontario (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 8, 10 at 14:06

orchidnana: I w/s some dianthus, poppies and hardy hibiscus this weekend. I would go ahead and try it.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I've done 10 containers of perennials and i think that's about it for me this year. Annuals in April. :)


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

Thank you marric for your reply


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I started a few weeks ago. I now have about 25 done in empty pop and juices bottles and plastic containers. I started with Impatiens, Petunias, Foxglove, Tomatoes, Peppers, Zinnias and maybe a couple others I can't remember of.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I sowed leeks, marigolds, pasque flower, and lupines in the unheated greenhouse yesterday. A jug of water melted and stayed that way so I'm tempted to start putting water in for passive heat. It'll cut down on below freezing nights though.


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RE: Anybody w/s yet?

I've sowed about 6 flats with a variety of plants. I noticed I have sprouts already. The greenhouse has been getting to -2 to -5 C. I got all my water in today, over 600 litres. I wondered where all my ice cream pails went -- I've been giving them away with cherries. I may have to start buying ice cream again :)


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