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brambleoak
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Anyone Winter Sowing?

Is anyone doing any winter sowing? Just curious. I started about a week ago and have over 50 containers outside already.

If you are WS'ing....what are you sowing this year? I just moved to our new home and I'm basically starting all over, so I'm sowing like crazy! :D
Jan
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Dixana
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:?
How do you winter sow when it's freezing??
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soil
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i toss out lettuce, kale, broccoli, spinach, other greens, onions, carrots, breadseed poppies, and other early annual plants out about now, they wait until when the temps are perfect for them, and you get a head start on early spring plants. another benefit is they have taproots compared to starter plants in pots. this way you get more drought tolerant plants. ive had lettuce growing until june then started to flower and finished in july with no watering at all.

also fruit tree seeds get winter sown, as well as some echinacea seeds i planted oh 2 months ago.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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applestar
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Bramble oak, do you sow in containers placed inside tubs with drain holes drilled in them? Just for starting seedlings?

I wanted to try this tech this year and had two tubs that I was going to drill holes in... Out on the patio, forgotten. they are currently covered under 6 inches of snow! :roll:

I hadn't decided on what to sow. maybe I should combine with soil's idea and sow my early spring cold weather vegs. What are the plants most suited to this method?

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Winter sowing is easy, can sew most anything this way.
I haven't tried tobacco or peppers with this method.

applestar, this may answer your questions.

https://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/Seed_Lists.html

:D

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brambleoak
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Yes, I sow in containers. I have over 100 containers outside now...most are covered in about 4" of snow. :) I recycled old plastic soda and water bottles plus milk jugs.

As for what you can sow.... depends on your zone. I am sowing just about all of my perennials for zone 4, plus any annual that I know will reseed here.
applestar wrote:Bramble oak, do you sow in containers placed inside tubs with drain holes drilled in them? Just for starting seedlings?

I wanted to try this tech this year and had two tubs that I was going to drill holes in... Out on the patio, forgotten. they are currently covered under 6 inches of snow! :roll:

I hadn't decided on what to sow. maybe I should combine with soil's idea and sow my early spring cold weather vegs. What are the plants most suited to this method?
Jan
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brambleoak
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If it was not for this site... I woudn't have been able to plant 75% of the flowers that I've had in my gardens. Buying plants can be sooooo expensive!
OpenSource wrote:Winter sowing is easy, can sew most anything this way.
I haven't tried tobacco or peppers with this method.

applestar, this may answer your questions.

https://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/Seed_Lists.html

:D
Jan
"Bramble Oak"

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organically_me
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I'm planning to winter sow a great many seeds this year, and this is my first attempt. Do you have any flopping issues when using opaque containers versus using clear containers?

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brambleoak
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I haven't had any flopping issues. Maybe a few stretching issues to get to the sunlight on some of the more aggressive growers but never any flopping.

If you're unsure about using opaque containers, cut the top off and then stretch some clear plastic over the top. I'm using 3mm window covering plastic on some of my old plastic pots. Works fine.

Give it a shot.
Jan
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organically_me
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Thank you, Jan. I've saved some waxed cardboard containers too with the idea of either plastic bagging them or placing plastic film over the top. I hope to get started with the seeds that need the longest stratification time this weekend.

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brambleoak
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Waxed cardboard containers....that's a great idea! Hmmmmm :wink:
Jan
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Hi everyone ! I just started wintersowing this week, I didn't wintersow last year and thought I would give it another try this year , so far I have planted several kinds of rudbeckia and daisies , 2 of my favorite flowers ... also some hostas and daylily seeds ... I scored a bunch of 2 liter water bottles from FREECYCLE yesterday so I am going to be busy this weekend planting more !

Iris
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brambleoak
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Iris.... I have tons of rudbeckia in all different varieties planted. LOVE them. I am searching for some Shasta daisies and Ox-Eye daisies too.
This is my first year wintersowing hostas and I'm trying to find some daylilies too (besides Stella d'oro).
Jan
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soil
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just to throw this out there, wintersowing is a great time to toss out some seedballs and let nature do its thing. i tossed out about 1500 seedballs this fall and a few of the early growers have started( lettuce, spinach, chard, beet, broccoli, kale(s))
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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brambleoak
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You're lucky to see growth so soon.... It'll be months before I see green again. LOL

You mentioned seedballs. I've heard that some people take a bunch of seeds and roll them into a little mudball then toss to grow wildflowers. Is your method similar?
soil wrote:just to throw this out there, wintersowing is a great time to toss out some seedballs and let nature do its thing. i tossed out about 1500 seedballs this fall and a few of the early growers have started( lettuce, spinach, chard, beet, broccoli, kale(s))
Jan
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soil
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You mentioned seedballs. I've heard that some people take a bunch of seeds and roll them into a little mudball then toss to grow wildflowers. Is your method similar?
same thing, look it up. there are lots of websites and videos on it. you can use all kinds of seeds not just flowers.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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brambleoak
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Thanks... I will. It sounds like fun!
Jan
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Nice thread BO! (Sorry, I abbreviate everyone and you picked the name! :lol: ) Perhaps I need to call you Jan...

Soil, a thread on seedballs would be MOST appropos for the new forum, don'tcha think? :)

HG
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brambleoak
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That's ok... BO is kinda funny! :P

I agree. A thread on seedballs would be wonderful! I would love to learn more.
Jan
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rane_grow
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seedballs ?

I would also like to know what seedballs are ?

Jan , have you wintersowed rudbeckia before ? this is my first year wintersowing them and I'm hoping to have better luck with them than when I tried to direct sow them last year . This is my first year wintersowing hostas too ... I hope I have baby hostas soon ;-)

Iris
" Life is short, eat dessert first "

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brambleoak
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Re: seedballs ?

[url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31985]There is a new thread started in the "Seed Starting" forums on Seedballs.[/url] Very cool!

I've wintersown the rudbeckias and had great success! They seem to take to is quite well.

Good luck with your hostas. I'm hoping mine come up too. :)
rane_grow wrote:I would also like to know what seedballs are ?

Jan , have you wintersowed rudbeckia before ? this is my first year wintersowing them and I'm hoping to have better luck with them than when I tried to direct sow them last year . This is my first year wintersowing hostas too ... I hope I have baby hostas soon ;-)

Iris
Jan
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I just started some cauliflower and cabage today according to the chart I have for this area I should be putting them out around the first week of march. My question is the last frost normally occures around the first week of april for us. will this harm the plants? also if not will broccoli also fair well being put out around this time? Just wondering if I should get some of it started as well

Thanks
Jon

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YAA Im raising so many red peppers. Great thread

Thinking about last winter and all the help everyone gave me on here saving my favorite sage plant the pinapple sage. Its doing well and growing new leaves for more tea,.

Last year I did not winter grow and im way behind where id like to be. Going up to my farm next week to have a look see its all under a lot of snow,. would like to have a good season so I decided to organise some growing stations in my house. Starting up a hydroponics bay also with a good friend of mine in the cities.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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brambleoak
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I'm not positive as I will be starting cauliflower myself for the first time this year but I think that cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli are fairly 'hardy' vegetables when it comes to cooler weather.

I would be a little nervous about it too since the last frost date is a whole month AFTER your chart says to set out your plants. But, I did find online info that states you can set out your cole crops before tha last frost date. The one article I read stated that if your seedlings are in cold temps of 32-45 degrees for an extended amount of time, flowering can be induced. and they'll bolt.

I'm sure that there is someone here with better info than me. But, thank you for asking cuz now I've also gained a bit of insite on growing my own cauliflower this spring. :D
Chaesman wrote:I just started some cauliflower and cabage today according to the chart I have for this area I should be putting them out around the first week of march. My question is the last frost normally occures around the first week of april for us. will this harm the plants? also if not will broccoli also fair well being put out around this time? Just wondering if I should get some of it started as well

Thanks
Jan
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applestar
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Just to note - "WINTER SOWING" is different from "starting seeds in winter"
It's a term used to describe sowing seeds outdoors that will stay dormant while it's still freezing outside, experience the cold stratification they need, then germinate at first sign of spring. Often done in containers of soil placed outside, sometimes covered in plastic or set in specially prepared clear/translucent tubs for added "cold frame effect" for earlier emergence.

Peas and other early spring-germinating veg seeds tossed out in the snow.... "Winter Sowing" sounds like a perfect description. I'm similarly "winter sowing" rice seeds. Seed balls provide a wonderfully protective shell for the seeds.

I have sowed hopeful containers of acorns, tulip poplar seeds, and halesia tree seeds sitting outside, and chestnuts and sansho seeds in the unheated garage.
--

Now, Chaesman, does your chart say to SET OUT seedlings or to SOW seeds?
It seems to me that a month before last avg frost would be when you sow those seeds, and two weeks before last avg frost would be the time to transplant WELL HARDENED OFF plants under protection of row covers. I use double layers of floating covers or heavy "garden quilt" because I can still expect freezing temps in the mid-20's.

Although it seems opposite, younger, smaller seedlings are supposed to be able to take the cold better than older well-grown seedlings.

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Using this link provided by dd in another thread https://www.dandello.net/garden/vegplant.shtml
my last frost last year was april 4th

it says Set Out
Jon

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chaesman,

You also need to read the disclaimer. :lol:
Additional points to consider:
Elevation - higher elevations are generally colder than low-lying areas and prevailing winds and microclimes can alter this even further.
Proximity to water - especially large bodies of water - can alter the local climate. Notice that Seattle on Puget Sound, has her last frost three weeks earlier and first frost three weeks later than Olympia, further south but also further inland.
Length of day - Traditionally, Northwesterners have turned to Great Britain for garden guidance as the cool, wet Maritime Northwest climate bears some similarity to that of those islands. However, in terms of gardening, the Maritime Northwest is closer to France (Washington and Oregon both grow French grapes quite well.) - Paris is at latitude 48N50. Seattle is south of Paris at 47N37, and Portland is at 45N31. Latitude determines length of day and length of day determines how much sunlight is available - despite the clouds, Seattle and Portland have more available sunlight in winter than London, or even Paris. In summer, the lower latitudes have shorter days than the higher latitudes (remember the 24 hour days at the poles?), but this is more than made up for by the longer winter days. Research has shown that the minimum number of daylight hours needed for successful fall/winter growing is ten hours. Less than that the plants go dormant - this does not mean they cannot be harvested, they simply don't put on new growth.
This also means that with relatively simple season extending techniques (i.e., cold frames, row covers) to protect the plants from adverse temperatures, vegetable harvests in the Northwest can be year-round with little difficulty. To find out when the daylight in you area drops below the necessary ten hours per day, check out USNO data services and look up your city.(Where I'm at, my garden gets less than 10 hours per day between November 3rd and February 7th.)

Transplants are typically more cold sensitive than when the same plant is directly seeded into the garden. (In my garden, lettuce has been known to sprout from seed in late February.) Transplants should be set out into the garden after all danger of frost has past or hot caps or other protective devices can be used to shelter these tender transplants from the stresses of cold weather.
From the same dandello.net

Eric

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SO i read some things on here and elsewhere on the net about winter sowing. But I'm confused about how it's different from just starting seeds indoors. When I first heard about it I figured it would be literally sowing the seeds in the ground outside in the winter. After all, if those volunteer tomato plants and pumpkin vines can make it through winter and grow on their own, why not just plant them there when it's cold enough to ensure they won't grow early?
It seems to me that winter sowing is just all about making mini greenhouses out of plastic bottles or whatever else you can accomplish a greenhouse effect with. ....why not just call it greenhouse gardening, or starting your seeds indoors? Surely I'm missing an element. a little help?

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https://wintersown.org

check out this site. It is basically sowing seeds outdoors in the winter using plastic bottles. Not necessarily a greenhouse method but a way to stratify seeds that need it without dealing with rodents and other outdoor "influences" that might keep your seeds from germinating successfully.

Having a little more "control" of your outdoor winter sowing of seeds leads to a higher success rate. It can also free up some space in the house. LOL
Jan
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Interesting, I read somewhere on how to grow rose seeds & maple as well, so I put them in a container in the fridge to be taken out in spring...

LOL now I see I could just have put them in a clear container outside....

Maybe I'll do another outside, just to compare...
;)

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Oh, so it's just for seeds that need to be stratified? Otherwise putting them in containers and waiting for spring to then go plant them would be pointless. I saw the website, I get how it's done. Just not sure why. Maybe I need to go back and read in more detail.

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Sounds like a good idea, Froggy.

GardenRN - I look at is as a way to sow lots of things that I don't want to start inside also. Works for self-seeding annuals (some that don't even need to be stratified), some veggies (depending on zone), perennials of all types and more.

The BIGGEST reason I do it is probably to beat the winter blahs. Gives me something to so and something to look forward to. Also, with 2 kids and only one fridge, I don't want to store seeds inside to stratify them.

It is a 'natural' way to stratify those seeds that need it. The thaw freeze/thaw freeze that some seeds need are just easier (for me anyway) to do outdoors. It's like a "set it and forget it" type of thing. Only thing you need to watch is that they don't get dry. For me...all I do is throw some snow on top of the containers if moisture is a problem.

Although...with the 5" of snow we've gotten today, I'm not having that trouble. Can barely see my containers! :lol:

It's a successful method for me. Might not work for others, but I enjoy it. I get over 80% germination on my seeds and this year I'm going all out. 118 containers of seeds sown so far and I'm only about 1/2 done. :D
Jan
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Bramble Oak,

80% germination sounds good!

I'm curious, what is the latest that you think winter sowing would work? We get the keys to our 1st house on February 8th, and it will still be pretty cold here (Washington DC metro area) for the month of February. I read on the wintersown.org website that winter sowing can work for tomatoes, strawberries, carrots, basil, onions, and broccoli. I was thinking about giving it a try for a couple of those, but I wouldn't be able to do it until February 8th.

Would that be too late? Would I be better off just waiting till it's warm enough to sow into the ground?

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brambleoak
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I've winter sown some perennials and annuals up until March.

I don't think that would be too late at all for the seeds you've mentioned....
Jan
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brambleoak wrote:I've winter sown some perennials and annuals up until March.

I don't think that would be too late at all for the seeds you've mentioned....
Great to know, thanks! I think I'll give it a shot then.

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DoubleDogFarm wrote:chaesman,

You also need to read the disclaimer. :lol:
I never read the disclaimer they allways seem to fall around the same level as a softwares EULA.. gotta be more carefull

Now that the seeds are started what would be a good saftey messure to take? Pot them up when they are large enough and just set outside on above freezing days and bring in at night till a more appropriate time to set out in garden?
Jon

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wintersowing

Hi megany,

We are almost neighbors ! I am in St Marys County ( south of DC ) the past 4 years now I have had a 100' by 50' veggie garden ... I am wintersowing this winter for the second time, I have about 30 containers in my backyard so far that I did last week and still want to plant more in the next several weeks ... I have shop lights in my unheated garage that I start lots of seeds under too ... I usually start them the first week in March but I also want to wintersow some veggies too , probably next month , I will be interested to see how they compare to each other .

Iris
" Life is short, eat dessert first "

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OK, so this sounds like fun! so if I'm understanding correctly, I should sow all my perennials and annuals this way? perhaps sow the veggies indoors and then move outside like I normally do?


so, in zone 4, when do you think they'll approximately sprout?

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brambleoak
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It all depends on the type of seeds you'd like to WS. There is a guideline on the site to help you:
Here's the chart for zone 4
https://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/WS_Database_Z4.html

:arrow: Just for the record.... I've never wintersown peppers, tomatoes or any tender annuals like petunias or marigolds. I've stuck to perennials or annuals that I KNOW will self-seed in my area. I haven't wintersown in zone 4 yet...only in zone 5 (we just moved last yr), so I am not positive when the sprouting will occur. Depends on your weather conditions in the Spring. It will be a learning experiance for me this spring also. :D
sheeshshe wrote:OK, so this sounds like fun! so if I'm understanding correctly, I should sow all my perennials and annuals this way? perhaps sow the veggies indoors and then move outside like I normally do?


so, in zone 4, when do you think they'll approximately sprout?
Jan
"Bramble Oak"

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soil
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since i just started them and its still winter. I just planted two trays of snow peas in the greenhouse, they will go out when they are big enough to stop birds from eating them. i also did direct sow the extras along with the trays and should do pretty much just as good as long as the birds don't find them. its not going to get much colder than 25 from here on out according to the weather records i have, they wont grow fast, but once the weather gets to where they want peas will explode with growth. last year we got three 5 gallon buckets of snowpeas from 50 plants.( 30ft row about ) it would have still kept going but we couldnt eat anymore or give anymore away so the plants became mulch.
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