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Anyone winter sow seeds?

PostPosted: Feb 03, 2006 3:30 pm
by Justaysam
I never have, until now. Was reading up on one of the forums about it, and fell for the idea. I am in a new house, in a very natural setting and need some natives. I also fall prey to the annuals each spring at the garden centers. Most of those lovely annuals cost an arm and a leg for garden ready plants. I just winter sowed about 14 different things ranging from natives to some of those pretty annuals that cost me so much each year. I still have about 7 more seed packs to do, but need to wait as it is too soon for the more tender seeds to be sown. I did most of what is done in plastic baggies and others in recycled containers. Wish me luck. I'd love to hear of anyone else who does this type of seed starting. Or if anyone has a good source for unusual shade seeds, there are still a few I would like to try and start, but don't know where to order them. Thanks.

PostPosted: Feb 03, 2006 4:56 pm
by pauhaus
Hi Justaysam, I tried winter sowing for the first time too after reading about it. I used gallon sized plastic milk jugs and sowed pardancanda and pepper seeds (thanks John!:P ). I sure hope it works, really looking forward to spring to see what comes up. I also tried some hosta seeds too just for the heck of it. Good luck to you.

PostPosted: Feb 03, 2006 10:25 pm
by Justaysam
Thanks Paul, I'm hopeing it works too! I used plastic baggies for the natives, and plastic deli containers and those cheap reusable tubs with tops for a few perennials and annuals. I did 14 today, and have a few more to start in March. My hosta babies are inside under lights, but if this works well, I may try and WS them next year. Good luck on yours!

PostPosted: Feb 03, 2006 11:03 pm
by John
Hi Justaysam and Paul!

I have done a lot of winter-sowing of hardy perennials, and had great results. Works very well with Iris family members in particular, including Pardancanda.

I use regular seed flats that come with those greenhouse covers, and after planting them, place on my glassed-in but unheated porch.

It has been very warm this December-January, so I have not started any... I am mostly growing some very special daylily crosses, so those are all under lights, but I have had excellent results from daylilies winter-sown other years.

Justaysam, you may remember me from another site, when known as Pardancanda. Lots of my Hostas were lovely gifts and trades from you.

Happy Winter-Sowing!


PostPosted: Feb 04, 2006 10:02 am
by Justaysam
Hi John, I remember. Not sure but did you get the streaked Cherry Berry? Hows it doing? Glad to know others who had luck with the winter sowing thing, I really want it to work.

PostPosted: Feb 05, 2006 9:08 pm
by Mary Ann
I'm trying it too for the lst time, using HD plastic gallon bottles. I read that it works better with perennials that easily reseed themselves so I sowed heuchera, brown eyed susan vine and Abiqua Recluse and set them on the patio. Has anyone tried it with tomatos?

PostPosted: Feb 05, 2006 11:08 pm
by Justaysam
I remember Ray Raynor starting tomato plants in cut off milk cartons on his morning kids show. I think he did it in early Jan or Feb. Which Heuch. did you plant? Was it the smaller version that you have? Im trying to think of some more shade seed I can look for to try. I would love to find some Anemonella thalictroides, Sanguinaria canadensis or any of the Thalictrum . I doubt they would bloom this year, but would be nice perennials to get going for spring blooms in 07. Do you know of any place to get unusual seeds locally Mary Ann?

PostPosted: Feb 05, 2006 11:21 pm
by John
Justaysam, I remembered the streaked 'Cherry Berry', and regret having to say that it came back all green. I am still keeping an eye on it though. Same thing with one of BigDave (Dave Hardt) seedlings, it had red dots on the backs of the leaves the first year, but then not again.

TOMATOES: Don't remember trying them, but I do see volunteer tomato seedlings popping up every spring where some fruit had fallen to the ground. So they should work well for winter-sowing, even though the must not have much winter in their native habitat! I have started tomatoes under lights indoors, and they quickly get leggy, then need to be hardened-off. Discovered that seeds planted directly soon surpass those babied indoors...

I think the cherry and pear types would winter-sow best.

PostPosted: Feb 06, 2006 8:45 am
by notmartha
ive got some containers ready to try winter sowing too! My daylilies are all growing indoors under lights-i did put one pot of these outside to see what happens. I have some iris seeds i will be potting up this week and placing outside on the south side of the house. "we shall see"

john i see the daylily bug has bitten you too! :lol:

PostPosted: Feb 06, 2006 10:27 am
by Mary Ann
Maybe Chgo Botanical Gardens would have some?

PostPosted: Feb 06, 2006 10:28 am
by John
Yes, notmartha, I find myself suddenly obsessed with daylilies, although not for the first time...

While I wasn't looking, daylilies have made yet another quantuum-leap! I am amazed by the newer "bagel" form and the ones with sculptured petals.

Last time I got back into them, it was the bubbly mrtallic gold edges that amazed me.

What I am after this time is to hybridize for truly green-flowered daylilies, most described as green are really greenish-yellow; some of the near-whites have a greenish cast. So, I am making lists of potential parents I need, as well as trying to collect seeds from other daylily fans.

I am also into the pencil-etched -eyes, like 'Siloam David Kirchhiff' and 'Sacred Drummer' and 'Japanese Butterfly'...

PostPosted: Feb 06, 2006 1:39 pm
by Justaysam
Thanks Mary Ann, I hadn't thought of them. I did order what I wanted from a canadian source. I think I am set now, I sure hope this works, or it is a waste of effort and $.

PostPosted: Feb 08, 2006 9:27 pm
by Patrushka
I've seen some of the past posts about winter sowing but never really paid much attention to them. This year you've caught my interest. I've read the old posts and even visited the WS forum at the other place. It sounds really cool and fun! :cool: I can't wait to try it. :D I have a few assorted containers so far. I'll have to encourage the boys to drink more milk. :wink:

PostPosted: Feb 09, 2006 6:34 am
by Justaysam
Pat, did you see the plastic bags? Half of what I've done so far are in bags, I'll let you know if they ever germinate.

PostPosted: Feb 10, 2006 1:30 am
by Patrushka
Yes, Linda, I saw the plastic bags. :D I was thinking that plastic jugs and bottles might be sturdier if certain big dog's feet come in contact with them when in hot pursuit of squirrels. :o I'd still like to know how they do. I could always set up some on the small table on the deck.

PostPosted: Feb 11, 2006 12:12 am
by Patrushka
Linda, Someone posted this link, "Winter Sowing in a Baggie", today. :D ... aggie.html

Pretty cool! :cool:


PostPosted: Apr 22, 2006 9:31 pm
by pauhaus
Hey all, I have babies coming up in my containers! Looks like quite a few pardancanda seedlings are poking up. How cool. :P

PostPosted: Apr 22, 2006 10:57 pm
by Justaysam
Me too. Not all were a sucess, but most of the wild flowers I did are coming up. Also gillardia and black eyed susan's. It worked well, and saved room under the lights for my hosta.

PostPosted: Apr 22, 2006 11:57 pm
by Patrushka
I have lots of babies coming up too! :D Some of my containers are a solid carpet of green. :o Out of 68 containers only 12 have not germinated yet. I haven't given up on them yet. I sowed 20 Pardancanda seeds (thanks John) and 17 are up. 8-) I also have several open pollinated Daylily Smoky Mountain Autumn seedlings growing. I did six more containers of annuals today. Winter Sowing is too much fun! :cool:

I never got around to setting up my lights this year. No hosta babies for me. :( I may still sow a milk jug of hosta seeds. :wink: If it wasn't for winter sowing, I wouldn't have any seedlings at all.