Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winter Sowing

Before it got so darned cold this week and the snow started flying I decided to try my hand at some winter sowing.  The Queen of winter sowing, Monica at  Garden Faerie's Musings has begun her winter sowing.  Kylee at Our Little Acre has her BLUE POPPIES potted up.  I feel I am in good company with my first shot at Winter Sowing. 

A comfortable day for this experiment.  The sun was shining and it was almost 40 degrees. A perfect day for working outside.  I gathered up all the items I needed for this project.  One gallon milk jugs, potting soil (I had this on hand), seeds, duct tape, wine cork screw. No, not to open the wine but to punch holes in the bottom of the milk jugs for drainage, which I did.
I cut the tops nearly in half leaving a section attached at the handle so I could open the jug, insert the growing medium, placed several of the seeds in the growing medium.  Gave them a little shot of water, then I taped the jugs back together which was the most difficult task.  I marked on the jugs what was planted and the date.  Here they are lined up like ducks in a row just waiting to grow.
In one I planted the Kentucky Coffeebean Tree seeds.  Now this will be a joy if just one of them takes. I have wanted one of these trees for a long time. Another has some of the Iron Weed seeds that Monica gave me.  The last has some Butterfly weed and a few Cardoon Seeds that was sent to me by Cheryl.  Thank you ladies for sending me these seeds. I hope they all grow.  I saved a few of each to plant directly into the ground just in case these don't take.

Now it is the waiting game.  Waiting to see if this experiment works.  The seeds that need to be frozen are certainly getting the treatment now.  The wind is swirling and the temperatures dropping.  Below zero is expected so here is hoping.  Are you doing any winter sowing this year??

34 comments:

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Lisa, my friend the nurseryman says you should do fine with your Kentucky Coffeebean tree seed. He planted one from a seed years ago, and it's made a nice tree. In fact, he has one for me...(it's great fun to be friends with a nursery operator. I do stuff for his website, slideshows, etc, and he pays me in plants. It's all good).
You've reminded me that I need to get some soil and do some wintersowing too. Great post. I must go tease Kylee about those blue poppy seeds.

Diana said...

Love your little milk jug terrariums, Lisa. I was gonna sow seeds Sunday but caught DH's cold and never made it out to start. Maybe later in the week. I'm behind, now. (what else is new?!) Good luck with yours!

Phillip said...

I tried seeds a long time ago and wasn't successful. I don't think I have the patience for it but I wish I did. I plan to try again in the future.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I haven't started any winter sowing projects here yet. I need to get some seeds first!

I hope you have success with yours!

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

Cool project !!
I always thought winter sowing was Dec 21 which I always forget.
Guess I'll wait till March and just do it inside.

yoon see said...

Hello Lisa, I hope this little experiment turn out well. Good luck!!!

fairegarden said...

Hooray for winter sowing and for you for doing it! I agree, taping the jugs was the hardest part! May your seeds all germinate at the correct time and live long and prosper. We have done some winter sowing too, for the first time ever. It was feared that it is too warm here for the seeds to remain dormant. Not so this year anyway. Waiting is the hard part, and what to do when they start to grow, who knows? Monica? :-)

Frances

Jayne said...

Now, that is something that definitely can get one in a mindset for spring!

cyndy said...

Keep us posted with your germination results- curious!?

Winter sowing around here is done in Oct. and I tried several winter lettuces...I will let you know how they did/ or are doing when the snow melts ;-)

Roses and Lilacs said...

I have all my stuff ready to start sowing. Looks like I'll have to do mine in the house since it is staying so cold here (what a mess:)

I was visiting the winter sowing forum on GW. They say to leave the caps of the milk jugs. I'm not sure which is correct.
Marnie

Deb said...

Such a great way to recycle your one gallon milk jugs. Good Luck with your experiment! Looking forward to seeing the results ♥

Tina said...

You go girl! Welcome to the WS addiction.
:)
I don't mess with tape anymore - it's too much of a pain. I use a hole punch in the very edges and close them with leftover bread ties. Works a peach!

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

I need to get on the band wagon, so to speak too...

Stapeliad said...

Wow, this looks so interesting. Good luck...esp with that Coffeebean Tree seed. I've never heard of a Coffeebean Tree before.

Miranda Bell said...

Great to see some more creative ideas of what to do with recycled materials... toilet roll inner tubes are great for Sweet Peas and Beans and water bottles cut into sections make great collars to put around newly planted beans in the soil... having said that you probably already do this but thought I'd leave these ideas just incase you don't! Not quite at the seed sowing stage here - a bit too cold :-(

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Lisa - thanks for your reply thought you might find this link of help...

http://jardinmiranda.blogspot.com/search?q=toilet+roll

Have fun - Miranda x

Rose said...

We must be thinking alike these days, Lisa:) I also made my first attempt at winter sowing last weekend, using the milk jugs as you did. I have Monica's book, and I was following it diligently, except when she recommended drilling holes in the bottom. I couldn't find the cordless drill (now where did Mr. P. put that??), so I used---a corkscrew instead!

I also saved some of my seeds back in case these don't work. Right now, the jugs are covered with a foot of snow so I think it will be a while before I see any results:)

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

I hope you will have success with your seeds from friends around the gardening globe. I remember these bloggers talking about them at some point on their blogs. This is the strangest winter ever...ours has turned into a massive ice-age! Between Fri. and Wed. (5 days) we got 3 feet of snow. And there's more on the way. Our VA plants aren't used to this. I've had 2 holly trees completely snap in half, and now I'm worried about my azaleas. Good luck with your sowing. I'm not much of a seed sower...I guess I don't have the patience for it this year, although I did try some last year.

Gail said...

Lisa, It looks easy...Maybe I can do this! I am going to have to go to the recycling collection station and liberate a few milk cartons first! I do hope all your seeds germinate!

Cheryl said...

Hi Lisa....now I realise I am getting behind...winter sowing, must get organised.
I do hope the cardoon seeds take Lisa....I lost my cardoons last winter and miss their stately presence.....

Q said...

I also started my Winter Sowing!
I just did six flats to start. I use the containers my grapes and cherries come in. They already have the holes in the bottom and the tops.
Now we wait for sprouts!
Sherry

Katiejane said...

Boy, you are really ambitious! Hope everything sprouts and you get some gorgeous plants out of this.

SandyCarlson said...

I am behind you on this one. I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

brenda said...

Hi Lisa, as an experienced "winter sower" I would like to tell you to take the caps off! Caps need to be off for ventilation and to let rain in..... :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

THanks Brenda, I will get out there and take off the caps. This is my first time to do this.

beckie said...

Lisa, I am very interested to see how the winter sowing does. Between you, Rose and Monica's efforts, we all should learn a lot.
I'm pulling for the Kentucky Coffeebean tree!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Lisa girl it looks like you have everything detailed and perfect !
We learn no matter if an experiment fails a bit ? .. but this sounds like it is all green light ready to pop !
I am really interested in the coffee bean tree .. I'll be looking out for that one.
Spring is coming .. dragging her feet .. but still moving ? LOL
Joy

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Okay, I can't wait to see what you get when those all burst from the soil. I might start some seeds, but I don't know. We'll see. Happy Valentine's Day.~~Dee

Naturegirl said...

Lisa I was inspired in reading MOnica's post and now even more so by reading yours!
Great project on those sunny winter days when we are so anxious to get digging!I've never seen sowing seeds in milk jugs!! Great original idea!
Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day! xo

Andrea said...

Hi i am from the tropics and i am alien to your part of the world. It is a nice idea that despite lots of garden resources in your area, you still find utility in some unwanted trash for many. I am just wondering why you have to seal the jar. Is it enough oxygen for the seeds? thanks.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I don't know how I managed to miss this post earlier. Yay! for winter sowing. But you've got to leave the caps off the milk jugs so moisture (rain, snow) can get in. Tres importante. Looking forward to update posts! :)

Babara said...

Lucky you! Already busy preparing your garden for Spring and Summer. There is no way of thinking to start sowing at the moment. It is too cold outside. But in March I'll have a go with the first flowers sowing inside. I try to be patient :-) !!
Good luck with your winter sowing!
Barbara

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

Woo hoo! Looks like you're good to go there with your winter sowing. I'll be interested to see your Kentucky Coffeebean tree! I love it when people grow out of the ordinary things.

Maybe someone already said this, but you need to take the caps off your milk jugs so moisture can get in. :-)

Wendy said...

looks great!! I'm getting ready to start some seeds soon as well. Love your little mini-greenhouses.