Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Winter Seed Sowing


It is just that kind of a day……


when the snow is falling sideways and in big fluffy
flakes. The kind that likes to stick to everything and
makes the world look like a winter wonderland.
Pretty to look at but tough to deal with after so many
of them this winter.

So what is a gardener to do???


We just say “phooey “on it and play in the dirt anyway and anywhere we can find it.
You get some old containers, throw in some seed starting
soil, add water, seeds, and viola!  You have mini gardens!
{not to mention a messy kitchen}


This is my first attempt at winter sowing of seeds so
this could be very interesting or just another supposedly
good idea gone so wrong .
I sowed some phlox seeds that I had saved from
my plants  this fall. I am trying two different
containers to see which works out the best.
I have seen other gardeners use the milk jug method
with great results so I will try a couple of them.
No one ever tells you about how hard it is to get the two
halves of the jugs duck taped back together. LOL!
Mine was a sloppy looking mess but I suppose the
seeds will not know the difference and I know you
all won’t tell anyone.
A much easier idea, that I stole from Catherine, @
A Garden in Progress”,  and used was covered aluminum cake pans.
{My kitchen did not look as clean as hers did  afterwards}


Then since it is such a lovely cold and snowy day, you just
set them all out in the snow. And then hope that the new
kitten doesn’t find them interesting to play with or bat them around and off of the icy shelves.
Then you hold your breath and with fingers crossed you wait
to see if those green little sprouts appear.
Oh, drat's!  I think I forgot to take the caps off of the jugs.
Pictures are a wonderful reminder. LOL!

Meanwhile indoors in the warm kitchen the seeds that
were sowed over a week ago are now starting to sprout.
These geraniums are looking good.


The tiny Summer Gloxinia’s and dahlia seeds are also sprouting
and so are the petunia seeds, but one may need a
magnifying glass to see those teeny sprouts.
So a gardener makes do on a cold snowy day and
gets those hands dirty one way or the other.

Rain Gardener @ “Gardening By Trial & Error”   sent me some of her seeds last week.
She sent a variety of snapdragons, a beautiful double poppy seeds, and some Lychris or Rose  Companion.
I have been wanting to try some Rose Companion to grow with the Lambs Ear plants.
scan0001 The seeds came with this card she had made.
Isn’t it gorgeous?
I have it setting here on my desk and I love looking
at it.
Thanks RG!!!

So how are you getting your garden fix this winter?
Starting any seeds or forcing bulbs?
Making any messes? ;-)
Happy Gardening Everyone,


Patsi said...

Looks like a fun project.
I know what you mean about the mess,we start seedlings in March and if done indoors...well dirt everywhere.
The card is perfect and so pretty.

Becca's Dirt said...

I used the aluminum cake pans last year and they worked great. I also used 2liter bottles and 12 and 16 oz drink bottles. The drink bottles I think worked best for transferring to the ground. I was able to place the whole dirt ball from the drink bottles and with the cake pan had to break off parts to plant and they weren't very sturdy either. This time of year it's just fun and feels good to do something with dirt and related to flowers so anything is good. Stay warm.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Lona, you are way ahead of me. I have only started impatiens so far and they are so slow in coming up.


Darla said...

Glad you could get a 'Spring' fix indoors....here's hoping all of them germinate and you don't know where in the world to plant them!

scottweberpdx said...

This is my first year with winter-sowing as well...it's so exciting, but I'm fearing it will end badly...then again, it's so fun to see others doing it too! At least if mine don't do well I can enjoy yours and others vicariously!

Alison said...

Lona, I've been wintersowing for years, and I think you will be very happy with your results. I like using milk jugs. You don't actually have to run the duct tape all the way around, I used to just tape across the cut in one spot, and that was enough, and that was when I was winter sowing in Massachusetts. Or, another alternative is to cut a hole in both halves and thread a twist tie through to keep it closed.

Once the weather warms up, and you need to take the whole top off in order to keep your seedlings inside from frying, it is going to be very awkward to take all that tape off.

Did you also remember to cut drainage holes in the bottoms? I don't see any holes in that aluminum pan.

Anonymous said...

You had me at seed, but then again with dirt! How fun, puts a smile on my face.

Amy said...

Your first photo looks like a postcard...beautiful! Looks like you have been having fun with seeds. :)

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I hope you get lots of sprouts from your winter sowing. I tried taping those milk jugs together last year and decided this year I'd only use cake pans. I hope to get some indoor seeds started in the next week or so. It's pretty exciting to see those cute little seedlings.

Stephanie said...

I love that idea of that cake pan with cover like that. It's like a mini greenhouse for the seeds. Hmm... will copy this too. Thanks for the idea!

Floridagirl said...

First of all, your snow scene is beautiful! But I can see why you are missing the dirt. Good luck on your seed growing. We don't really do such things down here, though I sometimes have stuff growing on the patio that I can pull next to the house in case of a "cold event."

One said...

This may be the perfect time for you to be sowing seeds. I did this several months ago. Now the weather is too hot and dry. I would rather reduce the plants than increase them at this point in time. I'll come by to check out yours instead. :)

Anonymous said...

Great idea. I use the cut off lemonade bottles to make cloches for bringing on seeds in small pots or in plastic cups. I have been planting seeds and bulbs in the greenhouse. Our weather has improved and its just damp and dull the temperature is around 9C just right for starting bulbs and summer perennial seeds. I hope your snow soon stops and you get some warm sunshine.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lona, How am I gardening at present.....with my head buried in a gardening book! I do admire all your seed sowing. I cannot begin to imagine what work it will all be when the seedlings are all big enough to transplant elsewhere. Perhaps you will have to give up doing anything else in your kitchen but propagating!!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Patsi: I am a slop any way Patsi so playing with dirt indoors is a disaster. LOL!

Becca: I remember you now since you mentioned it using aluminum pans.Makes a mini greenhouse. It does feel good to get things growing.

Eileen: I have not started my impatiens yet. I think I will start them in March so I can hopefully set them out side once in a while.

Darla: I WILL find some space. LOL!

Scott: It will be fun to see if they do germinate. My seeding is a little hit and miss sometimes.

Alison: Thank You! I will remember that. I like the twist tie idea.

Cindy Sue: Brings back memories of childhood and making mud pies. LOL!

Amy: Thanks for dropping by. I will have to come by and check out your seeds.

Catherine: Your cake pan idea was so much simpler. LOL! My seed cake is frozen solid today.

Steph: The simpler the better for me. It does make since doesn't it. Have a wonderful week.

FG: If I lived where you do I wouldn't have to play in the dirt indoors. I am so jealous. LOL!

One: It is hard to remember sometime that around the world there are areas that are suffering from the heat while we are freezing. LOL! Thanks for dropping by.

Sue: Girl I was envious at the mention of the word greenhouse. LOL! I would love to have one. Have fun in yours. Thanks for dropping by.

Edith: That is very good idea and a great excuse for not cooking. LOL!

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

What a great idea, I must keep that in mind for next year. Funny how here in a place it really isn't winter compared to the rest of the world, we can barely buy potting soil anywhere until May.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

RainGardener said...

Thank you Lona, I'm glad you like the card and I sure hope all of the seeds sprout for ya.
I wasn't going to winter sow this year, although I did it last year and many of them came up. But now I think maybe I will get the Phlox seeds you sent me out and do them that way. And by the way I used the twisty ties and it worked great for me. I thought I'd take all of my leftovers I have and play mother nature and sprinkle them all over the place. That's what nature does and it works.?. I remember some gardener did that on a blog I was reading ages ago and hers looked great. I don't do well with seeds but keep trying hoping some day I'll get the hang of it. So what do I have to lose? LOL

The Redneck Rosarian said...

What fun! Started some Zinnia and petunias on Sunday. Got some other great seed in the mail this week. Will try to get those started this weekend.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Chris: It is fun to be getting some gardening done even if it is puttering with seeds. LOL!

Jen: It is hard to keep in mind that around the world gardeners are having different climates. While we are freezing others are sweltering in the heat.

RG: I wish I had known about the twist tie thingy before I got all wrapped up in the duct tape. LOL!

Lori at Jarvis House said...

Wonderful "back to basics" approach to seed starting. I had given up starting tomatoe seeds, but now I am re-thinking that. Lovely photos. How do you "follow" your blog? I linked it to my Jarvis House blog. Thanks, Lori on Long Island

Anonymous said...

Hi Lona, You are sure going great guns with your seeds! Hopefully, all your early seed planting efforts will pay off come spring.
I also read your post about loosestrife and in my experience it is invasive. You can always try to plant it inside an open bottomed plastic pot to control the spread, but even this method is not always 100 percent in keeping a tight leash on a "vigorous" plant.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lona, Your seed-starting efforts are laudable especially with all that nasty winter outdoors. [Your photo is gorgeous though.] I can't wait to see them grow and flourish in your gardens. Love RG's card, bless her heart. :)