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Winter Sowing (starting seeds in winter without using lights and hardening off, etc)

Last post 01-17-2011 9:05 AM by haverwench. 52 replies.
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  • 01-21-2010 4:09 PM

    Winter Sowing (starting seeds in winter without using lights and hardening off, etc)

     For those who haven't heard of it, Winter Sowing is about the greenest way (and by far the laziest!) to start your own transplants ahead of the season!

    I stumbled on the info last year this time, and tried it, hedging my bets by doing half under fluorescents as usual, and the other half "winter Sowing" style.

    The Winter Sown ones turned out to be hardier and stockier, with better and earlier yields, and in addition, required NONE of the daily misting, fussing with, then carting in and out of doors for weeks while hardening off.

    http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/wtrsow/

    http://www.wintersown.org/

  • 01-21-2010 4:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Winter Sowing (starting seeds in winter without using lights and hardening off, etc)

     Thanks for posting this.  It's a nice website, & I have some containers that would work for this.  I printed off one of their "do-it-yourself" seed packets (way cute!) & filled it for one of my co-workers with some of the heirloom pimento seeds I saved from last year.

  • 01-21-2010 5:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Winter Sowing (starting seeds in winter without using lights and hardening off, etc)

     I can't even find my garden until April................

    Michelle in Northern Michigan

    "Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve neither" - Ben Franklin

  • 01-22-2010 7:32 AM In reply to

    Re: Winter Sowing (starting seeds in winter without using lights and hardening off, etc)

     Me neither! I live bordering canada too!

    But seriously, there is such a thing as Canadian Winter Sowing, and the iVillage GardenWeb has a forum on that with a FAQ and a list of hundreds of seeds you can start this way, in Canada. Many of them are ones I used to start indoors under lights. The seeds know when it's safe to start sprouting, and don't until then, but benefit from the freezing period outdoors, and once they sprout, you don't have to worry about taking them in if there's another cold snap, because they sprouted in it, and are adapted from the moment they sprout. They grow into the hardiest, stockiest, most hassle-free plants ever.

    Hey if it works in Canada, it will work for us too!

    Here's the link to Canadian Winter Sowing: http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/wtrsow/

  • 01-23-2010 1:22 AM In reply to

    Re: Winter Sowing (starting seeds in winter without using lights and hardening off, etc)

    I've been meaning to get started with my winter sowing. It works quite well.

  • 01-23-2010 11:46 AM In reply to

    Re: Winter Sowing (starting seeds in winter without using lights and hardening off, etc)

     I found a free source for more clamshell -type containers.  The "dinners" that are available in the cafeteria fridge for purchase by staff on night shifts are in clamshell containers, & the salads are in the clear containers.  Altho I don't buy lunch at  work, some of my co-workers do, & these containers do fill up the garbage cans pretty fast, so they are more than willing to save them for me  Wink

  • 01-23-2010 1:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Winter Sowing (starting seeds in winter without using lights and hardening off, etc)

    My free source for containers is the gallon milk jugs as we empty them. They can be cut around the middle, leaving a hinge or not and duct-taped back together. Their translucense (sp?) doesn't seem to be a problem. Paper pots can be set in them and be ready to just plop in the ground later.

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  • 01-25-2010 2:17 AM In reply to

    Re: Winter Sowing (starting seeds in winter without using lights and hardening off, etc)

     I realized today that the cinnamon rolls from the freecycle "bread drop" also come in those containers. Big Smile  I could use the milk jugs, but oldest DD wants those to haull water for the windbreak trees that are beyond the reach of the hose.

  • 02-01-2010 7:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Winter Sowing (starting seeds in winter without using lights and hardening off, etc)

     Today I planted two sets of pimento seeds, 7 in a clamshell -type container & 7 in a cake-type container.  Both containers are sitting on the lodgestones that form the tiers in the garden, on the top tier, about 2 feet from where they will be planted.  I put two small rocks on the cake type container lid, because it seemed less firmly "Latched" than the other one. Do you think that will be ok? 

  • 03-03-2010 12:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Winter Sowing (starting seeds in winter without using lights and hardening off, etc)

    So far the rocks have worked ok to keep the lids on the cake-type containers.

    Last week I planted another two containers (one clamshell, one cake-type) with more pimento seeds, then today I planted 8 heirloom tomato seeds -- Brandywine Pink - - each in 2 clamshell containers & added them to the row on the top tier of the garden. 

    I have noticed when I am outside on sunny days that the containers have water condensed on the insid, & appear to be "self- watering"  Nothing is growing yet, though.  I will keep you posted on how this works.

    I am really hoping it works well, because I have NEVER had success raising plants from seed inside the house & I would like to grow my own plants.

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