Sowing seed in snow

gardeninprogressDecember 29, 2007

I've got problems w/ wildlife (specifically wild turkeys) eating wildflower seed.

Anyone ever try sowing perrenial seed in the snow???

Does the seed melt through the snow to the ground in the spring???? I'm not sure how snow melts ~ top to bottom? or bottom to top???

And then there's the issue of survival rate of the seed. Will perrenial seed take the frozen temps????

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georgez5il(z5 IL)

Survial not a problem. Snow melts top to bottom.& seed will be deposited on surface by spring. In the meantime the seed will be availabe for eating several times from now till spring. I have sown grass seed on the snow but then I do not have a turkey problem,,,, BUT the birds did have a feast.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 7:17PM
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I think sowing seeds on top of snow is called sowing in situ, but I'm not sure. This method is supposed to work great with poppy seeds but I've never tried before. I would say as long as they are perennials or reseeding annuals it would work.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 9:11AM
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I have sown both poppies and calendula in winter. I just sprinkled the seeds on top of the snow and then covered with a bit of snow. The reason I covered them with snow was because I thought it might prevent birds from eating the seeds. They germinated just fine.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 9:00AM
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I'm going back and forth on this. . . . I did sow some seed in the late fall before the snows. . . and the turkeys LUVED the seed!!! (You'd think I had some kind of farm. . . .)

So I'm looking for alternatives.

I see how other birds might pick out the seed from the snow.

Yet this weekend ~ we are in for a January thaw . . . . which might just take the snow amounts down. . . . and I might just sow some seed out there IF there's a good melt.

Santa brought me 2 lbs. of perrenial seed, 2 lbs. of annual seed and 1 lb. of a mix of annual/perrenial seed for Christmas and I'm considering sowing the perrenial seed.

Guess Santa knows how persistent I can be in this little project!!!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 2:39PM
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I have tried various methods myself. My problem with sowing in situ is weeds. I can't always tell what's what. So far, my best option has been to establish seedlings in controlled environments through various methods, and then plant them out en masse, very early in the season
(even in March sometimes).

I use cold frames, wintersowing, plain old flats outside, small plots, protected areas, etc. Then, I move the plants as I see fit, using newspaper as a weed barrier, and yard scraps for mulch. Both decompose and become part of the wildflower planting. I am planning to experiment with row covers, cloches, and more variations on wintersowing.

I have two unheated greenhouses that really work well-- for these types of plants they are perfect. My Santa also understands and encourages my determination. :-) Wildflowers don't really need heated greenhouses. I have to say, the money spent on the self-erecting-tent style greenhouse was less than we had "wasted" on the previous projects, and it changed gardening for me completely. It was more than worth it. It helped me produce more plants this year than all the other years combined, because it let me prepare all the different types of seedbeds.

I think it gave me confidence to experiment, and a good workspace. It also opened my mind to learning more.
I tried for years to establish large areas of wildflowers from direct sowing seeds, and was often disappointed. These methods give me the opportunity to learn as I go, and I feel much more successful.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 10:44AM
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Hi Puff,

I've considered the 'winter sowing' routine. I've NOT been successful w/ indoor sowing in the winter in the past and am afraid to give this a try ~ suspecting similar results. I don't have much time to tend to young plants.

In addition, the area I'm trying to cover is about 1000 sq. feet.

I'm not afraid of weeds nor grasses. In fact, I'd like a combination of the 'natural terrain' along w/ wildflowers.

This week we are in for a significant warm-up and will most likely lose alot of snow. Next weekend might be the time to sow some seed out there. If I can sow on soil/ground and before a snowfall ~ then I'll consider myself lucky that the wildlife (wild turkeys and birds) might not eat this seed.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 11:07PM
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Hi Garden,

I feel the same way. I don't have the time or interest to "worry over" plants. I've never sowed seeds indoors. I plant hardy native varieties that establish theselves readily. Wintersowing works well for me- I make the little flats and forget about them till I want to plant them out. But, I also take the same approach with the cold frames and other methods, too.

It sounds cliche, but every garden, and gardener, is different. I am sure you will find the best approach for you. I did do a lot of reading in the wintersowing forum, and the meadows forum, along with this forum. The main thing I learned is- when done in small batches- seeds are cheap! That gave me the courage to experiment more widely.

I am also working in large areas. I have several acres I am working to restore as best I can.

I'm in MI, too.

Let me know if you want more information, I'llbe glad to share whatever I know.

I'll look forward to rading about your progress in the fourms. :-)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 11:25AM
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I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS WEATHER!!!!!!!! What's up w/ the temps????? It's in the 60's here!!!!!!!!!!

Snow is gone in the Detroit area. . . . Wonder how it is up north where this seed is going.

If I can catch this weather before another snowstorm ~ I'll be gold!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 9:36PM
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