WSing in the South?

jimmac619(8)January 24, 2013

I'm in the process of trying this process for the first time, and on a pretty big scale. (Newly retired, bitten badly by the gardening bug again now that I have the time to devote to it.

Anyway, it struck me that most of the info I had read on WSing came from points well north of SE Alabama. Any other Southern gardeners trying this? I'll love to hear about your mistakes before I make them. ;-)

Roll Tide!

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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

Good luck and welcome. No advice from this yankee since I have no experience with your climate. I'm sure some of the others who are near you will chime in soon.

Caryl

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 7:19AM
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growsy(8b GA)

I'm new to this also. I started eagerly sowing away without realizing it might be too soon for some of the tender things. The weather was so warm that my beans sprouted quickly. One type zoomed right up & hit the top of the gallon vinegar jug it was planted in. So, I had to prepare a bed & plant out. Since then we've had some freezing nights & I had to cover the bed with plastic, but they seem to be doing fine. Things that I started when the weather was cooler haven't sprouted yet.

I've mostly used seed starting mix, because I got a good deal on last year's from Lowes. I only used potting mix for a few things.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 2:04PM
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carrie630(z7bNC)

I have not been on this forum in a few years - started winter sowing in 2004 and have had wonderful, wonderful luck in North Carolina. I really don't worry about not having snow, if I were to do perennials, our cold nights have worked well with stratifying the seeds. I no longer do perennials, as my gardens are loaded with them (costing me nothing) and now I mainly do profusion zinnias and melampodiums for borders.

Wintersowing has been the most wonderful experience and my gardens look wonderful as a result. Haven't posted in years, but saw that you were worried and there is no need. It works, believe me

Carrie

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 8:18PM
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jimmac619(8)

Ah, encouragement! Sounds like we're not wasting our time. We've just planted winged wildlife attracters so far (mostly perennials) and we're past 20 containers so far. Many more planned.

I worry more about the unusually warm nights more that the cold ones. We've been having a lot of those.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 9:41PM
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TraceyOKC(7)

Hi, my WSing last year taught me a couple things. I'm in Oklahoma.

1) Don't sow quick germinators till late in season. Mostly annuals germinate fast. Start with perennials.

2) Don't set containers on the ground. Rolly Polly's and snails get in.

3) Start the containers in the shade.

Being a rookie, I sowed everything in Jan. A couple of warm jan days and I had things coming up like crazy. I have to admit it didn't really hurt the seedlings though. We had a big year for caterpillars, so bugs got a lot of my seedlings. I need a plan for caterpillars this year

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 1:20AM
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jimmac619(8)

Well, two out of three for us. We planted some reseeding annuals too. Ours are on a small deck that never gets direct sun. So far the dogs haven't decided that we put all that stuff out there for them to play with. We're holding our breaths on that one.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 8:14PM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

LOL, Jimma. My dogs think the plants in jugs are for their entertainment - I've rescued a few clumps from the yard once I realized that i was missing containers late last summer (I was keeping a few new perennials in containers for their first year rather than planting out). Now the jugs are on my patio table and will move to the fenced garden once the yard is a little drier.

Caryl

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 6:30AM
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MissyGA64(8 (central GA))

Jimma,
I am a newbie for everything. The only thing I have ever grown is Moon Flowers and that was a few years ago. I am attempting WSing to help my brother get a good start on his first garden since moving from New Orleans. I am sowing all veggies this time. I am located near Fort Benning GA. I also have a few seeds set, in containers on top of my fridge.
Good luck to you,
Missy

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:22PM
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drippy(7bAL)

Hey, Jimma, Roll Tide indeed - what a great season! I'm a good bit north of you (Huntsville area), so we are still having cold nights here. I have my best luck making sure I have deep enough containers with enough headroom for seedlings to sprout and still leave the covers on for awhile. I have some sunflowers I started on 12/21 (part of my ceremonial seed choice), which of course germinated with the warmth slightly thereafter. The containers I use are 1 lb. margarine (cottage cheese, etc.) size, and I have kept the lid on those puppies - they are not growing very fast anyway; still don't have second leaves. They have survived all the freezes in the 20s.

Others have given you good advice - perennials, hardy annuals, herbs and cool season vegetables (that you aren't direct sowing) can be done now, and really should be done soon - it heats up fast in these parts when it heats up!

Good luck!

1

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:40PM
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Layne88(8)

I'm new to, although tried this a few years ago. I'm in central alabama, can I use the plastic jugs coffee comes in? I'm interested in starting moon flowers and other flower seeds.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 7:37PM
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louisianagal(z7bMS)

Layne 88, usually containers that are clear or cloudy are used so that the seedlings get light. If you are talking about the blue maxwell house or the red folgers coffee jugs with handles, I might try that too, but just be sure the seedlings get light and you can cover them (with vent holes) with a clear or cloudy plastic bag or plastic wrap for the mini greenhouse effect. These containers will probably last awhile and not deteriorate like milk jugs do. I will probably use organic salad containers and large plastic cups like from fast food places. The cups I have are tapered at bottom and I think I can squeeze the hunk of seedlings out when ready to plant. I save "wet umbrella bags" and subway sandwich bags and clear newspaper bags and these can be used to make the covers.
Laurie near Tupelo MS

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:48AM
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louisianagal(z7bMS)

Layne 88, usually containers that are clear or cloudy are used so that the seedlings get light. If you are talking about the blue maxwell house or the red folgers coffee jugs with handles, I might try that too, but just be sure the seedlings get light and you can cover them (with vent holes) with a clear or cloudy plastic bag or plastic wrap for the mini greenhouse effect. These containers will probably last awhile and not deteriorate like milk jugs do. I will probably use organic salad containers and large plastic cups like from fast food places. The cups I have are tapered at bottom and I think I can squeeze the hunk of seedlings out when ready to plant. I save "wet umbrella bags" and subway sandwich bags and clear newspaper bags and these can be used to make the covers.
Laurie near Tupelo MS

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:49AM
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jimmac619(8)

I tried some of those coffee containers, too. I just cut out the middle of the top, and used the ring to hold cheap plastic wrap down. Hope it works!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 4:22PM
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MissyGA64(8 (central GA))

I have about 20 containers sitting out side. . . Sure hope they enjoyed the 7 inches of rain we've gotten in the last few days.
I also have some seeds in trays in various warm spots around the house. I am working with my brother on his first garden here in GA and he is finally warming up to the fact that we can start from seeds for less money than buying enough plants to work a garden that is going to be 20x110 feet. I am bound and determined to be right ! fingers crossed !

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 11:31PM
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MissyGA64(8 (central GA))

Layne88,

I have moon flowers in a milk jug and some under the grow light. The ones under the grow light are already about 6 inches and just beginning to get their second set of leaves. I am so excited, this year I will have white, purple and yellow moon flowers. Yeah Me LOL

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:49PM
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MissyGA64(8 (central GA))

These are two of my containers that were WS on Feb 2.

I also have 3 types of Marigolds, 2 types of bell peppers, several hot peppers and a few other types of tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, lima beans, green string beans, brussels sprouts, cauliflower . So far, everything has sprouted except the Ghost Chilis. I am giving them 2 more weeks to show signs of life before I give up. Total 35 containers

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 12:10AM
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MissyGA64(8 (central GA))

So happy to report that only 1 container left with no sprouts. That container is also the only one that got knocked over and fell off the table.

Everything else; tomatoes, peppers, Sun Flowers, Cosmos, Marigolds, cucumbers, beans and lettuce are all good size and in the ground or pots. I LOVE WINTER SOWING and am already saving containers for next year.

My final count was 59 containers, next year I hope to have that many at both my house and my brothers.

Lessons I learned - don't fuss with them
don't over plant the seeds
stop worrying- they will grow.

(In the tomato bottles, I had way too many seeds that sprouted so there were several weaklings that went to the compost pile, next year will only plant 6-8 seeds depending on the size of the container.)

Happy Gardening Everyone,

Missy

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 6:27PM
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yotetrapper(7)

I was looking for a post on winter sowing in the south and found this one. Great post! Now I'm off to get some soil to fill my pots with this winter. Guess I'll start with Perennials in January!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2014 at 8:04AM
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southerngardening24(7b)

I am also glad to have found this post. Last season was my first time winter sowing but only perennials. This time I plan on also sowing vegetables and was looking for an answer to my question when to sow these and now I know, thanks to Missy! Thank you Missy if you read this even though the post is from last year.

yotetrapper, welcome to gardenweb and winter sowing! Where are you located? I'm in upstate SC.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2014 at 10:55PM
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yotetrapper(7)

I'm in Northern MS. I've been on gardenweb for years, but just moved from IL to MS this summer. Loving life in the south.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2014 at 9:59AM
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southerngardening24(7b)

I like the southern climate as well. MS probably stays warmer than SC in the winter. Since alot of people start their winter sowing on december 21st. I've decided to do the same unless the temps don't go down by then. There is new growth on roses and the flowering almond tree. Crary weather lately. I have filled my containers with the potting mix and placed labels in them. Can't wait to sow.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2014 at 11:10PM
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lenahall(7b)

glad i found this thread.
questions...
does everyone cover their containers? seems i have seen it done both ways.
here in nw ga it was 61, supposed to be down to 9 wednesday w/ a high of 30 something... i guess it is time to plant.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2015 at 8:57PM
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lenahall(7b)

glad i found this thread.
questions...
does everyone cover their containers? seems i have seen it done both ways.
here in nw ga it was 61, supposed to be down to 9 wednesday w/ a high of 30 something... i guess it is time to plant.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2015 at 9:23PM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

yotetrapper, I'm in MS, too. Not too far from you. I've been winter sowing for a few years with outstanding results here in the south.

Katie

    Bookmark   January 4, 2015 at 11:47PM
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browneyedsusan_gw(8a)

I usually start winter sowing after Christmas and continue into January. I have only winter sown perennial seeds that need stratification. I am going to try some vegetables this year. I do not cover my containers but set them in a screened in porch. When I use lids, the seeds sometimes get covered in fungus and rot. In Birmingham, AL where I live, there are several warm days in winter but the winter sowing method works well for me.

Susan

    Bookmark   January 18, 2015 at 5:57PM
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engineeredgarden1

NW corner of Bama here (Shoals area) and I mainly WS veggies. Things started now are Early Girl, Amana Orange, and Cherokee Purple tomatoes, Jalapeno, Banana, and Bell peppers, and carrots....
I have been WSing for about 4 years, and it works great.

EG

    Bookmark   January 22, 2015 at 9:17PM
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