WS vs indoor

ellenrr(7a)April 23, 2013

I saw some sprouts this week-end which were so lanky, poor things, as they strive for sunlight.
WS sprouts are so different! So hardy and bushy. Why would anyone do it any other way? :)

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Well, with tomatoes and peppers you get a head start over winter sowing. I have tried WS tomatoes and peppers several times and had to wait until Sept to get produce. But, for anything else, WS is the way to go.

Plus, you don't get to visit with fungus knats.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 9:50AM
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While I wintersow almost everything else, tomatoes and peppers just don't have a long enough growing season in our short summer, cloudy weather climate so I've found I have to germinate them on a heat mat, no artificial lighting, and transplant them to pots in the cold frame very early. They are still very hardy, and in the cool cold frame don't get leggy like they do under lights with heat.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 1:29PM
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silverkelt(Z5b/Southern Maine)

There is a place for both of them. I wouldn't discourage anyone from doing either.

Im a huge proponent of wintersowing for most items, but sometimes you need a longer growing season, or want to start things much earlier then wintersowing can allow.

Daylily seedlings under lights..

Ive done petunias, toms, peppers inside in the past, you can wintersow petunias, but they wont bloom till mid july, Ive done it both ways really, so not big deal to me.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 8:02PM
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Me too. Started the tomatoes inside 3 weeks ago. Ain't no way to have a castor bean plant worth looking at without starting it indoors. I'm in southern Ontario.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 9:54PM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

I do both. Wanted to try the walls o'water this year so I started three tomatoes inside. They've been in the ground for a few weeks now while my ws ones still haven't formed a true set of leaves. Also did some lisanthius inside. Three sprouted weeks and weeks ago and are still so tiny.

Overall, I do more ws, but there are things that need a longer growing season.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 7:12AM
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I did not mean to disparage indoor-sowing. :)

I was comparing the same plant grown by both methods.
I'm sure there's good reason to indoor sow.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 7:43AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

When you're this far north if you want tomatoes and peppers you have to start them indoors. I start my peppers in March and my tomatoes in April. I do not have leggy indoor seedlings because I have adjustable lights and they are never more than 2 inches above the seedlings. It also helps to use a hydroponic light rather than the regular flourescent tubes. I also fashion tin foil 'shades' around the tubes to reflect the light back on the seedlings. It's a lot of finnicky work, but worth the time.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:56AM
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I think it depends in part on where you live. I don't want the mess & electricity bill of inside-sowns, so everybody gets thrown onto the deck. My tomatoes and peppers always come up well and do catch up to my neighbor's nursery-growns (though I've no inside-sowns to compare to).

For me at least it's okay even if mine never do catch up. There's only two of us eating, I'm always anonymously leaving tomatoes on the neighbors' porches (as if they don't know who is responsible...ha!), and I'm still canning like a drone by the end of the season! ;) WS is the way to go for me, I love it.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 2:21PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Most years wintersowing works great for me. This year the weather has just been too cold and cloudy. Only 2 of my tomato seeds have sprouted, and they're still at cotyledon stage. I'm going to have to buy tomato plants this year.

My indoor seeds don't lack light either. They grow under t5 lights, and do great. Indoor seedlings do bloom much sooner. I wish I would have sown my maters under lights this year :-(

Honestly, I'm so disappointed in the tomatoes, I don't think I'll ever wintersow them again.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 6:03PM
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I love to do both!
It's nice to have indoor seedlings to visit with while still waiting for winter sown sprouts.
I have a five shelf wire rack with two four foot T8 bulbs per shelf, and then hang those survival blankets around them to reflect the light.
I've got some amazing looking indoor seedlings, while half my winter sown stuff has not even sprouted yet.

This year I started Blue Horizon ageratum and Blue Bedder salvia both indoors and out. The indoor ageratum and salvia is going gangbusters, but the winter sown salvia still has it's first leaves, and the ageratum hasn't sprouted at all.

I thought it was an interesting comparison.

I'll never stop winter sowing, but I really enjoy my indoor sprouts, too.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 6:33PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

We know you weren't disparaging indoor sowing. I was going to be the first responder, but when I'd written my note it sounded like I was scolding you or being condescending, when I was really just pointing out the same issues everyone else has brought up. We are so happy that you are as excited as we are with our sprouts. But, the waiting for those of us in colder climates does get frustrating at times. Happy growing.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 6:23AM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

Karen, I'm having the same problem with my tomatoes -- only the cherokee purples have grown true leaves so far. I'm thinking I'll have to buy also for the first time in years. Maybe I should have kept the jugs closed longer, but a few really warm days early made me take the tops off and now they're just stagnant. I've started prying open the cotyledons and some now seem to be forming leaves. But it might be too late -- I usually have them in the ground by this weekend. We've had colder winters where they did just fine, too, so I'm baffled.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 6:41AM
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I do both, there are some seeds that I WS all the way but with some annuals if I want blooms in the summer then I start them indoors. It also prevents me from going nuts during the winter months.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 5:59AM
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