my winter sowing experiments!

littlemotherApril 22, 2013

Hello there! I enjoyed meeting some of you and appreciated help getting started understanding winter sowing. My daughter and I decided to jump in and try it and we are having so much fun watching them come alive. I thought some of you might enjoy reading my blog post about our experiment with winter sowing. I started a blog so I could journal my adventures learning about country life, so it's nothing fancy, just fun. :) Here is the link - please leave a comment if you visit!

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Nice blog. Glad you were able to retrieve your plant names. I like your use of popsicle sticks for labels. I think after reading your post, I'll use pencils to write with, too.. This is fun, isn't it?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:25PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

I found your blog very interesting and must congratulate you on your sucess: lots of beautiful looking seedlings. I am surprised that your containers have their tops off already, but I guess you are in a quite southern part of the country. You expressed what I consider challenges which every new WS'er encounters: labels, pens, and records. I, too started with popsicle sticks as labels but found that they will soon rot and also grow fungus. There are very few pens, including the permanent sharpies which work well, and of course records are a must. Over the years I have had to address all these problems, and I thought I would share my experience with you. Firstly, I keep fairly detailed records of what I sow: date, name & origin, and track germination, plant out, and flower/fruit dates. This is written in a log, but it can be done on a computer. I prefer a paper log which I can refer to at will and which I can take outdoors to update as I go. For labels, many on this forum use discarded mini-blinds cut into suitable lengths. I fashion labels out of empty detergent/water softerner containers. As far as pens go, I have discovered a pen at Lee Valley which does not fade in sun, sleet, snow, and writes on everything. I germinate on coffee filters and I use them to write on the filters and it never smudges. I re-cycle my labels year after year. Nail polish remover can be used if you need to erase the name. I am sure if you peruse this forum, you'll find many other ways WS'ers use to make their experience less stressful, and you may choose to adopt some of them.

You have made an excellent start. Good luck with your garden, and have a happy summer.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 12:35AM
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cd you say more about germinating in coffee filters?

do you then put the coffee filter in the dirt?


    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 6:48AM
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Very nice pictures! You are growing some interesting plants.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 10:59PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Sorry, Ellen, I didn't make myself clear. I germinate on coffee filters when they are seed for my indoor seed starting and growing under lights. I have a very impatient nature and can't stand the waiting to see if anything's coming up, so I make sure there's a good root and that the seed coat is off and then I pot up. In addition, I have limited room and can't afford to waste space hoping the seeds germinate. In that way, everything I pot up grows. Sometimes the root gets intertwined in the filter, in which case, I do put that part of the coffee filter in the dirt. It's amazing how nature keeps them reaching for the light.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:40AM
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Thank you for your suggestions on avoiding common pitfalls in the future! Even with all of the little frustrations of learning by doing it wrong the first time, it has still been tremendously rewarding experimenting with winter sowing and I hope to learn new things each year!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 10:38PM
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