Best wintersowing location

puffie(6)October 30, 2011

Hi forum! This will be my first winter trying out wintersowing. I think I've got the directions down and I've saved up some suitable containment devices. I just can't figure out where I should leave the containers outside. Do I want the sunniest spot (south side of the house) or a spot that gets dappled shade...? Somewhere in between? Does it matter? I'd love to hear your experiences with container placement!

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I like sites where the containers don't get full sun at midday. What matter most in this is the depth of the soil because deeper soil retains more water than shallow soil, it won't dry out as fast. If you must place containers in full sun then have lots and lots of soil in them and keep them well watered.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 11:12AM
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Wait, you have to water them? In my part of the country, they are going to be literally frozen solid (sun or no sun) for the majority of the winter. Is that ok? Should I still try to water? I could use warm water to thaw them out, maybe.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 1:44PM
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NO, you won't need to water them until they are not frozen, and then usually not until they start growing.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 2:29PM
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If they're frozen then they're okay, I agree that they won't need water until they're thawed in spring. A good way to check for that is if you see humidity under the lid then they're good, if you don't see any sign of moisture give them a drink.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 3:38PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

What Trudi means is come spring, when there is no more snow and ice covering your containers, the soil will eventually start to dry out and you will then need to water your containers to keep the soil moist; and of course you will have to water your containers that have germinated and have seedlings growing in them.

As for location to place them. I have only one that I can use and that's right outside the back door and inside a large chain link fenced area yard.

It essentially gets full sun year round but has never in 8 years of WS presented any problems for me and I have near 100% germination every year.

I have my hose outlets there and very handy to water in the spring as needed.

You just need to have a good depth of soil in those containers, as Trudi said.

At least 3-4 inches minimum and then just adapt things for yourself and what is easy and works well for you.

Trial and error is how things work and remember this is supposed to be fun, enjoyable, get you through the cold snowy winters with something to look forward to in the spring and provide tons of seedlings for your garden beds.

If putting them in full sun is the easiest for you than do that, if it's part shade, then do that.

Just remember that where ever you are going to put your containers you will need to be able to get to that area in the winter months to put them out, even with snow and ice outside and come spring you will need to water them as the temps rise and the soil starts to get dry.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 3:47PM
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When I am sowing in the depth of winter I do it on a back south facing patio and leave the containers there. When Spring starts approaching I move the containers to the East side of the house because they require less water when they only get sun in the morning. I am lucky to have both areas available so that is what works for me.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 6:08PM
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sassybutterfly_2008(7 NorthWest GA)

I do a similar method like Joann... I start them out first on the far side of my house which is mostly midday sun and move them to a slightly shadier area once they sprout.

In fact, there's still a few leftovers from last WS'ing that I need to get planted out this week. (oops!) :)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 9:19PM
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THANK YOU so much for all the info!! My back patio is sunny in the morning, dappled shade for the rest of the day, so I guess that will work nicely.

I'm so excited already! :D

Sassybutterfly, i'm happy to hear you still have some "seedlings" to plant. I was wondering how quickly I needed to get them out of their milk-jug homes, but it sounds like they're pretty flexible!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 9:42PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Yes your patio sounds very good.

I put the seeds that are sown during the winter months on the east side of the house, under some shrubbery. They get about 2-3 hours of morning sun, get covered by snow, freeze and thaw, etc. These are seeds of hardy trees, shrubs, perennials, and a few annuals that generally need cold stratification.

The annuals, veggies, and heat lovers that don't need cold stratification are sown in early Spring, and I put them on the south side of the house along the foundation. This is warmer not only because of extra hours of sun, but because the house foundation holds heat. Frost doesn't usually touch these seedlings.

Warning - if you put containers or seedlings in a warm, sunny spot they will need to be watched closely because they can dry out quickly or fry! This doesn't happen to mine on the south side of the house because once the trees get their leaves in May, they are in partial sun.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 10:00AM
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