Seven Containers Already Prepped!

moonwolf_gwOctober 21, 2011

Hi everyone,

The seven plastic bottles/jugs that I have stashed for my winter sowing I prepped today! Labels and all! Here's what will be planted into them:

Joe Pye Weed

Gaillardia "Arizona Sun"

Blue Vervain

Verbena bonariensis

Echinacea purpurea "Ruby Star"

Swamp Milkweed

Blackberry Lily

lol Yes I know I'm waaaay early with this but something inside of me just wanted to prep my containers. Hmm, is it a sign from Mother Nature?

Brad AKA Moonwolf

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OMG Brad I was thinking of doing this, this week. I guess I'm not the only mad wintersower!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 10:03PM
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lol I thought I would be the only one too! I say go for it! How many containers do you have saved?

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 11:25PM
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sassybutterfly_2008(7 NorthWest GA)

I'm going to be starting the prep work this weekend too.. hopefully it will make the process move along much more smoothly this year!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 11:59PM
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Good for you, Brad! I've got 100+ milk jugs piled inside the garage waiting to be prepped. I was eying them yesterday thinking about starting to poke holes in the bottoms. Still have 50+ WS perennials to get in the ground altho' I made some progress the past couple days on that score. It's much easier to dig holes & plant things when there are no mosquitoes buzzing & biting!

Mostly I'm harvesting and cleaning seed lately. My neighbor invited me to come & take the seedheads from her Echinacea so I've got several paper platters spread with seeds/chaff drying on storage racks in the garage.

I finally got all the milk jugs out of my car and inside the garage. The birdbaths are scrubbed clean, the seed feeders are full and I hung up fresh suet yesterday. Even when the birdbaths were still full of fallen leaves and icy cold water, I saw the bluejays hop in and splash around several times the past couple of weeks!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 5:46AM
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I have about ten or so stashed, and still collecting.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 6:11AM
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Maggie M.(z7 Sunset7 CA Sierra Foothills)

Well, I've got ten lined up - milk cartons only so, like gardenweed, I can let them grow on given it's larger size if I don't get to them right away.

Brad - I got to the post office Saturday (living out in the mountains, it's only open 9:30 to 4:30 Mon to Fri, kinda hard on working folks as it also doesn't have a stamp or package mailing machine in the lobby, but I digress ..).

With the seed I sent, you'll probably have enough to share but please don't trade the seed I mentioned was older (assorted morning glory, hollyhock mixed pastels, cosmos Sensation or nicotiana sylvestris) without letting folks know. It will germinate, but the fresh seed will give you a much higher germination rate per seed.

If the soil in the area you are planting is at all decent, I'd just direct sow the morning glory (whole packet - remember, one for the worm, two for the birds, one to grow or something like that).

Here is a link that might be useful: my blog

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 12:28PM
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Eileen, wow! You'll have another busy winter sowing all those jugs! I don't have a set number of jugs that I'm going to plant but if I reach or pass last year's number (75) I'll be happy :).

Gardenunusual, I'm still collecting too. Like I said to gardenweed, who knows how much I'll plant this year lol.

Faerygardener, thanks for letting me know! I'll let you know when I get them! Some seeds I do direct sow like the morning glories, but it's fun just to direct sow too!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 2:24PM
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I hate to admit but I have garbage bags full of cleaned milk jugs and soda bottles in the garage. DH had to move them to get to some tools the other day and he gave me a sideways glance but didnt say anything. I ducked my head a bit but I'm glad I have a head start on it. Last year was my first WSing and I had to scrounge for containers. This year I can be choosy :)

Brad, I'm not as organized as labeling done yet but I have mini blinds cut :)

I didnt do very well collecting flower seeds but did quite a lot of veggie seeds.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 11:31PM
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Oops! I meant to say that I labeled the outside of the bottles! I don't have any labels to stick in them when they're planted up. If anyone does have any extra labels, let me know!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 12:04AM
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Prepping containers is on my list of thing to do in the next few weeks. My garage is not heated, and the light fixture is broken (which is why the garage is being replaced - if we ever get through the permitting process). I can't imagine standing out there, freezing in the dark, trying to put frozen soil into containers. And I just don't want to bring bags of potting soil into my kitchen. So I plan on filling all my containers. Then at my leisure, I can bring containers into the basement to "thaw", plant some seeds, then bring them out to my patio. Hopefully this will ease the process.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 10:25AM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Pixie Lou..I ran into a similar problem my first year of wintersowing. I went down to K-mart and bought two large tubs, one for mulch and one for potting mix. Also bought some Homer 5 gal. buckets with lids from Home Depot. It makes it a lot easier to haul in 5 gal. of potting mix than 40 lb. bags. I have some WW large measuring spoons that I use to dip up my potting mix into milk jugs.

For those of you that are preparing your milk jugs now, are you putting in the potting mix? Seeds?

Dec.21 Soltice Day will be here before you know it, but I don't start planting until about 10th. or 18th. of Jan. but the idea of getting as much done ahead of time is not a bad idea.

Brad, go to wal-mart and buy a small mini-blind and cut that down for your plant markers for inside or buy an old blind from a thrift store. That's what I did last year or year before last I guess. I got a brand new blind at thrift store still in the orginal package for only $3. It doesn't matter what color it is. You can cut those mini-blinds with a pr. of regular scissors. Piece of cake!

If you have room to store your potting mix now, I'd advise you to buy it because you won't be able to find any in the stores until mid Jan. HD or Lowe's if they have it, it'll probably be sitting in the yard frozen. It's heavy to lift when it's not frozen, but even heavier when frozen. Been there, done that! It took 2 days for it to thaw out in my unheated garage.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 7:33PM
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Wow...You all ahead of me. I need to prep them. I am writing down a list of what seeds are going to be the first to be sowed.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 8:16PM
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Pippi, thank you! I'll ask mom if I can get a set of mini blinds next time we go to Wal-Mart. My containers do not have seeds or soil in them yet, but I think

Ladyrose, winter sowing is an ongoing process for me. Writing out my wish list and prepping my containers as I get them is what I'm planning on right now. Then, at the end of the month, I'll get the blinds and start to stock up on soil.

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 9:28AM
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Maggie M.(z7 Sunset7 CA Sierra Foothills)

Brad - if you're mom is uncomfortable dealing with mini blinds, by the seeds at Walmart you can pick up their plant labels for around 2 bucks. Mine last years.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 12:08PM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

I'm going to try to WS my purple beautyberry and sycamore tree seeds this evening. I've read the beautyberry like a warm spell, then cold, then warm agagin to sprout.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 12:21PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I actually ws'ed Echinaceas last year in Oct/Nov and they came up great in the spring. An expert and lovely lady from the forums told me that some seeds actually benefit from a warmer period BEFORE the cold stratification process (indoors), so I imagine that is why they did so well wsing them early. In nature many plants will have several weeks, if not months, of being in the warm ground before the cold hits. If your seed is like that I say go for it!

Right now I have a few ws jugs from last year that didn't germ (might next year though) sitting in the empty veg bed, along with some fresh seeds I sowed in larger pots over summer and fall.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 1:57PM
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Heads up to the WS faithful--mark your calendars: Winter Solstice doesn't fall on December 21 this year--it falls on December 22.

Oh yeah - just 58 days to go.

Here is a link that might be useful: December 22, 2011 is the Winter Solstice

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 2:32PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Way to go, gardenweed! As you point out Winter Solstice = Dec 22, 2011.

Our count for Zone Wars begins on Winter Solstice. If we wanted to be petty and nasty we would not count jugs sown Dec 21, 2011 because it is not yet Winter Solstice. But I suggest that jugs sown inadvertently on Dec 21 be counted anyway.

Since Winter Solstice is usually Dec 21 someone might sow 50 jugs on that date thinking that they would count.

Let us make a joyous noise and celebrate. Being petty and overly exact will not really be helpful to anyone. It's a celebration. IMHO we can just celebrate for 2 days, be grateful for every jug and just go ahead and count it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Calendar of Equinox

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 9:32AM
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Thank you, gardenweed and river!

River, that doesn't sound like a bad idea to me! I get so hyped up about winter sowing and my friends, etc., enjoy getting plants from me. I agree that it's a joyous time for us gardeners :).

I prepared another container today (this one is for some Doronicum "Little Leo" seeds I got awhile back)) and hopefully I can get another bag of potting soil soon so I can be all set!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 2:31PM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

Wow! I'm impressed with all of you. WS must be amazing.
Without being too forward, let me whisper in your ear that you're allowed to grieve, too. Our babies are dying, some of them only sleeping. It's not easy to watch as fall moves in, then winter. It's the cycle, seasons, way of life...but it's still hard. Allow yourself a tear or two and don't stuff all those feelings down or build a wall around your heart. You're too precious for that.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 10:21PM
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