What about this wind!?

sissyz(Z5 NorthIL)December 26, 2011

Hello! I have wintersown before and now that my youngest is a senior in high school, I have the time to get back to it. I'm excited!

But I have the same issue that put me off last time-the wind is constant out here! I live in a rural area and the wind never stops! I've lost more than a few milk jugs in the wind.

It gets so discouraging!

Do any of you have the wind issue? How do you deal with it?

I look forward to hearing your experiences!

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Could it be as easy as weighing the bottom with some rocks or gravel? I am just starting winter-sowing this year and was wondering the same about the wind, and all I came up with was rocks!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 2:42PM
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sissyz(Z5 NorthIL)

I don't know what sort of container to use, if I need to keep rocks in the bottom. I don't know if Winter Sowing is for me, I've read the FAQs and I couldn't find anything! I mean, even today, the wind is gusting to 30mph. Rarely do I see a day out here where the wind is calm!
I will watch to see how you handle it! I hope you post your results!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 2:47PM
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sissyz & inchworm - there are lots of folks on this forum who have wind to contend with. I have a breezeway between my house and garage that's the ideal place for my WS pot ghetto. The wind screams through there hard enough to send the harbor buoy windchime clanging so loud it could wake the dead. There are all sorts of ways to keep the jugs from blowing away. I push patio blocks or bricks up againt the outside row of milk jugs and at the end of the outside row. Another way to keep them where you put them is to use plastic crates to hold a half dozen jugs and use that to brace the others. Landscape timbers also work. Running the long handle of a bamboo stake or hoe through the jug handles will anchor them. Pictures of your pot ghetto will help folks come up with other ideas.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 4:06PM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

Gardenweed, that is amazing! Like a little army!

To sissyz...If I had the space, I'd build some permanent stone/brick walls for my garden. Would cut wind, and be beneficial in so many ways...

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 5:26PM
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I got carried away (read: newbie) the first year and WS close to 500 milk jugs. Last year I wrestled that number down to 300. Hoping to bring it down under 200 this year but only if I run out of the seeds I really want to grow more of like...

...Stoke's aster, lavender, persicaria
...cardinal flower for the hummingbirds
...penstemon, crocosmia & turtlehead for the bees
...columbine, toad lily & Jacob's ladder to light up my shade bed in the spring
...hardy geranium/cranesbill to line my stone walkways, and
...catananche/Cupid's dart just because it's SO darn pretty.

t-bird - I shot that picture after the 8 ft. of snow we got last winter melted. I wasn't sure what I'd find once the snow was gone since I didn't know what would happen to the jugs with so much weight on them. In the end, only two jugs were crushed...and one of them sprouted.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 5:51PM
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sissyz(Z5 NorthIL)

@gardenweed- oh my. Oh my. How in the world did you save all those jugs? How many plants did you get out of one jug, do you think???

@t-bird- got the room, have you priced a stone wall on 5 acres recently? $$$$ is what I don't have!! To cut down on the wind out here, I've planted wind rows, but it will be years before they are effective.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 6:01PM
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sissyz - I didn't lose any plants or any jugs due to the snow except the two I referenced above. If you're wondering how many plants I got from a single jug, check out the thread I posted for Christmas (see below link).

Remember...Mother Nature has kept the planet green with thousands of plants growing in arctic to tropical conditions for millions of years. All we do as winter sowers is pick up the seeds and grow them in containers that protect them from critters, wind, rain, snow & alternating freeze/thaw cycles. The seeds already have it in them to do the job.

All we do is say a prayer and give them a push on their first two-wheeled bike.

Here is a link that might be useful: Merry Christmas - eye candy for newbies

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 6:41PM
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sissyz(Z5 NorthIL)

gardenweed- I meant, how did you gather all those milk jugs?? Do you save them all summer long?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 7:01PM
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sissyz - I work in an office building where there's a Starbuck's kiosk. The barista saves the milk jugs for me--she empties about six a day--and I give her plants when they're big enough to transplant. Everyone's happy and there are fewer plastic milk jugs in the landfill until they've been re-purposed.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 2:46AM
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I also have constant wind, as I live on the coast.

I tie 4 jugs together by their handles, using regular jute garden twine. Just group them together with all 4 handles pointing in, and tie with a short length. It works perfectly.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 6:33AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

good idea donn....

sissyz - it wouldn't have to be huge, if you started with just landscaping block 10 foot long and 2-3 feet high it would help, but it sounds like you have that in the works with your plantings....

In the meantimes, I would try to position them on the south side of a building - house, garage, whatnot. Tie several together as mentioned - and maybe put a few extra inches of dirt in them just for the weight......

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 8:56AM
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The wind blows at my home about 10 months out of the year. Last year I tied all of the milk jugs together and then fastened them to the cyclone fence. There was nothing that was going to move those. I had over 400 jugs planted and didn't loose any to the wind.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 10:47AM
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molanic(Zone 5 IL)

If you use large containers they are pretty hefty with the moistened mix. Using containers with handles lets you easily tie them together or to a fence to lock them in place. Just wedging them tightly together and placing a few bricks or rocks strategically helps a lot. Don't use container with flimsy lids that can lift off.

Most importantly I think is to keep them on the ground. One year I put some on a wire shelving system to save space. They were heavy and wedged in tight I thought. A good gust of wind blew a few off. When they get knocked over from a height you are way more likely to have the potting mix get all mixed up and fall out. If they tip over on the ground it is not as big of a deal.

I wouldn't add any rock inside the containers as I have read that can negatively impact the drainage.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 11:38AM
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tomva(7-central virginia)

I use a plastic shelving unit,turned on it's side to keep them all bunched together.It has worked well for me. Late winter I usually cover it with plastic with slits in the plastic to let water in and heat out.That way I can start my veggies and annuals in styrofoam cups that I like to use

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 12:12PM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

nice setup tomva!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 1:54PM
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The wind is here now. It put a damper on my WSing. I got 7 jugs completed today.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 8:25PM
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sissyz(Z5 NorthIL)

Those are fantastic ideas! I do not have a fence, no fences allowed in this subdivision, but I can tie 3 or 4 together with twine! Thank you, all for your advice!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 10:33PM
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Just had an idea...what about wooden palettes? My husband has access to many, and I have been wanting to use some for raised bed gardens this year. Anyway, I wonder if the milk cartons could fit inside the slats...or maybe the 2 liter soda bottles I have saved. That would probably keep them from blowing around.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2011 at 10:07AM
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