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Some things are better left to mother nature.

Posted by ponyexpress_1 6a Lancaster NY (My Page) on
Sat, May 18, 13 at 19:38

I love winter sowing, don't get me wrong. I just think some things turn out better with different methods. It is hands down the best way to start perennials.... Definitely. Even some of those though would do better in the house or later in the year like Dianthus. Some annuals are better left to self seed in my opinion. For example, the petunias that have self sowed for quite a few years now in my pots are much bigger than what I see in the jugs. Same goes for snapdragon and nicotiana. The winter sown snapdragons are still puney tiny nothings. They don't even have their second leaves! The ones that self sowed in an uncovered pot, are three times the size at least. I know someone asked about things not considered for winter sowing. I would say go ahead and winter sow the petunias and snapdragons and nicotianas, just do it in an uncovered pot and transfer them later. At least in my zone 6 and warmer. At least for the last few years. Maybe do a small amount as insurance for extreme weather. I have had no problems for 5 or 6 years though. JMO


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Some things are better left to mother nature.

Ive grown petunias for years and never had them self seed, I usually wintersow those, as well snaps when I do them...

However, I direct sow many my cosmos every year, never bothered with wintersowing those.


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RE: Some things are better left to mother nature.

I agree with the snapdragons, they are very thin and fragile from WSing. This year I used 'Azomite' in my potting soil. I got low germination but the plants are very healthy looking. I also noticed that you have to becareful with greenhouse flower too, the also come out fragile. But I keep trying. I luv WSing.


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RE: Some things are better left to mother nature.

My petunias don't really re-seed themselves and I only get the occasional volunteer, usually far away from the original plant. That said, the celosia I had in pots on my patio seems to have resown itself tremendously (and I don't want it this year, lol). I used walls o'water for three tomatoes this year and had a # of volunteers in the places I put the walls. It was apparently much warmer there than in my jugs where the tomatoes didn't do so well this year.


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RE: Some things are better left to mother nature.

For me letting Larkspur, Nigella and Poppy do their own thing produces healthier, robust plants....I never had good results sowing them. I just let them re-seed or broadcast seed in fall for spring/summer blooming.
Last October I both wintersowed and broadcast two different Columbine at the same time and the ones I broadcasted are anywhere between 2" and 8" high.....while the ones in the containers are inky dinky seed-leaf stage! I've been digging these up and transplanting quite a few of these to other spots within the garden :)


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RE: Some things are better left to mother nature.

I totally agree that wintersowing is the BEST hands down for perennials. With some annuals it is a different story. I haven't been able to have larkspur work at all with wintersowing. Last year they sprouted & I put them in the ground but they remained teeny tiny. They even bloomed while VERY small-my California Poppy were bigger than them. This year not even one sprout!

The others I have trouble with wintersowning are corn poppies and peony poppies. Transplanting them is brutal. I make sure to plant when very small but they end up dying anyways. I am definitely going to try direct autumn sowing them and see if that works for me. But I will still try wintersowing them because others have success and I don't like to give up!

Then again for some annuals like California Poppy, Cornflowers, Balsam, Zinnia, Cosmos, Scabiosa I have no trouble. I haven't even needed to wintersow cornflowers or California poppies since the first time I wintersowed because they reseed for me every year! Along with corncockle.

Just like every other gardening technique there is alot of trial & error with whatever type of sowing you do.

This post was edited by ladygladys on Tue, Jun 4, 13 at 0:14


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