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Winter sowing conifers

Posted by honymand (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 24, 13 at 16:28


I just read about this winter sowing group and though - what a great idea!

I am, however, primarily interested in sowing conifers.

Now, some of you may remember that this can be quite complicated, and that's why I thought winter sowing might be worth trying.

I have three major "problems" to deal with
1) Many conifer seeds need stratification (a "cold" period) before they can be awakened from dormancy. I guess winter sowing should take care of that.
2) Many conifer seeds take a long time germinating (may be months) and during that entire period you need to make sure that the moisture level is just right - not to low and not to high. I guess sowing outdoors in general should take care of that.
3) My seedlings are commonly infected by fungi. I've got chemicals to take care of it, but they are all unpleasant and i'd rather not. Hope sowing outdoors should take care of that!

Anyone with experience in this area? Someone to tell me that this is a good idea? Or a bad idea maybe, and why?

Best regards, Hans Olav

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Winter sowing conifers

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 25, 13 at 13:50

Winter sowing 'conifers', understanding that covers many plants, generally works fine. I've sown noble fir quite successfully - should add that I pull a lot of self sown doug fir and cedar each spring so winter conditions outdoors suit them well :)

For those types seeds that may be with us several months, I usually add a layer of chick grit (fine bird gravel) to the top of the pot after sowing to prevent moss, algae, liverworts from growing on the surface.

Damping off fungi aren't an issue outdoors, only inside with reduced air movement. No fungicides required outdoors exposed to the elements.

I do sow in pots with a minimum of 5" depth to allow for early root development....

RE: Winter sowing conifers

I had some germinate for me. I found them in late summer that year.

 photo Norwayspruce.jpg


RE: Winter sowing conifers

Do tell! I've never thought about growing conifers from seed, so forgive what may be a stupid question: if you were to collect your own seed - from a cone, I assume - how do you go about that? Is there a useful site with instructions you can point me to? General rules?

RE: Winter sowing conifers

The seeds are down between the "petals" of the pine cone.

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