Saturday, March 15, 2008

Project Winter Sow 2008

This is my second year of winter sowing....and I'm afraid I'm hooked! What a great way to get LOTS of plants, for not a lot of money. Especially since many of my seeds come from trades. I love trading seeds on Gardenweb.....but that will have to be another post. :-)


You can see my winter sowing containers lined up here on one of my raised garden beds, which is covered with a mulch of leaves. Last year I kept my winter sown containers behind the house on my picnic table, but this seems a more practical setup. It is closer to water and to the greenhouse where I work most days in the spring, enabling me to keep a closer eye on the containers in case they need venting or watering. Since I took this photo last week, I have added several more jugs, bringing this years count to 64. Last year I had 80+, and had so many plants I had to give them away to friends and neighbors! I planted fewer seeds in each container this time around....now that I have faith this method does work and those seeds will sprout. Another thing I did differently this year was to note the height of each plant on the marker I include in each container, as well as whether the plant likes sun/shade, etc. This saves me time when planting out...especially for those new seed varieties I try each year.




Besides the one gallon milk jugs I use for winter sowing, I use a lot of these clear plastic containers that we buy Organic Mixed Greens in, from Costco. I put vents in the lids and they work very well. I use these a lot for poppies, larkspur, bachelor buttons, calendulas and other favorite hardy annuals, which I sow in quantity. (The sowing surface area in these is roughly double that of the gallon milk jugs). Shown above is 2 of the lettuces I sowed and set out on Feb. 12th. They were up and growing by Feb. 22....some of the first to sprout!




A close up of little lettuce plants....this variety is Italienischer, from seeds shared by my friend Catherine last year. (Thanks, Cat!) It grows huge, to 18 inches and is great tasting. The other variety is an old favorite, Green Ice which I grow for it's tenderness and sweetness. These will be soon transplanted to the garden to grow on.

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If you haven't tried Winter sowing and would like more information:

www.wintersown.org


16 comments:

Me said...

Oh! I was so gung-ho last fall then in November I had my first RA attack. Since then, I've been trying to listen to my body and not work so hard.

Sometimes it means balancing out things and I thought I would put off trying winter sowing this year. Now I think I want to try it. Maybe the annuals for the front of the house....

lintys said...

What a beautiful setting where you live. And so nice to have a greenhouse. I hope to have one someday.

Curtis said...

What a nice setup for your winter sown jugs. And the greenhouse makes a nice backdrop.

Melanie said...

Connie, the winter sowing is fascinating. I'm going to keep track of your progress and I think I'll have to try it next year.

Leslie said...

I enjoy reading the winter sowing posts I've come across...it's not something we can do here so it's all new to me!

Owin & Irena said...

that is an impressive operation in an even more impressive setting. you are obviously going to have tons of plants...your greenhouse with the mountains in the background is just awesome.
cheers
irena

Kim and Victoria said...

I haven't tried winter sowing yet. Thanks for the info!

Naturegirl said...

Great idea using the plastic containers! love your greenhouse and the mountains in behind!!
on vacation in Arizona NG I'm also listed on Garden Web..nice to meet you!

Di DeCaire said...

Your hilly setting with greenhouse is enchanting.

Randy and Jamie said...

What a fantastic greenhouse! I want one so badly, but we simply don't have anywhere to put it.

kate said...

This was a good read - I had no idea that you wintersowed so many containers. I like your greenhouse setup and the beautiful landscape around it!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

It looks like you have discovered the joy of sowing! It's nice to do, isn't it and you feel so proud when the seedlings come up. And it saves you buckets of money too, which is also a good thing.

Lovely greenhouse and view!

Happy Easter Connie!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Great post. I found your blog on blotanical. Welcome and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.~~Dee

Shady Gardener said...

This coming winter, for sure, I'm going to try some Winter Sowing (but not eliminating my Winter Sewing!)ha.

Anyway, it might be hard to get to work if I saw that gorgeous sight every time I stepped out my door!
You are so fortunate to have that great greenhouse! :-) (Does it make you more conscientious about your gardening activities?)

larypmail said...

I'm trying to get some seeds of Italienischer lettuce. Can you help? I don't want to pay twice what a packet of seed would cost in shipping and handling fees from a commercial compay. I can trade seeds or tubers or garlic/shallotts, or I can send cash or a check but I need them soon. Thanks, Lary S. larypmail@earthlink.net put attn: lettuce as subject Thanks.

Priscilla said...

I love your garden, it inspires me! Awesome to find fellow Christians who enjoy gardening. Thanks for the tray idea. I decided to try a larger garden bowl planter for my leaf lettuce. My romaine lettuce is doing well but the leaf lettuce didn't quite germinate so well in the small peat cells. I'm new to gardening from seeds! I'm from CA living in the mountains growing organic veggies & flowers indoor under my T5 grow light. You live in a beautiful place, great greenhouse too!