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Disaster weather

December 28, 2015

i am located in North Georgia. I winter sowed a week after thanksgiving... It's late December and we've got 70 degree weather! My seeds are germinating! How do I keep this being a total failure? It'll be below 30 degrees in a week.

Comments (7)
  • mnwsgal

    How much below 30 and how long? I don't know your winter weather and perhaps someone in your zone will respond. I know that our spring days are often below freezing, especially nights, and that early seedlings survive and continue to grow while protected by their containers. You could move them into a building for protection but that defeats the goal of easy growing seedlings via winter sowing. Still, some don't want to take the chance that those early seedlings will die. If you have more seeds of kind you might leave the containers out and sow again later if the seedlings do not survive.

    Part of the winter sowing experience is finding out what works best for your microclimate. Some in warm climates wait to sow later to prevent just such a situation. Now you will find out if that will include you. Good luck.

    tlevins02 thanked mnwsgal
  • texasranger2

    The main purpose of winter sowing seeds is to give those seeds needing stratification a required cold period required to break dormancy. Many seeds have this as a 'safety' device to prevent early germination.

    Seeds that require only warm moist conditions will germinate when its warm so those should not be sowed outdoors until later winter or early spring, especially if they are tender plants. You have seeds coming up that obviously do not require stratification and its possible you sowed them too early for southern zones. Unless you want to bring them indoors and then out again all winter, I'd suggest resowing any seeds that don't make it outdoors later on, time will tell if they make it outdoors or not.

    I direct sow hardy native annual and perennial seeds in fall. These are cold hardy plants that germinate naturally in fall, some germinate best in cool temperatures and won't germinate if its too warm. They spend winter as small green plants and are ready to take off in spring in nature. Tender plants are a different matter. These plants will not survive cold but you don't indicate what kinds you sowed.

    tlevins02 thanked texasranger2
  • Lena Hall

    tlevins02, i'm in dalton, ga and i feel ya!! what all have you planted and what has already sprouted?
    txranger2, we have had a ridiculous late fall and early winter. started off with a moderate freeze and chilly temps, i would chance that our first frost was actually earlier than normal.... THEN the 2-3 wks of record setting warmth. sigh, those easily persuaded to break dormancy, did/have, and with gusto!!

    where i am, the highs will be in the mid 40s, lows in mid/upper 20s til wed, then back above freezing(lows) until next sunday, then back below... it is literally up and down, up and down. january is 'supposed' to be mildish, then feb is 'supposed' to be terribly cold. but really, who knows!

    i usually start my winter sowing in late jan/early feb. but am not sure what to do this year w/ the changing weather pattern!

    tlevins02 thanked Lena Hall
  • tlevins02

    Lena Hall, I'm glad I'm not alone in this. I've got swamp hibiscus, two geum varieties, and milkweed. I will no longer winter sow anything till January, at the earliest. Everything that has sprouted is indoors now, beneath clear tubs. I'll probably end up killing them... But there's always next time.

  • Lena Hall

    oooh, i have some swamp hibiscus seeds to plant... so they sprout easily/quickly... good to know :)
    i found my notebook from last yr (my first yr) i started feb 4th... i definitely need to get my work station built!! out in the cold, working on my tailgate and a 2x4 across a barrel just aren't the best!!

  • tlevins02

    My husband built me a simple cold frame out of PVC pipe and painters plastic. It was terribly simple. Lena Hall, I was under the assumption that beginning stratification in February would give the plants enough time. Did your seeds turn out well? BTW, the swamp hibiscus is ridiculously easy and grows quickly. You'll be pleased!

  • Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7b

    I think the swamp hibiscus and milkweed may be ok. I am in NC zone 7b, and it can be interesting. I learned that hard way to not sow until late December or early January, when temps are down for good. Of course, we have lots of swings and things germinating early. Lol It takes experience to know what works for your zone...just try to keep extra seeds in case of early sprouting/dying.

    tlevins02 thanked Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7b

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