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where to put WS containers in zone 3?

December 31, 2015

I have successfully done WS in an easier zone (5b-6a) in Maryland but have moved to Wyoming (Jackson Hole). This year I have gathered/bought a lot of wildflower seeds native to the area and I intend to winter sow them, with the intent of planting "clump-of-seedlings" method. This is a high altitude (6800 ft), dry atmosphere

I need some guidance from experienced WScold on where to put the containers. I have the containers prepared in my garage, about 48 deg F. (In the middle of the yard right now it's getting down to -15F).

I'm thinking that after I sow them to move close to the garage door, about 38F for a week, then outside the garage (maybe 20F?) for a while, then out into the real world.

How to pick the best spot? gets snow? gets sun/shade? out of wind? will they need watering?

Any thoughts/suggestions welcome--I have plenty of seeds & containers so will try to keep track of exact conditions. Thanks!


Comments (3)

  • bellarosa


    I WS using milk jugs that I place on our deck, which faces East. It makes it easier to water them during a dry spell. They are exposed to full sun in the Winter time, strong winds and of course, heavy snowfall. Once it gets warmer, I move them to our small greenhouse. This method has worked well for me.

  • mnwsgal

    I have sown hardy seeds and placed the containers outside shortly afterwards even in way below zero temperatures. They don't need a period of getting used to the cold. Sow and put them out! (Tender annuals wait for warmer temps, March/April here.) Native wildflowers self sow and go through the low temps.

    The best spot is out of the wind to keep containers from blowing over or blowing away. The pots need moisture, snow or rain for seeds to germinate. Even so they need to be checked because they may dry out if there isn't enough rain/snow or the temps dry the mix. Bottom watering will be needed then. Use your previous experiences to guide you and check more often as dry atmosphere will mean mix dries out quicker. With higher altitude temps may be cooler but sun may be more intense. Most of my containers get half day sun, some on east side of patio and some on the west side. They do fine. Experiment and see what works best for you. Sounds like a fun project.

    Laurel thanked mnwsgal
  • prairiemoon2 z6 MA

    I've always put my containers in half sun, but this year, I'm wondering if putting them in full sun will work better. Has anyone tried both? Just wondering if it makes any difference as far as amount of germination, earliness of germination and rate of growth once they've sprouted?

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