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Notes from 2018

My first try at wintersowing went *really* well--I wanted to share some of what I learned...

Wintersowing 2018:

Notes:

Jugs dried out & blew over in the wind. I needed a quick & easy way to get into the jugs for watering & a way to stabilize them. This year I'm tying 4 jugs together by the handles with old nylons--no blow-overs so far. I'm also "buttoning" jugs shut with a loop of yarn that's fastened to the top of the planted base & looped over the mouth of the jug. LOVE it!


Planting in little newspaper pots within jugs did not work well--they dried out too fast.

I did bring seedlings in when it got very cold (20's or below overnight) after being very warm.

Most of my problems were due to not having garden beds ready in time for transplanting & not knowing just how harsh some of my microclimates were going to be.

Wintersown:

4 O'Clocks

alyssum--major flower power!

Asters, Powderpuff mix, did well

baby's breath, transplanted late, got crowded out

bachelor buttons, blue, did ok

Bellflower, creeping, didn't get transplanted

calamint, Marvelette white, did very well

calendula, did very well

California bluebells, tuckered out after transplant along the hot retaining wall, but they were gorgeous!

Catchfly--tuckered out after transplant along the hot retaining wall

Candytuft mixed colors (annual), ended up being all white & reseeding

cauliflower--transplanted late, grew well, but no heads

chamomile, German, did very well

chard (Fordhook Giant), did well

chives, garlic, I got a few (jug got dumped)

cilantro--didn't survive transplant (which was late)

Convovulus, tuckered out after transplant along the hot retaining wall

Cosmos, did very well

Delphinuim grandiflorum, (Botanical Interests), transplanted late, survived

Echinacea--didn't grow--seed was too old

Feverfew, didn't grow, old seed

Godetia--I've never had success with this before, but these were AMAZING & this was OLD seed!

Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach), did well

Hernaria glabra, groundcover, did well, transplanted late

hollyhocks, did well

kale, Russian Red, did well

lavender, did well

Lemon balm, did very well (direct-seeding would've been fine too)

lettuce, Joker, did well

Lupine, Pixie delights, tuckered out in the heat after transplanting

Marguerite--didn't grow--seed was too old

Marigolds: Crackerjack mixed colors, African, Sparky, did well

morning glories (needed to replant April 30), 2nd planting did well

Nasturtium, Cherries Jubilee, tuckered out in the heat after transplanting

nigella (from flower mix), got crowded out

parsley, got buried in the garden, some hung on

Peas: Cascadia & Legacy, transplanted late (no garden to plant them in), did so-so

Phacelia tanacetifolia (blue tansy)--died in transplant, but was lovely in the jug

Pinks double imperial mixed colors, annuals, did exceptionally well

Pinks, Cottage ("Rainbow Loveliness" from Botanical Interests), did well

rhubarb, Turkey & Himalayan, did alright (I was impressed that they grew at all!)

Rudbeckia triloba (Brown-eyed Susan), low germination, very few seeds

saponaria, tuckered out after transplant along the hot retaining wall

sage, did well

schizanthus--best I've ever grown!

snapdragons, did well

spinach--I didn't have a garden to plant it in soon enough, so I lost the crop

Strawberry, alpine, didn't grow (neither did any other attempt to grow seed from that packet--I think it was too old)

Sweet Annie--did exceptionally well!

Sweet cicely--didn't grow (it's notoriously hard to grow from stored seeds)

Sweet peas, dwarf, tuckered out after transplant along the hot retaining wall

Tomatoes: Repreco, Saucey & Stupice, I only transplanted the Saucey, which gave me a good crop about the time volunteer tomatoes would've

Zinnias, Lilliput, did well


February 3: wintersowed alpine strawberries, spinach, sage/parsley, marguerite/rampion

February 12: wintersowed alyssum, kale, cauliflower, cilantro

February 14: wintersowed Joker Lettuce (2016 seed), Godetia (old seed), Echinacea (old seed), snapdragons (old seed), Heavenly Blue Morning Glory (2016 seed), 4 O'clocks (seed from white flowers on one side, from yellow on the other).

March 3: I have sprouts!!! Godetia, alyssum, Joker lettuce & spinach have germinated in my winter-sown jugs! Hooray :)! I winter-sowed Calendula, Hablitzia (no sign of the plant I moved here), Phacelia tanacetifolia (blue tansy), Sweet Annie, garlic chives, Knee-High Dwarf Sweet Peas.

March 4: kale is starting to sprout.

March 5: cauliflower is starting to sprout. Winter-sowed 14 Cupcake Cosmos seeds, all of the Calamintha nepeta Marvelette White seeds (white catmint), Baby's Breath.

March 7: Snow overnight & into the morning--6"? It started melting during the day. Winter-sowed Hernaria glabra, Sweet Cicely, Turkey Rhubarb & Himalayan Rhubarb, all of which just arrived.

March 9: It's supposed to be ~20F for the next few nights, so I brought the sprouted winter-sown jugs into the porch for a little extra protection.

March 14: I watered my dried out, unsprouted winter-sowings today. A couple went alright, but the snapdragons & Alpine Strawberries became "soup" & I may've washed some seeds away.

March 15: Put wintersown sprouts back outside (they were getting too vigorous on the 40F porch!), but I should bring them back in tonight--it's expected to drop to 17F. Wintersowed: Feverfew 2012, Lemon balm 2016. It's almost 40F outside.

March 21: Wintersowed: Cascadia & Legacy peas, Repreco, Saucey & Stupice tomatoes, Crackerjack mixed colors marigolds, Lilliput Zinnias, schizanthus, Cherries Jubilee nasturtium, chamomile (from old tea--not at all sure it'll grow), white alyssum (from $1.50 box), seeds from mix (guessing at identity): mignonette, ammi, catchfly, saponaria

March 24: Winter-sowed Rudbeckia triloba seeds from Stollers

March 25: winter-sowed: Sparky marigolds (French), nigella (from flower mix), delphinium (from flower mix), California bluebells, Convovulus, Powderpuff asters.

March 28: I found sprouts of baby's breath, rampion & Hablitzia in winter-sown jugs :). They might've been up yesterday, but I wasn't here to check. Wintersowed: hollyhocks from 2014; from seed library: Pixie delights lupine, lavender (Baker Creek), German chamomile, Delphinuim grandiflorum, (Botanical Interests).

April 3: winter-sowed Pinks (Dianthus barbatus, double imperial mixed colors, annuals), Annual Candytuft mixed colors.

April 5: winter-sowed blue bachelor buttons, Cottage Pinks ("Rainbow Loveliness" from Botanical Interests, Kent County seed library) & a few seeds from the mix (daisy? largish round seed, & a couple of unknowns).

April 17: I have new sprouts: White calamint (!), both purchased marigolds, candytuft, convovulus, saponaria, California bluebells (wintersown)

April 18: I wintersowed chard (Fordhook Giant) & added seeds to the Butterfly plant jug (I think--the label was really faint & I'm not sure I read it right).

April 23: Sprouting in wintersowing: Lemon balm, delphinium, cottage pinks, Saucey, Repreco. I watered jugs.

April 26: Most of the winter-sown seeds are up (I'm losing track of which I've recorded & which I haven't). There are even a couple of white 4 O'Clock seeds showing signs of life (I'd given up on them). Still no sign of Alpine strawberry, though, or Echinacea or Himalayan rhubarb.

April 30: I put more Heavenly Blue Morning Glory seeds in the winter-sown container today.

May 2: "Wintersowed" Flush of White verbascum & Jackpot tansy (put in a mini-greenhouse outside).

September 7: I picked fully ripe "Sauceys" (that look more like Cascades--probably crossed) from a winter-sown plant today.

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