2manydiversions

Already transplanting WS babies!


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Zone 7a, TN. New to winter sowing, and since finding this forum, reading threads and posts, and being so encouraged… I went completely overboard (and yes, I blame everyone here and put no blame on myself!) I had jugs and bins all over the yard – in hopes most would survive for our new flower beds. What is that saying? Be careful what you wish for? Ha.

Despite the fact that no seeds germinated from my last WS binge in mid-March (lesson learned), I spent the past three days transplanting 375 seedlings as many were getting to big for the cups, some blooming already (we had a crazy rainy, mild-weather winter). That’s not a typo. 375 seedlings. One. Seedling. At. A. Time. My back and knees have never hurt so much. My leg and buttock muscles OTOH are amazing, LOL!

I will never winter sow that many seedlings again I will never winter sow that many seedlings again I will never winter sow that many seedlings again I will never winter sow that many seedlings again I will never winter sow that many seedlings again…

12 varieties of perennials, 8 varieties of annuals survived. And I figure if I lose 75, or even 100 seedlings, we’ll still have such a profusion of color mid summer!

I’ve lost 3 babies since transplanting. Others are doing extremely well, and I’ve kept them watered and happy. I’m using fish fertilizer every other week now (gosh that stuff stinks to high heaven, it’s amazing, but geeyhaaackkk! I need to remember to wear rubber gloves and not be so messy.)

I’m most excited about the poppies, the snapdragons, the salvia, the cockscomb, and the forget me nots, but heck, all of them, really! Sadly, none of my physostegia virginiana’s (obedient plant) germinated as they were WS too late. There’s always next year…

So… how are everyone else’s babies doing? Anything you are truly excited about? Transplanting yet? And I remember a few of you WS ‘too many’ just as I did… do you think you’ll ‘survive’ the transplanting?! LOL!


Comments (15)

  • bella rosa
    last year

    2ManyDiversions, do you ever just do the HOS method? I think it works well for poppies. Instead of thinning them out, I just invert the milk jug, make a large enough hole - do that beforehand - and plant the seedlings as is -- hunk of seedlings is what they call that. i think it works for plants that are difficult to transplant.

    thank you for the non-rain dance!! we need it. it's been raining every freaking day this week! we are all in a funk. i think tomorrow and saturday are supposed to be dry and back to rain on sunday. i'm getting up at the crack of dawn to plant! lol

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  • bella rosa
    last year

    Great job for your first time WS! I did around 120 milk jugs. Not all of them have germinated, which is ok. I just plant out the ones that did. It's always fun to WS.

    2ManyDiversions thanked bella rosa
  • hydrangeahead Central WI 4b
    last year

    So far I have two jugs with seed leaves in them, three jugs that look like they might be germinating, and about forty with nothing. Nothing. We've had a crap winter here in Wisconsin, something like 100 " of snow and its supposed to snow tomorrow again. I hope something makes it. :(

    2ManyDiversions thanked hydrangeahead Central WI 4b
  • momdino
    last year

    My first winter sowing effort. I did a quick inventory and despite my typical mishaps, (knocking containers off the 20 ft high deck!) I managed to get at least some babies from everything I wintersowed. I have put out a few in the garden bed, but waiting for most to get a little bit bigger. 2many and Bella, you were much more ambitious than I, and your successes reflect that!

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  • 2ManyDiversions
    Original Author
    last year

    bella rosa, a few of my poppy babies (which you and others inspired - you really encouraged me) have died, others look pale - possibly from too much rain, but I've still got some that are thriving - my first poppies if they survive! 120 jugs - that's a lot!!!

    I'm so sorry to hear of your bad winter hydrangeahead - you're the one who told me about this method and forum (on the pond forum I think). I got lucky with our winter and surely wouldn't have had so many germinate had it not been for tons of rain and mild winter.

    momdino - yay! Any WS babies are a success : ) I also knocked a few jugs over being in a rush, but only one didn't survive it's small tip-over... a 20 ft drop though... that's a big fall!

    We'll see how successful when/if they survive. Not ever having planted perennial seedlings, I'm not sure how many will bloom the first year, but if many just grow enough for next year, I'll be thrilled.

    Good luck to all!



  • bella rosa
    last year

    2ManyDiversions, some of my milk jugs haven't sprouted at all, but that's to be expected. the poppies have all germinated though. these are tough plants!! my favorite of all time. if i could grow a field of them, i would! lol

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  • 2ManyDiversions
    Original Author
    last year

    Well, don't laugh too hard at me bella rosa, but I'm euphemistically calling my poppy 'area' a field! We had a 20 ft. long, by 2 ft. wide at each end, widening to 4 ft in the middle which I tilled. That's my "poppy field" LOL! Added lots of peat and some sand to clay and it's nicely crumbly - located in full sun, but poppies and even the cornflowers are wilting and yellowing. Those I direct sowed (not many) in another area are doing very well. I had extra mulch so I surrounded the WS transplants with mulch, gave them a good drink of fish fertilizer, and keeping fingers crossed I don't loose them all. The night I did all those transplants we had a serious flood in our area, and half my poppies were completely under water for a good 8 hours. Nevertheless, I'm doing all I can to keep them alive.


  • bella rosa
    last year

    2ManyDiversions, I would off on the fertilizer. In fact, I never fertilize mine - I'm talking about the annual ones that I've WS and they do fine. Poppies seem to do better in lean soil. You're too funny with the poppy field! LOL. I hope you take a pic of it. Would love to see it.

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  • 2ManyDiversions
    Original Author
    last year

    Again, thank you bella, you are my go-to on poppies. I won't fertilize them anymore, and I think I'll also cut back on watering and see if they green up. I've lost a few more, but have a few in 2 other direct sow beds that are doing well... Yes, the annuals. I'd love to try the perennials next year, and I will be 'bothering' you about your success with those, if you've planted them, later on.


    Our weather has been rainy and mild all winter/spring, hot days now. Here are some California Poppies I direct sowed casually on a whim in a small front bed - you can see 2 other poppies (either turkish tulip or double purples) just behind them : ) Not even May and they are ready to bloom?!

    Flowers in our Gardens · More Info


  • bella rosa
    last year

    So pretty!! You're lucky to have some blooms now. All we are getting is rain and cold temps. We got snow on Saturday. Enough to ruin my magnolia blooms. They shriveled up and turned brown! Now I have to wait a whole year for blooms! So sad.

    BTW, what perennials did you sow? I usually do rudbeckias and dianthus. oh, this year, for the first time, I tried bachelor buttons. they are jumping out of their containers. I hope the weather dries out for the weekend.




































































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  • 2ManyDiversions
    Original Author
    last year


    Oh bella, that was such a loaded question, you’re gonna be sorry you asked! Rudbeckias, now why hadn’t I thought of those?! I adore black eyed susans, sunflowers, and coneflowers.. Rudbeckias, the best of them all rolled into one! Can’t wait to see yours… and I’m wishing you better luck with your bachelor buttons/cornflowers – mine were so healthy in the cups.. but you’ll see: New Dimension Blue Salvia (slugs are loving only these, but a ring of epsom salts keeps them at bay.

    Flowers in our Gardens · More Info

    Candytuft below, this one is Snowflake, but I planted mixed colors as well.

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    And below is Arizona Red Shades Gaillardia:

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    Not an annual below, but purple alyssum (annual)

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    And white alyssum (I toss seed into pots of geraniums, etc. They grow easily and quickly here. I hate trying to collect the seeds though!)


    Night and Day Snapdragons:

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    Ok, Bella, here's one of my healthier poppies, Double Pink or Turkish Tulip here. Morning dew on it. (annual)

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    Below is a giant maroon cockscomb (annual) planted in the 2nd larger bed next to my poppies. These are the only WS babies in it. I tossed annual seeds in this bed - sunflowers, black-eyed susans, malva, snapdragons, giant yellow zinnias, multicolored zinnias, marigolds, etc. We'll see if anything comes up in addition to weeds! Harold100 supplied me with many of these, as well as the Danish Flag Poppy seeds included in the 'poppy field'.

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    Below are Forget Me Note, Water (pretty blue with pale yellow centers).

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    More forget me nots. Had salmon colored ones, but WS'd too late.

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    Double the Sun coreopsis below - planted several of these all round the house. Love bright yellows.

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    Ah, here's the dianthus below, mixed colors. Kinda went crazy with these everywhere too! Makes me sad they last only 2 years, than kaput! So pretty. Butterflies love 'em as you know : )

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    Gonna hafta turn your head sideways for this one Bella! Remember the healthy cornflowers above? This is them, now. Some look worse. There is a poppy behind it to the left (to the right is just a weed). Our weather has forced early blooms on everything. This is only 6" tall and has a bud on it.

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    And sadly, this is what many of my poppies now look like, yellowing or browning, and wilty. They have picked up since I mulched around them, and I'm not sure if you can see it, but there is some small new growth. I say, never give up till they are gone-gone. Some of which are : (

    Maybe that 8 hours of being underwater did my cornflower and poppy 'field' in, but I'll never know... Until next year when I try again.

    Flowers in our Gardens · More Info

    In addition to what I've shown, as for the perennials, I've also got baby gayfeathers (not bulbs mentioned above), Blue Select Fescue (ornamental) which looks like a few tiny strands of regular grass I pull out of the beds - it's tucked away in a couple cups until big enough! Another ornamental grass doing ok is Savannah Ruby Grass. The grasses won't do much this year.

    Not so happy are my Physostegia - obedient plants. White and pink... only 3 tiny whites, one tiny pink. Too small to know if they'll survive. Also only one Robinson Red painted daisy - all these WS too late in the season. And no lupines or nasturtiums, also too late.


    I'm grateful my first WS year has been so amazing. Future bad years I'll chalk up to odd weather and keep at it! When my 'babies' are bigger, I'll post photos, without so much jibber-jabber : )



  • bella rosa
    last year

    Wow! I think you've done pretty good for your first WS. Definitely post pics of your babies when they grow up and bloom. Isn't it fun to WS stuff and see them bloom? I always enjoy seeing them germinating too. It means I had a small hand in growing something. Pretty cool! Don't give up on your poppies. They are tough plants. Now if the rain stops maybe I'll get to plant out some of my stuff.

    2ManyDiversions thanked bella rosa
  • 2ManyDiversions
    Original Author
    last year

    I did a no-rain dance for you bella, so hopefully you can plant : ) Yes, planting is fun - watching it grow and thrive, but planting by seed is even better! I agree, I must have watched the jugs and bins 2 times some days to see if any new babies germinated! I'm easily thrilled : )

    Update on the poppies... I've a few more that bit the dust (I'm sure it was the post transplant drowning that did it). But those I transplanted later (from thinned poppies) are doing well... I've a few more that need thinned still, so I've yet to give up!

  • 2ManyDiversions
    Original Author
    last year

    Ha! I remembered you telling me about the Hunk of Seeds method, and yes, I did that with many of my jugs (the only exceptions were those which had a couple plants spread apart). I planted the 'gob o' dirt' exactly as you described : )

    We had unusual rain forever all winter and very early spring, with some serious flooding (TN, and declared an emergency status, twice), so I understand your funk. It is almost depressing isn't it? Dark and dreary. Started drying up know, so Today and Saturday we are to get rain (opposite of you) and I'm actually grateful. Don't laugh, but I love being up at the 'crack' and working outside. It's so quiet and peaceful : ) I hope you're having fun! Aw heck, I know you're enjoying yourself!

  • bella rosa
    last year

    just heard the weather report. no rain over the weekend and back to rain during the week. i doubt that i'll be able to plant anything as the ground is very muddy. great weather though to pull weeds! have a great weekend!

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