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Old 01-15-2017, 08:15 PM   #1
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Default Winter-sowing 2017

Anyone else doing any propagation from seed this winter? I just heeled my last winter-sowing containers into the snow yesterday. As far as I can recall right now, these are the species I'm trying to germinate:

* Joe-Pye weed (not keyed out to species yet, but I think E. maculatum)
* A blue aster that grows on roadsides here (not keyed out to species yet)
* Virgin's bower
* Tall meadow-rue
* Sweet-cicely (Osmorhiza)
* Aaand some things I'm forgetting now! I think two or three more species. Did I get red columbine? I was planning to for a long time - it grew wild at the last place we lived. Maybe also wood anemone?

I also have some doll's eyes and red baneberry getting their warm stratification indoors now.

I've discovered a technique to keep me from losing the labels in the jugs. After having had labels decompose inside the jug one too many times, I've finally figured out that folding the label and shoving it up into the handle usually preserves it pretty well until spring. Let's hope it works again, since I've forgotten some of what I put out there!
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:54 PM   #2
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I bought a bunch of different seeds from Priairie Moon in the fall. I direct sowed most of them, but did put a few in pots as well. Most of what I purchased are things for shade, since my front yard is quite shady. I'm going for a woodland look out there. I scattered the seed just before our big snow in December. The snow has since melted. I hope there are some seeds left by springtime. I don't see a lot of bird activity out there, but I'm at work most days.

This is my second attempt at winter sowing. I tried in 2014/15 as well. It looked like some things were germinating, but I got so busy at work in the spring (garden center job) that I dropped the ball on keeping them watered. That's why I wanted to try direct sowing this time. Easy enough to put a sprinkler on the area after work, if needed. It's also right in the front yard - not likely to forget about that!
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:58 PM   #3
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I'm cooling mine in the fridge this year because there's a critter out there (probably a raccoon) who gets into everything. This year I got a bunch of seeds from Prairie Moon: Aquilegia canadensis (Columbine), Viola sororia (Common Blue Violet), Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan), Campanula rotundifolia (Harebell), Corydalis sempervirens (Pale Corydalis), Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Epilobium angustifolium (Fireweed), Gaura longiflora (Large-flowered Gaura), Isopyrum biternatum (False Rue Anemone), Thalictrum dioicum (Early Meadow Rue), Verbena stricta (Hoary Vervain), Rudbeckia triloba (Brown-eyed Susan), Liatris spicata (Marsh Blazing Star). Some of them didn't need to be cooled, but I can't remember which at this moment. I must really be an optimist, because I haven't successfully grown anything from seed since moving here in 2009. Something eats them. Slugs, rabbits, squirrels, who knows. But I will try again. This year I'll be moving to my new home in March, so my little seedlings will go with me, and hopefully I'll have better luck there.
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Old 01-16-2017, 12:50 PM   #4
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I am thinking about it.

I have been thinking about it for a couple of weeks now. Last time, I brought in empty plug trays from what I purchased last spring...and I brought in the last remaining (and frozen solid) Promix.

Last week (I think), I separated some of my seeds, crushed the seed pods of my Penstemon, and tried my best to find seeds of my Monarda fistula--among others.

Today, I'm hoping it all comes together. ...Although, I really prefer to do it when there is snow coming or enough snow on the ground to pile up on top of what I sow. Hmm...

~smile~
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katjh View Post
I bought a bunch of different seeds from Priairie Moon in the fall. I direct sowed most of them, but did put a few in pots as well. Most of what I purchased are things for shade, since my front yard is quite shady. I'm going for a woodland look out there. I scattered the seed just before our big snow in December. The snow has since melted. I hope there are some seeds left by springtime. I don't see a lot of bird activity out there, but I'm at work most days.

This is my second attempt at winter sowing. I tried in 2014/15 as well. It looked like some things were germinating, but I got so busy at work in the spring (garden center job) that I dropped the ball on keeping them watered. That's why I wanted to try direct sowing this time. Easy enough to put a sprinkler on the area after work, if needed. It's also right in the front yard - not likely to forget about that!
I hear you about the watering. I still cringe when I think about the fringed gentians I successfully germinated and then failed to water a few years back. I never was able to germinate that species again.

What are you doing this year for shade species? Spring ephemerals or other woodland species?
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:33 PM   #6
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I'm cooling mine in the fridge this year because there's a critter out there (probably a raccoon) who gets into everything. This year I got a bunch of seeds from Prairie Moon: Aquilegia canadensis (Columbine), Viola sororia (Common Blue Violet), Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan), Campanula rotundifolia (Harebell), Corydalis sempervirens (Pale Corydalis), Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Epilobium angustifolium (Fireweed), Gaura longiflora (Large-flowered Gaura), Isopyrum biternatum (False Rue Anemone), Thalictrum dioicum (Early Meadow Rue), Verbena stricta (Hoary Vervain), Rudbeckia triloba (Brown-eyed Susan), Liatris spicata (Marsh Blazing Star). Some of them didn't need to be cooled, but I can't remember which at this moment. I must really be an optimist, because I haven't successfully grown anything from seed since moving here in 2009. Something eats them. Slugs, rabbits, squirrels, who knows. But I will try again. This year I'll be moving to my new home in March, so my little seedlings will go with me, and hopefully I'll have better luck there.
Wow, that's a lot! I'm not familiar with all of those species, but they all sound interesting. Gaura biennis was always one of my wild favorites, although I never tried to grow it. So distinctive.

If you can keep the integrity of the containers containing the seedlings, you should be able to do fine. I've had a lot of success with winter-sowing in the past, but the highest success rates come with transplanting first into large nursery pots before planting out in the landscape. Once they get significant root systems they should resist the herbivores and diggers better.
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
I am thinking about it.

I have been thinking about it for a couple of weeks now. Last time, I brought in empty plug trays from what I purchased last spring...and I brought in the last remaining (and frozen solid) Promix.

Last week (I think), I separated some of my seeds, crushed the seed pods of my Penstemon, and tried my best to find seeds of my Monarda fistula--among others.

Today, I'm hoping it all comes together. ...Although, I really prefer to do it when there is snow coming or enough snow on the ground to pile up on top of what I sow. Hmm...

~smile~
Got any old milk jugs lying around? You could try sowing in there! Taping the tops on makes for a little greenhouse and deters squirrels somewhat.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by amelanchier View Post
I hear you about the watering. I still cringe when I think about the fringed gentians I successfully germinated and then failed to water a few years back. I never was able to germinate that species again.

What are you doing this year for shade species? Spring ephemerals or other woodland species?
I'm almost embarrassed to even admit how many seed packets I purchased! Most are partial shade. I had to pull out the invoice from PM to recall exactly what I ordered. Here ya go....
Silene virginica, Anemone patens var. wolfgangiana, Hydrastis canadensis, Ceanothus ovatus, Hypericum prolificum, Angalinis tenuifolia, Anaphalis margaritacea, Asclepias exaltata, Aster lateriflorus, Campanula americana, Campanula rotundifolia, Claytonia virginica, Desmodium glutinosum, Eupatorium coelestinum, Gentiana quinquefolia, Isopyrum biternatum, Lobelia inflata, Oxalis violacea, Penstemon calycosus, Phlox divaricata, Phryma leptostachya, Polygonatum biflorum, Scrophularia lanceolata, Thalictrum dioicum, Triosteum perfoliatum, Aquilegia canadensis, and some assorted grasses and sedges.

This is for almost my entire front yard and some empty partial shade areas in my back yard. I sowed some in pots, hoping to have enough to share with some friends who are interested in starting native plantings. I'm quite sure not all of them will be successful, but I'm hoping for a nice mix.

As I said, all of our snow is melted, so I hope the birds and other critters are not making off with all of the seed! I think I'm more excited for spring than I ever have been before . My neighbors will think me crackers when they see me crawling around out there looking for seedlings.
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:52 AM   #9
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We've still a good 6 inches covering us here. Today..an ice storm.
Hmmm Maybe I'll go into the garage and take notes as to what I've to plant in the upcoming year. Something positive
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Old 01-17-2017, 02:04 PM   #10
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We've still a good 6 inches covering us here. Today..an ice storm.
Hmmm Maybe I'll go into the garage and take notes as to what I've to plant in the upcoming year. Something positive
No snow left here, except the piles from shoveling. We had a brief period of freezing rain overnight, but it's warm enough to have all turned to rain now. Pretty sloppy January so far. I'd rather have the bright, white snow in winter.
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