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Old 11-10-2018, 07:16 PM   #1
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Default Germinated Early, Now What?

I tend to collect seeds throughout the growing season and sow them mid-winter (in pots outside). When my columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) seedpods were ready, I collected them. I vaguely remember sprinkling some if them in a pot of dying "cat grass". Along with then, I think I threw in any loose seeds that didn't make it into the containers with the rest of their kind.

So, late summer or early fall, they began to germinate. There seems to be a couple (rather large) yellow gems and (what looks like) Penstemon hirsutus. They are doing well...but it is now November and the temperatures have dropped a lot. I am not sure what to do with them.

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-11-2018, 02:37 PM   #2
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Cold frames are most often used to keep plants from freezing in the spring, but it should work well in the fall too. If you can plant them in the ground and cover them with some clear plastic attached to a wood frame they might get in enough growing time to survive the winter.
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Old 11-11-2018, 06:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by NEWisc View Post
Cold frames are most often used to keep plants from freezing in the spring, but it should work well in the fall too. If you can plant them in the ground and cover them with some clear plastic attached to a wood frame they might get in enough growing time to survive the winter.
I don't have a could frame.

I have an unheated sun porch. I'm not sure if I should get them accustomed to the cold during the day and pull them in at night and let them go dormant...then put them in the ground before it freezes. I'm assuming trying to have them survive all winter indoors is not the best idea.
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:32 PM   #4
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I have been trying to post pics...here is one that I managed to get through:

Germinated Early, Now What?-20181113_152835.jpg
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:43 PM   #5
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That is one of the most beautiful photos I've seen in a long time...
The way the green pops in front of the blues just sings...
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
That is one of the most beautiful photos I've seen in a long time...
The way the green pops in front of the blues just sings...
Really!?

Thank you.

(Maybe you should start looking at more photos than you have been lately. )
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:04 PM   #7
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Geum, columbine, and Penestemon, I think.

Germinated Early, Now What?-20181113_153020.jpg

Germinated Early, Now What?-20181113_200226.jpg
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:05 PM   #8
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I guess, part if me wants to keep them alive and growing all winter...not sure if it is a good idea.
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:21 AM   #9
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Put the container in a protected location. You want them to go dormant but you dont want the container to go through a ton of freeze/thaw cycles, it should be similar to how the ground is a fairly stable temperature over winter. You could pile up aged mulch around the outside of container, or bury the container so the top is almost level with the ground, but its at a slight angle so water drains away from it. I put some dormant potted grasses in an unheated shed.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:17 PM   #10
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Thanks.

I definitely think I will have to let them go dormant...but I'm wondering if I can just put them in our unheated sun porch for part of the winter...maybe in January...then bring it back inside mid February and get an early (indoor) spring.

I guess I hate to give up the green, fresh growth....not just yet anyway.
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