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Old 04-02-2010, 03:19 PM   #21
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Here's my latest squirrel defense technology, scrap welded wire mesh for reinforcing concrete. So far, so good.
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Winter Sowing Tips & Techniques-dsc05544.jpg   Winter Sowing Tips & Techniques-dsc05467.jpg  
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:35 PM   #22
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cool pics swamp!
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:36 PM   #23
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I use 20 -24 oz. styro cups, sandwich sized ziploc baggies and the cheap potting soil I find at the local Jewel-Osco floral dept...$1.89 for a 10 lb. bag. It's usually on sale for $1.29 a bag in late fall/early winter. I use styro cups 'cuz they're deep and cheap(they're usually on sale, too. $1 for a pack of 10-20, depending on the size of the cup). Prairie plants are deep rooted.

Wal-Mart soil is crpa and full of weed seed, I would advise not using it.

First thing I do is number the styro cups with a ball-point pen, so I know who's where, LOL! I make a list that concurs with what seed I have planted in what container.

I take a knife and make knife-tipped size slits in the sides and bottom of the styro cups.Then I fill the cups with the cheap potting soil. This next part is messy, so I sit the filled cups in cake pans, then I water the whole shebang-a-bang until water is dripping out the sides and bottom.

I then add the seeds. I cover them, or not, as directed. I press the seeds down lightly, to assure good seed to soil contact. I sprinkle a little more water on top. Then I take a zip-lock sandwich sized baggie, and cut a half-moon shape out of the bottom. I slide the styro cup through the hole, and pull it up tight. I seal the baggie, leaving an inch or so open. Then I chuck them outside. I usually do my winter sowing on or around the winter solstice, but in zone 5, I could probably do it through late Jan.

Works like a charm, and the cups and baggies can be recycled for next year's crop, too. All you got to do is soak them in a weak bleach, and dry them out in the sun, but I've never had any problem with pathogens. I usually don't bother. It's just a precaution. I re-use and bleach the styro cups...but I don't bother with re-using the baggies. My bad.

I've tried all manner of saved containers, but baggie and styro works the best for me, germination percentage-wise. I usually get 85-90%.
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Last edited by Prairiefreak; 04-03-2010 at 08:18 PM. Reason: forgot some stuff, and some stuff was out of order
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:56 AM   #24
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Good write-up of your procedure, PF. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:09 PM   #25
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I winter sowed my seeds in December. I've checked them almost daily. Since this is my first spring in Washington state, with its wet winters, I wasn't sure when to expect sprouts. Last weekend, I came to the conclusion that my poor little seeds had either rotted or been eaten by the birds & chipmunks. (No, I didn't cover them all.) So I ordered more seeds from Prairie Moon - maybe I'll still have enough cold weather to get them started. That was Sunday. Guess what happened Wednesday?

Go figure. Yep. They sprouted!

I can always use the extra seeds.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:36 PM   #26
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Doesn't it always figure just when you throw in the towel and spend $$$ starting over that you get action? What seeds did you buy.... it's a shot in the dark but... maybe you've got something fluke may have it that me or somebody else meant to buy and I can buy and forgot to buy. Maybe somebody can buy them off you so you don't get nailed with doubles?
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:29 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie View Post
...Go figure. Yep. They sprouted!

I can always use the extra seeds.
i know. this is only my second year winter sowing, and i have learned patience is a plus! just when i'm about to give up on a container, it suddenly sprouts. i have also found that putting them in a warm place this time of year helps too...
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:21 PM   #28
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Many a gardener has given up on a container. I recall several containers I threw away the very first time I wintersowed. Had I not been the person to take the garbage to the curb, I would not have been able to rescue the seedlings that sprouted after I had given up hope. Several of my trays sprouted the week after I threw them away. The sprouts were a pleasant surprise.

Winter sowing is indeed a wonderful way to avoid the pitfalls of damping off. There are no hardening off issues either.
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:01 PM   #29
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Only one sprout in this container of Baptisia alba last year, so I left it out and there's more this year. Nice crop of moss in there, too.
Winter Sowing Tips & Techniques-dsc05635.jpg


This container of bunchberries (Cornus canadensis) has been tucked behind the shrubs next to the house for a couple years at least, and finally sprouted this week.
Winter Sowing Tips & Techniques-dsc05638.jpg

P.S. There will be a seedling photo contest next month, don't forget to get pictures!
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:47 AM   #30
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wow! a couple of years to sprout! that's real patience swamp!

great pics swamp! mine look just like that but a bit more crowded...
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