Monday, January 23, 2006

Winter Sowing 2006 - Jan update

I’m itching for spring. Besides obsessively checking my bulbs, I’ve been regularly twisting off the caps of my winter sown containers to peek inside. I was rewarded this weekend with a bit o’ green in one milk jug. My Bellis perennis, English daisy, seeds have sprouted. It is only January, but I refuse to worry about them weathering the winter. I believe Bellis perennis prefer cool temperatures, so no harm should come to them. If they get too big for their britches (or their milk jug), I can transplant them to small pots and shelter them in my ghetto coldframe.

So far, I’ve got 35-ish containers winter sown. They all contain varying amount of seed. For example, I think I’ve sprinkled 50 microscopic Astilbe seeds in one milk jug and planted a total of three (hefty) spicebush seeds in another. I have many more seeds to sow – but I’m out of containers! I’m doing my best to generate/beg/steal additional jugs and bottles. I’ve been baking cookies and cakes to persuade Mike to drink more milk. I’m guzzling diet soda out of 2-liter bottles. My coworkers have been ordered to bring me their containers from home. To make up for my shortfall, I may even have to do a little dumpster diving on Thursday night. (I’m a little put off by the thought of taking used food and drink containers from my neighbors’ trash. It seems to be so much more humiliating than simply swiping newspaper.)

My primary motivation for growing plants from seed is the price per plant. I have a lot of grass to kill and garden space to fill. Any extras can be traded or given away. Growing from seed is a slow process, though, and I don’t expect most of the plants to bloom until summer 2007 – when we will likely be moving. Instead of mourning the future loss of my green babies, I think instead on my second favorite reason for growing from seed: the magic of seeing life emerge from a seemingly dead shell.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your little plastic garden! I've got my seedlings in Dixie cups! I look forward to seeing your spring garden!

Heidi
http://statelyenglishmanor.typepad.com

1:31 PM  
Blogger Takoma Gardener said...

Hold it; what the heck are you planting outdoors in January? Please explain the benefits of planting seed now?

5:33 PM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

Takoma gardener - I understand your confusion! I first read of winter sowing last January.
The best source to learn more is this informational page on Gardenweb. Visit Gardenweb's winter sowing forum for progress around the Northern hemisphere!

8:58 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I love watching stuff grow!

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Wow, you are doing much better than me! I'm winter sowing for the first time, but I don't have anything out yet. Not that it's actually been WINTER or anything!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Takoma Gardener said...

Thank you for doing the research for us!!

2:58 PM  
Blogger Zoey said...

What an impressive bunch of container plants. I must admit, I have never seen seeds being started in whole milk jugs.

2:09 AM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

The price of plants is the reason that I grow mainly from seed. Even if only 2 or 3 survive, I'm still way ahead financially. When you move, the chances of selling to another gardener are slim to none so you might want to ask the buyers if you can dig up some of your perennials to take with you. That way you can enjoy them and get a jump start on your new gardens!

3:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog and your recent pics of wintersowing. I first learned of this easy seed starting method two years ago from Dave's Garden Website
http://davesgarden.com/forums/f/coldsow/all/

Wintersowing is 'seed starting for dummies' and I really recommend it!
I have about 30 covered roasting pans of seeds started.

Good luck. t.

7:54 PM  

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