Wednesday, December 13, 2006



Confession of a lazy gardener...much as I do love the snow, there is one project I wanted to slip in before the ground was covered. These bags and packets are all "fall" seeds, mostly wildflowers and grasses, that I wanted to mix and sow. They all need a cold period to break dormancy in the spring, so I need to do this asap...likely this weekend. (Temps in the low 40's are forecasted to persist at least that long.) I have 4 different areas where I plan to scatter these, in a couple varieties of mixture, and they will be combined with sand to assist with broadcasting. Here's where I divert from the proper planting technique, because I do not plan to "prepare the soil", get rid of existing weeds, etc. Nope, just sprinkle and hope-that's the lazy gardener way! Hey, it's worked in the past...I scattered some valerian seeds, and only 2 years later, one grew! (See, if you plan to be lazy, you must have patience as well.) Although I plan to start some seeds indoors this year, typically seeds piss me off and refuse to grow when I "do things right". So to hell with that-sprinkle and hope, toss em' and forget, this is my preferred method of propagation by seed!

6 comments:

the County Clerk said...

Wow... that is A BUNCH of seeds.

Lady, you sure do have a great many projects.

Hank

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Do you do wintersowing? It's kind of straddling the fence between scattering seeds outside and the usual indoor planting... that's part of what I like about it. :)

lisa said...

What IS wintersowing? I don't think I've ever heard of it, but it sounds interesting!

The County Clerk said...

yes... what is Winters Sowing?

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Basically, you sow containers (cut off half-gallon paper cartons are my faves), cover them with plastic wrap (I "recyle" heavy clear plastic bags, like dog treat bags for this) with holes poked in the top, and sit them outside for the rest of the winter. The natural freeze/thaw cycles break down seed coats and such, and the mini-greenhouses you've made help them germinate.

Keep an eye on the pots so they don't dry out, and as spring progresses and the seedlings get bigger you keep making the holes on top wider until you just don't have any more plastic left. They're hardened off, you don't have to worry about damping off, and you don't devote a whole lot of precious indoor space to them.

I started all of my annuals and quite a few perennials--asclepias tuberosa, for one--this way last year. The annuals lag a little bit behind their store-bought counterparts at first, but quickly settle in and overtake them once you get them planted out. The root systems on these guys are amazing! I'm trying a lot more perennials and some annuals again this year.

One thing: On either of the above sites, you'll probably see a lot of stuff about starting your winter sowing at the solstice. This is a cute idea symbolically, but not really practical for me because we've been having these crazy January warm spells here. I started mine in late February/early March and that seemed about perfect.

I'll probably put up a winter sowing post around the first of the year, with pictures of my WS containers from last year and plans for this coming season. If you go to www.wintersown.org or the "Winter Sowing" forum on gardenweb.com before then, you'll get more details!

lisa said...

Thanks, Kim! Cool idea...I'll have to try this with some of the seeds and see how it goes.