Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wintersowing Commences

I signed up for the a seed growing project over at Gardenbloggers, and I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project (thanks to Renee's Garden for the seeds.) The press kit with the project seeds arrived the other day....
....they included a bonus packet of pink double cosmos seeds-cool!

So I decided to incorporate the GROW project seeds in my wintersowing this year. I moistened the seedling mix with a solution of water and this stuff. It's advertised to help prevent damping off, so I'd used it exclusively for watering my seedlings last year (my "maiden voyage" into indoor seed-starting). I had one seedling appear to succumb to damping off out of all these, so I'll stick with what works. (The only place I've found to purchase PHC is at Gardener's Supply, BTW.)

I sowed three, 36 cell trays: one of wildflower seeds, one of annual flower seeds, and for the first time one tray of veggie seeds. My blogger pal Monica starts her veggies this way every year and swears by it, so I'll try wintersowing and indoor starting the same varieties for a direct comparison. Should be interesting!

There! I set them all out on the porch to "chillax" and await the proper growing temperatures when they'll (hopefully) spring into action. (This was March 4th.)

In another month or so it'll be time to begin the indoor seedlings under lights...there will be a lot more of them. If everything I plant actually grows, I'm gonna be in trouble :)

"I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project, thanks to Renee's Garden for the seeds."


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Lisa, I always meant to do a direct comparison of indoor vs. outdoor sowing except I can't be bothered with indoor sowing, lol! (This doesn't explain why I started some cactuses inside... wait, yes it does. I'm so curious what they'll look like as seedlings!) Anyhoo, are the flats under something on your deck, like a chair? I only ask because the containers have to be able to get moisture from snow and rain, and so need to be out in the open. Also, I'm not seeing holes (??) in the top of the lids, which they need for the moisture to get in. And finally, I've never had damping off in winter sowing. :)

lisa said...

Good eye, Monica! I just stuck them under the side table on the porch initially, with no holes in the lids. I plan to make the siting and lid adjustments this weekend, I figured the initial moisture level was fine for a short time. (I was anxious to get them started chilling, but had too much ice and snow yet to put them where I really want them.) I'd better do things correctly if I want results, eh? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I used to have problems with damping off until I started sowing seeds into compost, now-knock on wood- I don't. :)
I'm very interested in seeing how sowing outdoors compares to indoors. I'd bet it makes for a stronger plant.

Eva said...

I've had good luck with watering my seed starts with Chamomile tea. I'd read that there is some compound in the chamomile leaves that prevent damping off. So far it's worked well for me, and it's super cheap.

lisa said...

V-I wanted to try the compost this year, but I never got any out of the composter before winter set in. This fall I hope to be more organized.

Eva-Thank you! I'd heard that as well, but it's great to hear from someone who's tried chamomile tea with success. Definately more practical and cheaper than the PHC!

Karyl said...

I tried outdoor winter sowing for the first time this year. It's been insanely successful. I've never had good luck with indoor seeds, but with outdoor I'll need to take a month off to get everything planted.

lisa said...

This is my first year wintersowing veggies, but wildflowers and perennials have done really well for me in the past. Glad to hear that you're enjoying such success!

GardenBloggers.Com said...

Lisa, I'm Playing catchup with the posts from March. Just wanted to stop by and say thanks for starting early.

Can't wait to see how far your seedlings have come.

Don't forget about this Sunday's post. Can't wait to see your progress.