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  #1  
Old 02-04-2009, 09:21 PM
tsilentseed tsilentseed is offline
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When is TOO EARLY to start seeds indoors?


Okay - so I want to really get a headstart on spring stock - but when is TOO early?
I do not want to plant them (inside, not much light) only to have them die before they can actually go outside to be hardened off.

I'm not going to add lights - can't afford the electricity. So, has anybody else done this really early, and had success?
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:29 AM
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trying this myself


I am starting a few things inside this year. But most of my seeds that I really expect to have and be healthy are the ones I am wintersowing. Here in VA, during Feb we do get an adequate amount of sunshine. So far I only have my perennials started. SOme of the things that appear to be doing well are the hollyhocks, grasses,and Rose of Sharons. Some of the other things are growing but they are rather stringy. I am hoping I can pinch some of it back to encourage growth as the weather warms up.
Wish I could offer you more advice but I am experimenting with this also. Best of luck to you.
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:00 AM
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NJCWGRL NJCWGRL is offline
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Smile


Hi,

I start my seeds inside...I do have lighting....I have good sucess with my baby seeds...I have echinacea,Digitalis,Columbine,geramiums and pansy started now.....End of the month I start annuals.....
The electrisity isn't that bad I keep them on timers...

Shannon
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2009, 09:53 AM
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flwrs4ever flwrs4ever is offline
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Santoury,

Are you doing perennials, annuals ? Id comment, but it would help to know what you are thinking of growing !
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:16 AM
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I am watching this thread with great interest. My plant supply has been limited by what Lowe's brings in, money or what I find when on adventures and vacation. There are so many other plants I would love to try but frankly can't find. I'm big on rooting cuttings and have had sucess this way and have a wonderful collection of Iris most courtesy of family and a dear friend. But Seeds, now I'm a rookie. What is winter seeding (would it work in NC?) What about the "kits" at Lowe's? I have a good morning sun window but don't have lights etc. Any suggestions??? Please Do share!
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:22 AM
tsilentseed tsilentseed is offline
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Hi


Hey Flwrs
I want to do it all - I have herbs, perennials, annuals, and tropicals, you name it.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:24 AM
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Irishlass check out our wintersowersclub http://www.plantswap.net/forum/group...ave-best-jugs/

It's a group of us that are trying to wintersow. Here's some info if you are interested www.wintersown.org
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:28 AM
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Ok, so I have made a seed investment from Lowe's. I plan on doing this on Sunday. I got regular potting soil. Just duct tape to re-connect the bottles?
And I have a sunny spot..... Anything else?
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:47 AM
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I used water jugs, left top lid off and only partially taped back on. Flwrs4ever who is our expert on this also suggested using a paintpen to mark containers if you are using more than one. If you go to her profile or the wintersowers club you'll see her pics with directions if you click on each pic. This is my first year trying this so I'm really looking forward to see how well these seeds do.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2009, 11:11 AM
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Santoury, I would suggest you trying the wintersowing method........it will work better, ESP with how busy you are, there is no hardening off, and no in and out with the plants each day when it is time to take them out....and you wont loose half of what you planted.

With that being said, you are safe to do perenniels now inside, and I would do annuals 8 weeks before our last frost date, which is around May 15 ( for the New England area) SO that means March 15 and after for annuals inside.

I dont have much exp with veggies, but Id say the same for annuals, unless you are starting cold crops.

but I cant say enough about the wintersowing method....I have never seen such healthy sprouts before.......and I always had trouble with hardening them off.

Good luck with the seeds !

Mandy....I am NO expert, just a gardener that loves to wintersow !
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2009, 11:46 AM
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angmf2233 angmf2233 is offline
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wintersowing!!!!


I am giving this a try for the first time this year, and if it works, I will have loads of flowers!!!!!!!Maybe I will win the prize for the most flowers in my town!Someday I will!!!!!!!!!Better homes and gardens, garden gate here I come!!!!!!
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2009, 02:58 PM
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SuddenlySpring SuddenlySpring is offline
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Santoury, I would definitely wintersow the hardier things right now--no hardening off really. My experience with it is that they do not need any protection from the sun right after you remove the lid, since as it gets warmer you would remove the lids little by little or open up the airway little by little.
I have many many many things already growing outside in milk jugs and even an old cooler and old swimming pool! The swimming pool isn't even covered, but there is sage, lamb's ears, grasses and catmint in there. I have more germinating outside than inside right now.
For the inside, if you have windows in your kitchen at home I think you could start the tropicals in there right now. As long as you have some flourescent lighting. I'm pretty sure I spelled that wrong but anyway.... I leave my lights on until I go to bed, and that seems to help keep them from getting leggy. I try to compensate by turning off other things more...but with kids that's kinda hard. They like to have on all the TV's and lights even when it is sunny in their rooms. LOL. I am getting in trouble for that extra ten dollars on my electric bill from the DH.
Right around the time it starts getting pretty warm outside your tropicals probably will start getting leggier. That's when I sit them on top of my kitchen table after dinner, so they are closer to the light. It is a lot of work, and you're already so busy, but it starts to become a habit for me, like doing the dishes....
I do keep my rooms just at the normal 65 degree range, but it starts to not matter once it is a nice april day, and it is 80 in your house! It tricks those tropicals into thinking it's time to put out some growth.
Since learning how to make cuttings from Plantswap, I've found that they don't get as leggy as the seedlings do. So if you have some of those to do, there might be an advantage? I have full-sun plants in very shady windows, doing great so far. Some have even bloomed. Sage is blooming, even. It was the sage that the squirrels thought would be fun to attack and whipped it around all over the place. Keepin' it really dry though. I've watered it only twice this whole winter, after it rooted.
As for the perennials... I googled "perennials to start indoors during winter," and found a few peoples' lists about a month ago. Some stuff is very fast-growing, and some things stay so tiny for quite awhile, just sending down roots and stuff, but hardly any top growth. That might help ya out! The seedsite helped me out, too. I look at her method of germination tables next to each plant. If hers germinated in 3 to 5 days then I wouldn't start it inside juuust yet.
A lot of plants on her table take 30 days to 3 months, and so far that has proven true for me too.
So I don't think that you need an expensive light set-up to do some sowing. I also found a plant light that is already assembled and you just screw it in... at wally world for $9.
But I am crazy and pull out long sheets of aluminum foil to make my own reflectors when something is proving to be too leggy.... heh heh heh
maybe don't listen to me though! you might catch my sickness! hahahahaa.
I start bringing out large fans around april too, to harden off my plants. My house is much cleaner and easier to manuever in spring and summer LOL. There's nothing like watching some dahlias or zinnias swaying in your own breezy kitchen. hahahaha!

Last edited by SuddenlySpring; 02-13-2009 at 03:02 PM..
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  #13  
Old 02-17-2009, 07:58 AM
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I'm on board with the winter sowing. I have collected some milk jugs and soda bottles and I'm going to sow the first batch of perennials today! I can't imagine that I'll use all the seeds I purchased so I'll be putting the left overs out as available for swapping. They are fresh seeds so should start just fine. I also got a bunch of pink cleome (sp?) seeds but I think I'll hold off for a few more weeks on those since they are annuals. Wish me luck!!
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  #14  
Old 02-17-2009, 08:05 AM
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Did you see our wintersowing club in the Social Groups? Check it out, we have fun sharing our w'sing stories!
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2009, 08:14 AM
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Yes Mandy I did. I am going to document this too so keep an eye out for photos... This is a new challange for me. I'm the clipping queen and I don't have much experience with seeds....

Jacki
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