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ursulav

Winter Sowing

Today I did real adult things like a real adult with pants, and then, to make up for this unaccustomed devotion to paperwork and filling out online forms, I went and planted a bunch of seeds.

It's much too early to plant out anything but peas and maybe radishes, but I'm trying the Winter Sowing method, which involves lots of mini-greenhouses made out of milk jugs and plastic trays and whatnot. I'm using a couple of those big round trays with clear covers, like you get shrimp in, or ham rolls, or whatever small foods.

I planted 8 types of pepper, 7 tomatoes, "Hairy Balls" Milkweed (heh heh) Danish Flag Poppies, cilantro, thyme, chiltepin and ground cherries. I have no idea if this will work--it seems absurd, putting these plants out now, as if you could just ask for miracles and get them! But gardening is basically asking for miracles and sometimes getting them, and people swear by it. I hate fiddling with grow-lights anyway, and I have way more seeds than I'll ever plant this year, so if they all die off, I'm not really out anything.

Still, it's nerve-wracking. I have read all the forums full of people in far colder zones who swear by this method, who put tomatoes out on February 2nd in Zone 5 and get sturdy plants (though they are not quite so far along as the grow-light versions, but significantly sturdier seedlings) but it is a weird leap of faith to plant things out when all your nerves are screaming "Bring them in! This is madness! This will never work!"

I have the little plastic cel-packs with four cels each, the kind you buy annuals in, so each cultivar gets four cels, two seeds to a cel, to be thinned later (assuming any of them survive!)

Kevin goes in for the last of the jaw surgeries tomorrow, so we recorded a week of Hidden Almanac tonight. I got another hamster illo done. The garden is warm and I just want to wander around in it, finding things that are coming up (The filberts! The filberts have FLOWERED!) and pulling the occasional weed. It is better than watching the news and waiting for each new body blow, and at least at some point I may actually get filberts out of it.

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Gardens are always good news.
Thank you.

And fair healing to Kevin! St. Otter's Blessings!

If shoveling snow is like gardening I got my meditation in shining about 5 inches of it from my driveway to about 6 feet off the edge of my driveway. Might be a while before winter sowing has a chance of working here.

I'm reminded of coming around a corner that gave a clear view of the Pipestone, MB cemetery to see what looked rather like hellfire breaking out of the ground. I pulled over a bit closer, and figured out that someone must have died leaving instructions for burial immediately, rather than cremation and burial in the spring. Pipestone is small enough that there is no heavy equipment involved in running the cemetery ... so in winter they just set fire to a stack of old railroad ties to thaw the ground enough for a couple of guys with shovels.

Do any of the write ups on winter sowing include instructions that start: "shovel off two feet of snow currently covering the planting area"? If so, those are the ones I'd need. Once the ground is clear, firewood is probably as good as railroad ties to get the ground thawed ... especially since seeds don't require quite that much area, or depth, dug.

Thanks. It was really nice seeing this post about gardening.

Edited at 2017-02-01 06:07 am (UTC)

If I tried to sow anything at present, it would more likely drown than freeze. I'm in the north of England, which latitude-wise is north of Ontario, but we haven't had a decent snowfall in the last ten years. [it's snowed once this year, less than half an inch, which lasted a couple of hours before melting.]

Most of the flora and fauna are still going WTF? and haven't as yet entirely gotten used to the new conditions. Although the birds are singing their hearts out trying to attract mates and nesting already. [I doubt their success rate will be high, it's horribly damp.]

Yay for adult things (with pants, even!) and then some self-care time.

I'll be interested to hear how the whole winter garden thing turns out for you. I don't know that I've got enough time, plastic, or nerves for that.

I'm trying - yet again - to do artichokes in the northwestern part of Virginia. I'm trying a new cultivar this year, because the last ones were... well, I was muttering "hardy to zone 6 my little left toe!" a lot. But since we have a camellia that has survived the thermometer hitting zero, hope still springs eternal.

P.S. - Have you started following @MordorNPS on Twitter?

Edited at 2017-02-01 02:32 pm (UTC)

OMG, someone else who knows the word "filberts"! People around here look at me like I've grown a second head when I use that word.

I highly recommend the Jay Williams classic, _Philbert The Fearful_.

Since Kevin is a kilt-wearer, you are the adult with pants in your household...

Hope his surgery goes well!

I did a whole winter sowing program for native plants at my park! Milkweed seed and New England aster and Joe Pye weed and mountain mint and Jack-in-the-pulpit and lots of fun stuff! I've grown all of them by cold-stratifying and then planting in the spring, but never winter sowed them before, so hopefully it works like I told everyone it would.

Hairy balls! I planted some a few years ago and took great delight in telling people to come see my hairy balls all year. Never got old (at least to me) :D

It may seem crazy, but then all the spring bulbs in our garden are already pushing up green shoots and it is only just February. Good luck with the seedlings!

I hope Kevin's surgery goes well with no complications and a quick healing.

I picked up a small plastic greenhouse with four shelves yesterday, but we have snow predicted for tomorrow.

I picked up a small plastic greenhouse with four shelves yesterday, but we have snow predicted for tomorrow.

My salad pot is still going strong, the last five days have been mostly snow. Also, if one's sprouts are at the 4 leaf mark and falling over, do they need more soil?


Heh. You called them filberts.

Gaaahhh..... All my sympathies to Kevin-- I'm in the midst of horrible dental woes myself (let's just put it this way: I had twenty-two teeth extracted at the end of November and will probably have bone-grafts in my near future. They use corpse-bone, which is very weird to think of) and I hope he heals beautifully and swiftly.

A Happy Brigid to you both; it's a good day to sow seeds, considering that this is Bride the Brewer's day, when the old gets mixed with the present to make the new. Me, I'm about to dump a freaking ton of desert wildflower seeds out in my backyard; I already hoicked a bunch of 'em out there in December, so hopefully I'll get wild verbena, desert bluebells and some penstemmon like I've been hoping for. I can do without any Cowboy's Fried Eggs, though; much as I like them, they have the worst prickles on the freaking PLANET.

"Hairy Balls" Milkweed? Gomphocarpus physocarpus? It's a weed here in Western Australia, and the main food plant for the Monarch butterflies that self-introduced to Australia.

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