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Despite my earlier protestations, and with much appreciated assistance, I not only planted what turned out to be an overfilled garden, I har...

March 25, 2010

Winter Sowing 2010

There has been quite the debate in my family of late on whether it is possible to successfully use the winter sowing process for warm weather plants like Okra, tomatoes, peas and so forth. Winter Sowing is a process where you use recycleable containers as miniature green houses to start "hardy" seedlings outdoors during the winter months. This is supposed to be an easy method of germinating seeds that if done successfully will allow you to save #1. money, #2. time, and #3. time & money.

First off it is very feasable financially to buy seeds and germinate them by direct sowing, in-door starting, and/or winter sowing. The cost to start your garden whether vegetable, herb, or flower could start to break the bank if you are purchasing plants instead of seeds. Starting seeds on time for the upcoming growing season can take a lot of work and planning and if inexperienced can also take a bite out of your wallet.

Expenses that can sneak up on you are things like lighting, the electricity for the lighting, potting mix, containers, shelving, fertilizer, etc. I found this out the hard way years ago and have been bumping my head against the wall trying to find new ways to get the results I desire without the headaches. Some of the headaches were trying to find space in our home to start the seeds with lighting and heat. That then lead to me trying to figure out how to hide Home Depot receipts from the hubby. lol

Even in all the gardening books I have purchased or borrowed from the library I never came across the Winter Sowing method. However a few weeks ago I stumbled into the http://forums.gardenweb.com/ website and saw photos and descriptions of this process and became intrigued by it. This process should allow us to take those milk jugs, take-out containers, yogurt container, virtually any plastic food container you toss in the garbage or the recycle bin and use it to grow phenominal "hardy" and strong plants. This includes everything from tomatoes, peppers, flowers, melons, you name it and it's supposed to be possible to grow with this method. Since this process is totally new to us we are experimenting with winter sowing the following plant types:

  1. Spaghetti Squash
  2. Okra
  3. Sugar Daddy Peas
  4. Soy Beans
  5. Purple Hull Peas
  6. Morning Glory Tree
  7. African Daisy
  8. Canterbury Bells
  9. Perennial Poppy
  10. Sweet William
  11. Echinacea - Purple Cone Flower
  12. Money Plant
  13. Cosmos
  14. Moss Roses
  15. Mother of Thyme
  16. Joe Pye Weed
So as you can see we have 16 varieties of plants that we are hoping to cultivate and grow with this process that is NEW to us.  Please check out this method of starting your plants from seed. If you are thinking of using this method and want step by step information on how to start and finish here are a couple great resources with pictures.
We will keep you posted on just how we are doing with this method of starting our 2010 garden. Please check back for pictures and postings on our progress.