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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Operation Winter Sowing Is Underway!

The good news is that I finally got off my ass and did it! I have to be honest - winter sowing was not very fun. I had to fill the containers in the basement since it was too cold outside. What a mess I made in the Garden Cave.

I have no clue if I did this right. I used a box cutter to cut slits towards the tops of the containers for air circulation and in the bottom for drainage. Then I cut them open leaving the hinge thingy like Trudi's site says. Next I put dirt in, threw the seeds in there with some water, then taped them together with duct tape. One thing I do know for sure is that 23 containers was not nearly enough. I need at least 23 more.

Here are a couple of notes about my first try at this:
Milk containers suck! The plastic is thinner which makes it harder to work with.
Hinckley Springs water containers work best - already clean and the plastic is thick and sturdy!
2 liter Diet Rite bottles work nice but they are small - narrow.

Do I water these things regularly or what?
How much longer can I start these containers? I need more time to save more bottles!


  1. That looks great! I haven't started WS yet but will next week. I don't think you water them until it gets warm outside. I'm going to start with perennials and possibly do some hardy annuals. Thank I'll use empty flats left over from last year's indoor sowing. This is exciting.

  2. Go outside and throw out all those caps. With milk jugs and soda bottles you don't have to put gashes in the lids, just 86 the caps. Don't store used milk bottles with the caps on either, even if you've rinsed them very well. The minutest amount of milk will sour and when you take a cap off after they've stored a while the scent will knock you over.

    I sow at my kitchen sink--why you would sow those in the basement I don't know. But they go outside after draining in the ink so there's no mess.

    Good luck wiht your seeds!


  3. Hey Gina! Great job - you beat me to the seed starting cloches! I have a whole mess of containers that I've been saving over the last year (when we absolutely HAD to buy something that only came in plastic), so I can't wait to use them! We're only about 10 weeks away from last frost, so in a couple weeks, it will be pandamonium trying to start all of our seeds!

    Katie at GardenPunks

  4. HOw exciting! I am on my way out this morning to collect containers!! Its recycling day here. I probabaly won;t sow for another week or two. yet. All the suggestions are helpful.

  5. Hi Gina, Congrats on getting your winter sowing off to a good start! I am looking forward to getting some containers out this week and sowing perennials.

  6. Good job! I finally got some winter sowing in this past weekend. Now I just have to get around to posting about it....

  7. This sounds like something I would like to do to save space idoors.

    How often do you water them. Stupid question I know but with the duct tape closed containers I had to ask.

  8. Here we don't really have to worry about watering them due to snow and rain. As spring warms up, I do check them, but by the time they need to be watered, I can take the duct tape off and just let the top part sit there. By that time, I've got seedlings and they need to start hardening off anyway. It all just seems to work out fine!
    Yeah, get those lids off!

  9. Winter sowing is a great idea. It looks as if you are off to a good start. One of these days, you'll have to post a progress report.

  10. Dude, where have I been? I'm not aquanted with this idea. I do the start seeds indoors in flats under lights thing... So, like, you sow the seeds in these containers and then you put them outside and the idea is that they'll germinate whenever it gets warm enough for them to do so? like little itty bitty green houses?