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Winter Gardening CHALLENGE

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Topic by MsDebbieP posted 11-02-2009 07:34 AM 6892 views 0 times favorited 43 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

11-02-2009 07:34 AM

Topic tags/keywords: winter gardening challenge wgc flowers vegetables sowing zone 5 ontario canada

Nov 2/09

Let the games begin!

Thanks to Brad's blog about winter gardening (winter sowing) we have a new challenge for our GT-ers who live in the northern climate.
(And here is XO’s project)
Click for details: Winter Sowing in the Freezing Rain

Start (at least one) container of WINTER GARDENING.

All you need is (I think)
  • a container, such as a plastic milk jug
  • some dirt (and water, I am assuming)
  • some seeds (flowers, vegetables…)
  • a winter coat for when you go out to check the containers
  • patience, as any gardening requires.
  • a blog to post your process (tag your blog as WGC so we can find them all easily)

We’ll be watching the process and the progress—and how many people take up the challenge!

Challenge: Part II
Plant seeds using three different methods. (Use the same seed origin for the three methods so we have a “valid” experiment)
1) plant one set of seeds in the winter garden,
2) plant one set in traditional grow light conditions (or whatever system you use to get a head start) and
3) plant one set one set planted directly in the garden if possible.

Then when summer arrives we can compare the results of the different planting strategies.

For you “southeners”, how can you participate but change the challenge to one for your climate?

Note: credit for Winter Sowing is given to Trudi Davidoff. Check out her website at: http://www.wintersown.org/

And check this out: A GT Interview with Trudi!!
———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

THANKS FOR SPREADING THE WORD
(add a link to this page from your blog/website etc and your logo/link will be added to the list here.)

Thanks for your support!


The Gathering Place

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)



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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

11-02-2009 07:37 AM

my plan is to watch and follow Jroot! :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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jroot

5121 posts in 3503 days
hardiness zone 5a

11-02-2009 04:08 PM

Do I sense pressure? I think so?

You are right, in that we need:

. a container, and it can be a plastic jug etc, but it could be a simple growing tray with a clear plastic top. I have some that have holes drilled in, to let moisture in or out. This I tape to the bottom – you’ll see.

. definitely some dirt, or growing medium.

. obviously some seeds. In the past I have used perennial seeds that needed some stratification. I have never tried more tender seeds. Heck, that must be part of the challenge, – to try something different.

. NO winter coat, as when I put them out, I forget about them, and don’t bother checking them. I figure Ma Nature doesn’t check hers so why should I? LOL

. Patience – They will come along in the spring when they are good and ready.

. a blog – sure we can post our progress, if just to let each other know who all is involved.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

11-02-2009 04:20 PM

pressure???? lol noooo … no pressure :D

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Bon

7374 posts in 3653 days
hardiness zone 5a

11-03-2009 10:18 AM

Hmmmm now all I gotta do is find some containers.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View Orchids77's profile

Orchids77

268 posts in 3122 days
hardiness zone 5

11-03-2009 09:22 PM

I am starting to hoard the milk containers, he,he, hopefully dear hubby won’t throw them out ( with the recycle.)

-- Orchids77

View mario1360's profile

mario1360

921 posts in 3288 days
hardiness zone 5a

11-04-2009 08:53 AM

wow thats too cool, i will defenitely take the challenge but i am wondering should i wait until it gets colder? they say its going to be 12-14 and 7 at night this weekend.
Would that not rot the seeds if its too warm?

-- south shore montreal, zone 5a, whish it was 9

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

11-04-2009 09:01 AM

jroot says he is starting is at the end of December or something like that… I’m going to follow his lead since he lives in relatively the same region as I do

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Iris43

3811 posts in 3503 days
hardiness zone 5a

11-06-2009 09:53 AM

I’m with you on this, MsDeb. I have never tried this bf but with the limited space I have for starting seeds indoors this may be what I need to help me. jroot, you said you have used growing trays? I have those, I could try that!

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

11-08-2009 05:25 PM

I was thinking today: wouldn’t it be interesting to start some of the seeds in three different ways so we could compare
1) the winter garden
2) grow light indoors
3) direct in the garden

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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jroot

5121 posts in 3503 days
hardiness zone 5a

11-09-2009 06:51 AM

If I planted directly in the garden, the @#$% squirrels would have them out in a moment’s time.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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Bon

7374 posts in 3653 days
hardiness zone 5a

11-09-2009 08:09 AM

Debbie I will be starting my seeds all 3 ways so I will keep track of their progress to see how they do.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

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Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3136 days
hardiness zone 5b

11-09-2009 09:59 AM

I don’t have an indoor grow light, but I can try two of the three methods.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

11-10-2009 05:24 PM

this is going to be interesting. Maybe we can have more inspirational and educational challenges in the future!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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mski

11 posts in 3603 days
hardiness zone 9a

11-14-2009 07:58 PM

What is this thing you call Winter?
Just wondering.
So Cal

-- Zone? Microclimate, rarely frost, slightly inland, never rains, never wanders too far from 70 deg except for Dec & Jan, although the last few years it's got hot mid summer!!

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3503 days
hardiness zone 5a

11-15-2009 05:00 AM

The winter we have here in Ontario, Canada is VASTLY different from what you experience in So Cal. In the winter here, I usually have a 5 foot high snow drift around my front walk, and often heavy equipment is called in to remove the snow from the driveways so we can get out to work. Yup, VASTLY different. LOL

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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Bon

7374 posts in 3653 days
hardiness zone 5a

11-20-2009 08:19 AM

A friend of mine is going to give me some containers.Yahoo I’ll be set to go when the time comes.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

12-07-2009 08:36 AM

here is XO’s winter gardening project
Click for details: Winter Sowing in the Freezing Rain

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

12-07-2009 08:44 AM

I’m wondering which type of seeds I should plant.
I found this resource to help me out. WinterSown.org

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View koozie's profile

koozie

35 posts in 3178 days
hardiness zone 7

12-15-2009 12:28 AM

I have noticed since bringing in my porch plants for the recent cold snaps (yes Deb we are having a winter down south), they are thriving ( the EE’s especially) by being placed right in front of the television….
It appears they are really drawn to the light from it, even the one that was struggling has stood up and took notice. Right now I have brought in all my plants from the front porch so my living room looks like a jungle….
My hubby would kill me if I were to try to grow anything else inside right now…lol I think I will wait for the spring Thaaaaaanks, lol

Koozie
http://tinapierson.mentoringforfree.com/?mad=4182

-- my work in progress

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

12-15-2009 05:22 AM

Oh I know all about the southern winters – there has been lots of discussions about it over at LumberJocks …(lots of teasing actually) but I stand corrected: too cold for plants is too cold for plants.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MIKE CRIPPS

404 posts in 3648 days

12-16-2009 01:34 PM

Well I see you are all keeping busy and wish you all lots of luck with this unusual winter project having enjoyed hearing about your winter weather in the past I am wondering if your seeds grow if you will ever find them under the snow! I have planted out some supposingly hardy japanese onion sets and some jumbo garlic cloves and started some broad beans in pots. we are about to get our first snow here in the UK with up to 100mm. forcast tomorrow. Nice to join in again regards Mike

-- MIKE MILTON COMMON U.K.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3503 days
hardiness zone 5a

12-16-2009 09:56 PM

Good to hear from you again, Mike. It has indeed been a while.

Oh how I envy your minimal amount of snow ! Mind you, you do get the damp air which is almost as bad.

So they are predicting 100 mm of snow? That is equal to 10 cm. Last week, the town of Huntsville, north of us, received over 100 cm, yes 1000 mm of snow in one fall. That is over 39 inches of snow in one fall. They declared a state of emergency in order to get it clear.

Keep in touch, Mike. I’d love to hear how your plants are doing. I love broad beans.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2290 posts in 3693 days

12-17-2009 06:28 PM

Ferny in british Columbia Canada gets an average of 29’ of snow every winter. It’s wierd in the summer because the stop signs are so high you can hardly see them, but the powder in winter is the best for snow boarders and skiers

I dont know how I could participate in the winter challenge as the snow here is so deep.

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

12-31-2009 09:12 AM

check out this person's containers!

on the wintergrown site someone uses a flower pot inside a ziploc bag. That looked convenient!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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soobee

204 posts in 3080 days
hardiness zone 3

01-02-2010 03:58 PM

ooo I’m going to watch Bon and see what happens…good luck everyone! I have an amazing race just tending the birdfeeder in our weather. cheers!

-- bee with what is...:) soob

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 3653 days
hardiness zone 5a

01-03-2010 10:06 AM

Soobee it was so much fun to try.Why not start just one container and give it a go?

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3811 posts in 3503 days
hardiness zone 5a

01-03-2010 01:40 PM

This is going to be my first winter sowing try. I am hoping that with some seeds tucked into containers outside, it will expand the amount of ‘startings’ I have in the spring.
In the past I have had to wait:
1) until I return from the south.
2) until it’s early enough in the spring to get a head start, but late enough that my little plants don’t have to sit on my window sill too long or they would get too leggy and stunted from lack of ‘real sunlight’.
3) and I have been limited by the small amount of space that I can donate to this enterprise.
I’ve had no problem getting seeds to germinate, as they don’t require light for that. Even the beginning stages of growth are fine. But once they begin to require adequate light conditions, I need to be able to put them outside…...even if it’s in a cold frame.
My plants are smaller than those of others that can start them in an optimum setting with grow lights but they still have a head start and usually don’t take long to catch up once they are in the ground.
I have one question…..................is it important that you get these planted containers outside now? What if you didn’t plant them until ….say….February? They would still get several weeks of cold, and they would still be there for the gradual warm up. Does the length of freezing cold impact on the performance of germination?

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

01-03-2010 02:06 PM

interesting question… if nobody knows the answer you might just have to be the one to try it and see if it works.
but, I’m sure somebody already knows the answer…

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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jroot

5121 posts in 3503 days
hardiness zone 5a

01-03-2010 02:44 PM

That will be fine, Iris. Even if a seed needed 6 weeks of cold, February would still give it enough time to burst forth in … say… April or May. That is when most of mine germinated in the past even though I set them out in January or December.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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Iris43

3811 posts in 3503 days
hardiness zone 5a

01-04-2010 09:34 AM

Thanks for the answer, jroot. I guess everyone is just anxious to get this done and to be doing ‘some kind’ of gardening on these these cold, dark days. I figure I will get mine done sometime in January, so I will be free to travel if I decide to go south in Feb. We have very little snow here yet, so anything I put out would be at the mercy of the wind, with no covering of snow to protect them.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3503 days
hardiness zone 5a

01-04-2010 03:57 PM

I hear you on that one, Iris. I will probably do some more later this month.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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Josh

42 posts in 3326 days

01-07-2010 12:10 AM

This is a great challenge. But challenge makes it sound tough and this is anything but. I been filling jugs for the past three years. More people need to know about this. Iris to touch on your question, some of your more delicate seeds you actually want to hold off on setting out till later in the year. Tougher perennial plants you can put out earlier.

I would also suggest not setting the jugs on the ground. I always keep mine up off the ground. One you don’t want bugs climbing up into your jugs, and two it makes them easier to move when heavy rains, or high winds hit. Strips of plywood on sawhorses works good. or if your trying to kill some grass the plywood rite on the ground wood work.

Another tip would be go easy on the seeds. DO you really want a 500 cosmos in one jug? The seeds will sprout. Not like seeds just grow on trees. What I have found is my jug plants will be smaller then what they are selling in the stores in the spring, but once they hit the dirt, the jug plants go crazy.

The jugs also make great mothers day gifts. Don’t forget ma. Wouldn’t be a mothers day if you didn’t have some flowers for her.

Bets of luck.

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

01-07-2010 03:54 AM

good information. Thanks!

I wasn’t sure where the best spot would be to put the jugs. I had temporarily put them on the deck by the pond.. guess they can stay there now :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3503 days
hardiness zone 5a

01-07-2010 05:31 AM

That’s where miine are, MsDebbieP. I can keep an eye on them there.

Wow, you are an early riser. MsDebbieP. It is only 6:30 a.m. here, and you’ve been at it for two hours. Baking pies or slow cooking breakfast, I presume? LOL

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

01-07-2010 05:38 AM

it’s just the way my internal clock has been working for the past year or so … up around 4:30. Sometimes i’m awake at 2:30 and hold out for a couple of hours before getting up…. makes for an early evening though
but I love my mornings, even at 4:30

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View norwood's profile

norwood

38 posts in 2943 days
hardiness zone 8

02-03-2010 05:15 PM

this sounds like fun. I may be a bit too late to start as it has been such a mild winter here that i am already finding leaf buds on trees!

oh well, i want to try this challenge as well, so we will see how it goes.

-- This will be my second year finding out what will grow in my garden space! Fun fun fun! Zone 8, BC.

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Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3136 days
hardiness zone 5b

02-04-2010 06:22 AM

I don’t think it is too late; join in the fun!

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3503 days
hardiness zone 5a

02-05-2010 03:56 PM

I’ve got some sitting on my BBQ ledge, beside the window. Others are on the deck floor beside the sliding door. Hoping for spring …. some day.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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MyThreeGardens

3 posts in 2948 days
hardiness zone 6

02-09-2010 08:31 AM

Please add my site – http://www.mythreegardens.com I added the link to this post!

I am trying both the traditional windowsill method (not having a lot of luck with it though) AND I am also winter-sowing. My containers are buried under snow right now…and more white stuff is on the way!

Jeannie

-- Jeannie, My Three Gardens, Bucks County, PA, http://www.mythreegardens.com

View mario1360's profile

mario1360

921 posts in 3288 days
hardiness zone 5a

02-14-2010 05:11 PM

do I put mine here?

aconitum ivorine
dierama mosii

the snow is sparse, I hope it survives, we’ll see…

-- south shore montreal, zone 5a, whish it was 9

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

02-14-2010 05:22 PM

way to go. Glad you are participating :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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mario1360

921 posts in 3288 days
hardiness zone 5a

02-14-2010 05:56 PM

thks deb….happy to be back here.

-- south shore montreal, zone 5a, whish it was 9

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 3653 days
hardiness zone 5a

02-15-2010 08:36 AM

I added some more to my collection.Hope they all germinate.My gardens will really be full this year if they do.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

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