"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Snowy day in March, perfect for winter sowing.

Another day of snow, in March, in the Seattle area. I guess that makes it a perfect day for winter sowing.
I thought I'd start some more seeds yesterday. I'm still learning a lot about it and having a fun time watching what grows outside in my lasagna pans.
The seeds I started yesterday were:

Cosmos 'Sensation Mix', I usually direct sow them, but saw them on the WinterSown.Org list and thought I'd try.

Nicotiana x sanderae 'Sensation Blend' I saved some seeds to try indoors as well.

Lobelia erinus 'Cambridge Blue' They have a very long germination time, 8 to 10 weeks.

The fact that I'll only be out about $6 if the seeds don't germinate makes it worth trying for me.
Here is something I was very happy to see, both of my winter sown larkspurs finally sprouted. I started these January 29th, and on March 8th I finally saw these little green seedlings. I had almost given up on seeing any. Thanks to the many garden bloggers who encouraged me to wait a little longer, I didn't dump them out like I had planned to do.
The larkspurs are 'Shades of Blue' and 'Sydney Blue Picotee'.
About a week and a half ago I also started nicotiana sylvestris 'Indian Peace Pipe'. If I have good success this time I'm going to try a lot more next year.
Now I hope it isn't too cold for the seeds I just planted. Here they are this morning.
As I write this post it's snowing again. The weather report says the high today will be 38 and the low in the 20's. I guess winter is not ready to give in to spring yet.
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  1. Well, that looks familiar. The snow I mean. We had a little this morning, but it is gone now where I live. I wish spring would get here- I'm so impatient! Your babies look really good, Catherine! I'd say you're starting out on the right foot!

  2. I've never tried winter sowing. I've been enjoying following gardeners who are doing it, and am inspired to try it next year!

  3. Hi Catherine

    I've got Nicotiana and Cosmos germinated from a sowing a few weeks ago. OK, I sowed them under cover but they liked the temperature fluctuation.

    So this spring weather you're having, one step forward, two steps back...


  4. Nice. I got a long ways to go to even catch up.

  5. It's very strange seeing so much growth and birds and stuff in your neck of the woods-then snow! Seattle is maybe a bit fickle? It is 73 degrees here. So warm and everything is blooming. It is amazing. The seeds look great, I'm glad you held onto that larkspur.

  6. I've never winter sown seeds either. Mostly because we have SO much snow around here AND I have a hard enough time growing seeds in the summer. I'm waiting for winter to move along too.

  7. Tessa - It snowed quite a bit. I hope this is it, but I think I've already said that quite a few times this winter.

    garden girl - It's been a fun learning experience. I always like to try something new, especially if it doesn't cost much :)

    Rob - Then you're a bit ahead of me. I've never tried starting Cosmos early before. I hope they'll bloom a little earlier this way. Spring is about 3 steps back after today :)

    Abe - I'm sure you'll be caught up, and maybe even pass us if the snow continues!

    Tina - This has been a very strange winter for us. Much more snow than usual and colder too. It's not completely unusual to get snow in March, but I'm just tired of it now. Enjoy your nice weather, and hope you are getting lots of gardening in!

    Cinj - Won't it be nice when the days of snow are over for awhile? I'm looking forward to forecasts of sunny and warm days.

  8. Catherine, what pretty pictures!
    And you have nailed it on the head. Seed packet of however-many seeds: cost: less than $4. Plus all the fun of sowing them and seeing what happens: priceless! I keep wondering why haven't I done more seed sowing before?

  9. I'm sorry you got snow again. Maybe it won't stay around too long. Good luck with all your seeds. Your list sounds great!

  10. First note to you is I must tell you that I LOVE YOUR BLOG ENTRIES! I learn something new every time I stop by your fabulous site. THANK YOU!!!

    Second, I have never tried Lobelia from seed. Can you share where you would recommend purchasing these seeds. I worked in a greenhouse in years past so we always purchased or lobelia as starters that were tranplanted into a 3 1/2 " pot for retail. http://www.provenwinners.com/plants/detail.cfm?photoID=5948&doSearch=1&searchGenus=Lobelia&searchSeries=&btnSearch=Search&

    THIRD, I was wondering if you are using the plastic 'greenhouse' kits for seed starting ( in your last photo) or are those tin containers that you find in the baking good department. I just returned from Walmart tonight with both to try my hand in seed starting like you have.

    Thank you once again for sharing your garden thoughts with us.

  11. Hi Catherine, looks like Idaho there in Seattle. Crazy weather. I am so glad you just planted some more winter sow seeds. I was wanting to try this but wasn't sure how much winter they needed. I thought I might be to late. Now I will give it a try for sure.
    THanks for the inspiration.

  12. Hi Catherine, I see I'm not the only one that uses lasagna pans for seed sowing although I haven't done any sowing yet. I like to wait. Darn this snow. Love your photos.

  13. Nice photos Catherine. I've had enough of the snow, I think. At least it's not sticking here. Just really cold. Nice to see your seedlings, too. Great job.

  14. Hi Catherine, Your flowers look so pretty with that bit of snow on them as much as we hate to hear that. WoW you did Larkspur in January huh? I did mine on the first I think and have them in the house. For a minute I thought one was peeking through but guess not. But the coneflowers and Cosmos are. I even got some that I took from my flowers last fall coming through - Sweet William 'Sooty' and some Mallows I did. Well, now I know it was seeds I took huh. Whew!

  15. Aerie-el - I agree! This is the most early seed starting I've done. I did a good amount last year, but this year I've tried a lot more different types.

    Susie - Thanks. There's still a bit of snow here, I just hope it's done this time.

    Bren- Thank you! I've learned a ton from other garden blogs, I think they're the best place to find out new things! The lobelia seeds I bought are Botanical Interests. I've never tried lobelia from seed, but have read that lots of people do. This will be a new one for me.
    The pans I used are just foil roasting pans from the grocery store. Be sure to put slits in the bottoms and tops for drainage and ventilation. If you click on the wintersown.org link in this post you'll find lots of great information. Good luck with yours, let me know how it goes!
    Thanks again for the compliments :)

    Heather - Glad to hear you are trying too! Let us know what you decide to start!! :)

    Grace- They are the best, much cheaper and deeper. I hope we're done for real this time with the snow :)

    Melanthia - We must be just enough higher than you that it stuck. We got about 2 inches, it's melted from the roads now.

    Rain Gardener - I read that some people start their larkspur even earlier. Glad to hear you're having luck with your seeds, especially since they are ones you were able to save :) Sounds like you are off to a great start!

  16. I was so excited to see everyone's snow photos during the winter, now I am so saddened for ya'll. C'mon spring.

  17. Awesome! See, the seeds know when to germinate. Some of mine are still sitting out there knowing we'll be getting some more cold weather soon. Be patient. I know, it's impossible for us. LOL.

    It's going to be beautiful.

  18. Catherine, I meant to tell you. If you collect larkspur seeds to sow next year, be sure to sow them early around December. They need a cold period to germinate. They should also reseed well.

  19. Darla - I know, now I'll enjoy everyone else's til we see spring weather again.

    Tom - Thanks for all your great advice! I will definitely start them earlier. I can't wait to see them in bloom!

  20. We had a little snow, too. I love your blooms, and seedlings. The gardening season is emerging!


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