Sunday, April 4, 2010

A New Way of WinterSowing

I've been winter sowing seeds for a few years now.  The premise is to make little mini greenhouses out of plastic bottles, like milk jugs or 2 liter soda bottles, then transplant the seedlings right from the jugs when it's time.  This is a really great idea for people who don't want to bother with indoor lighting contraptions for seed starting.  It also means no hardening off of seedlings and it's a great way to recycle plastic bottles.  And most people think of winter sowing in December of January which works great for perennials, but annuals work great using this method, too.  I usually start them in March or April.


The one thing I don't like about winter sowing is that the roots from the seedlings tend to grow together and become tangled.  When you transplant them, you basically have to rip them apart, which seem barbaric, but it usually works.  This year I decided to try a new way of winter sowing.  Instead of filling the containers with dirt, I filled them with pellets.  This way, transplanting will be a breeze. I have no idea if this will work, but I'm hopeful.  I was able to fit 9 pellets in each jug.

Today I used this method to sow some annuals, including Spitfire Climbing Nasturtium which I'm growing as part of the Seed Grow project.  Nasturtiums are easy to grow by direct sowing, but since I'm not sure where I want them to go yet, I thought I'd start them this way and decide their permanent home later.  I have some left that I'll probably direct sow, too.  

I'll be reporting the progress on this batch of winter sowing, including the Climbing Nasturtium, so be sure to check back for updates.

For more information on winter sowing, visit wintersown.org

"I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee's Garden for the seeds."