Jan 1, 2011
This afternoon when it warmed up to a brisk 40F degrees, I tapped little soil ice cubes out of a planting tray, getting ready for my first attempt at wintersowing. I have a lot of seeds saved, and after counting how many grape boxes I had, selected a number of varieties to sow.
Kneeling in front of the potting bench, completely shocked at how frozen my potting soil bin had become, I chipped off the frozen crust to dig out some crumbly mix. This is a combination of regular garden soil, a bag of all purpose potting soil and old soil from last summer’s pots. I mix it all up with a few shovels full of manure, and call it done. I keep it in an old wheelbarrow that the Tractor Man ran over with his tractor. It has no wheels or the handles now, just a barrow now, but good for a soil bin.
I filled all these grape boxes, come from Costco, with an inch and a half of soil and brought them up to the upper patio where the hose was not as frozen as the lower one. I soaked each one with a bit of water…they were already wet. These clear plastic grape boxes have hinged lids that snap together and I’m hoping they will do as well as milk jugs, which we don’t buy in gallon sized anymore.
I grabbed some office labels and a sharpie and a kitchen towel to wipe off the water where the labels would go. With cold, getting-stiff fingers, I opened each seed pak and sprinkled them generously on the soil. Bounding down the steps, I dug into the soil bin and brought up some extra with which to cover the seeds. Snapping the lids down, I stacked up the boxes one by one. Two trips down the steps brought them all down to the area in front of the potting bench to wait out the winter.
This is what I planted:
Bread seed poppies-2 boxes
Gold Plains Coreopsis
and rust coreopsis and
Mexican Hats all in the same box.
Chocolate scented daisies
Penstamen ‘Violet dusk’
In addition, one large planting tray was filled with the native wildflowers mix I got last Fall from S & S Seeds to plant the new meadow. The second large tray I have was too frozen to use. Oops! I’ll have to set it out in a sunny spot to thaw, and then I’d like to plant it with some extra meadow and wildflower mix, also from S & S, to fill in any bare spots.