"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away?"

Author: Unknown

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Planting Out Winter Sown Seedlings

  This is my first year winter sowing, and I know it wont be my last. This has to be the easiest and most productive way to mass sow seeds. I sowed out over 226 containers. I still have a few that haven't (and may not) germinated yet. But I cant complain, because I have so many that have. Some are even almost 6" high. I did find out that it is best to have the soil moist before trying to pop them out of the milk jugs. If the soil was a little dry, and I tried to pull out clumps of seedlings, or turn the jug over to get them out, they would fall apart. But if the soil was moist then I could take them out as one big cake, and separate the clumps into the size hunks I needed. Or as winter sowers call HOS, hunk of seedlings. Instead of planting out individual seedlings, it is much easier and quicker to plant them out in hunks. And from pics I have seen on Gardenweb, it looks much nicer and fuller when the plants have matured. Here is a clump after I turned over the milk jug and slid it out:
Now all I do is divide this large clump up into a few smaller ones. The size of the hunks are determined by how heavily I sowed, and the type of plant. A few things, I realized too late that I sowed way to heavily. Such as the Butterfly bush...es. These seedlings are packed into one jug. There is now way I am going to need 100's of Butterfly Bushes, no matter how well I like them. But I am learning,lol.


  1. wow - 226 containers - I am impressed. Your plants look lovely and healthy too!

  2. Congrats on your success. It was my first year tring WS and I'm hooked on it too. Don't know how many I really sowed without looking at my handwritten paperwork but next year I am only sowing what I want in my flowerbeds and each milk crate holds 9(1/2 gal each)milk jugs and when those milk crates are filled, that's all I'm doing this year. My failures were in using the coffee and cold drink cups but one year, who knows I might try them again. I am collecting my milk jugs now and when I have 36 or 45, I will start preparing the drainage and air circulation holes and numbering them. My mini-blind markers are already cut and bagged up. I bet the view from your house is fantastic, with all those beautiful flowers you have planted and do I see the mountains in the background? It looks so peaceful and serene. Thanks for sharing your pictures with us. the picture of the soapwort plant with purple flowers made me realize it wasn't a lot of Siberian Iris at my first plant swap in May. It must have been soapwort. Will have to google it and find out more about it.