Ok, so anyway, on with this semi-public conversation with myself!
Today i need to remind myself of the research i have done on a garden technique called Winter Sowing. Its a way to get stuff in the garden before it even thaws. At first i had thought it was some sort of weird "toss the seeds on the snow and let them melt in" sort of thing... i mean it sounded totally weird and then i thought maybe this is something people in Florida do when they think they are experiencing a real winter.
Lets face it, 'winter' in Florida does not exist. They have Fall at the most.
Anyway, it turned out that neither was the case.
My focus this year is on Veggies, i am trying to save some money and learn some old time skills before they are forgotten forever in my family. Veggies>Gardening>Preserving >Canning....
According to http://wintersown.org the technique is:
Winter Sowing is fabulous for starting veggies. If you’ve had problems with direct sowing veggie seeds such as the seeds get eaten by birds or critters, or they either desiccate or rot in the soil, or bugs eat them, or there's insufficient germination (for whatever reason) try Winter Sowing your vegetable seeds.
The website has useful lists sorted by USDA Gardening Zones and by seed type. Hardy annuals, perennials, veggies, herbs..etc.
My focus being veggies for Zone 5, i see that such things as onions, beets, carrots, parsnips, chard, tomatoes, curcubits, plus a few others, are all options for this technique.
Tomatoes make sense and even squashes because i can remember a few times i'd find volunteer tomato seedlings pop up in the garden and almost everyone with a compost heap has experienced the Godzilla Squash Compost Monster plant that inevitably sprouts from wayward seed from the previous year. This past summer's Compost Monster was a strange pattypan/carnival squash hybrid. I should take a picture of the single fruit it produced before it got mashed in the yardwork. I took the fruit because it looked so neat, but i didn't have any idea what to do with it, since it was a winter and summer squash mix. It is still in the pantry, awaiting its fate.
I wish i could try it with Artichokes (not the JA type!) but the site says i have to be in a warmer zone... but then i have that newer variety that is supposed to be quite hardy- the one i tried the cold-hardening technique on last year that didn't work and i was so annoyed over. I might try it with the remaining seeds. What have i got to lose?
Basically, you take hardy seeds, seeds from plants that reseed themselves, and seeds that either need stratification or take forever to germinate... sow them in seed flats like you would in the spring, and you set them outside.
This is a fabulous FAQ:
Ok, thats if for this entry. i have too much to do today and i have chat requests coming in from facebook and i need to cut my fingernails they are making it impossible to type!