On Saturday, September 24, Pollinator Pathway, Kingston Conservation Commission, sponsored a Field Trip to Riverside Gardens in Dover, NH. Leslie and Ken Herd were our generous hosts and showed us around their six acre homestead.
Five Master Gardeners attended: Dawn, Genie, Loretta, Barbara, and Judy. Our interest was in learning more about winter sowing of seeds.
One critical takeaway was that this works best with ‘Class C’ seeds which require stratification (seeds germinate after a period of cold.) Native seeds also don’t mind being close so a packet can be started in one container.
The water jug is cut to open it, drainage holes are needed in the bottom, cap is left off, organic potting soil is used, seeds are planted, and jug is taped back together with duct tape. When she starts them in 4″ pots she also adds some sand to the top, and the 4″ pots are put into one of the frames above. The frames have hardware cloth on the bottom. One frame is used to hold the pots, and a second frame is put on the top to keep critters from snacking on the plants. The jugs or frames are planted mid December and left on the north side of the house through the winter months.
The pots are moved to a sunny spot in May and when they have a set of “true leaves,” they are transplanted into 1-quart pots with 3-4 seedlings per pot. The next year they are transplanted into individual pots.
It was two hours packed full of information and interesting questions from the other participants.
This event was free and advertised through Nature Groupie. If you don’t currently receive their newsletter, here is a link to sign up.
Want to learn more about harnessing the coming cold weather to propagate a diversity of plants from seed? Consider joining Margaret Roach and Ken Druse for a free webinar on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 6 PM Eastern. For more information use this link, and click here to register.