Any comments - planting outdoors or in garage

Since the early 90s, I have been germinating and growing my rose seeds in a sunroom that is attached to the main house with sliding doors. It is not heated. The windows only go about half way down. The lower part of the walls are pressed boards with insulation behind them. It appears that the pressed boards were not treated to resist rot. Early on I painted them with a bathroom anti-fungal paint. However, what looks like black mold has now started on the lower parts.

We decided to stop using the sunroom for hybridizing, tear out the walls and insulation, and rebuild as a regular sunroom.

This gives me 2 options. I can use shelves against a wall in our attached 2 car garage, and/or I can plant the seeds outdoors in a “box” that I have constructed. The box has wooden sides and close weave wire underneath and on the cover to protect against mice, etc.

Question 1):If I plant in this outside box in the late fall, should I leave the seeds in the hips? I was thinking that this would help prevent too early germination in the spring.

Question 2): Does outside planting remove the need for damping off prevention methods?

Question3): Which would be a better way to go?

A) start outside and then bring into the garage and put under lights in individual pots,


b) start in the garage and then put into individual pots in the box outside?

(Our division has a “rule” against having detached greenhouses, storage sheds, etc. The box looks like one of my raised beds so I don’t think I will have a problem with it.)

Thank you,

Henry Kuska, zone 5, northern Ohio.

Up until a few months ago, I also was in Zone 5, northern Ohio (now it is more like zone 6, central Ohio) and lacking any kind of sun room, I started practically all my seeds indoors underlights. I did try sprouting some outdoors – well, actually, I planted them (out of their hips) outside in little pots in the fall, and brought them inside towards the end of winter to sprout under lights because I was just too impatient. I see no reason why you could just do it all outside – but I never have because when the long ohio winter is just dragging on, I get pretty cabin feverish if I don’t have SOMETHING growing inside. So if it was me, I would probably start them indoors, but doing it outdoors might be smarter in some ways – no hardening off, for one thing. Maybe you could do a bit of both if space is an issue – the one you really want to see sprout and grow early indoors and the ones you are less excited about outside.

There – those are my random thoughts on the subject.


There are those hips that don’t need the winter to germinate. Those I image you will start indoors and move out. I still use the hydrogen peroxide mixture outside as I believe there are more air borne things outside to kill a seedling than inside and more microbes that can be brought in by underground bugs. I am new at this but have only had one outside seedling survive ,so far. The early germinations outside from early warm temps can be dug up and brought inside so I would not leave them in their hips. Hoping for germinations outside without the sixteen hours of light indoors could give you may mean your seedlings don’t get the boost they could right away. Indoors would maximize your seedling success. The garage would stay cooler longer than outdoors, again giving you more seedlings. A long winter could shorten your germinating temps outside if spring heats up. The risks seem to be more out than in. Some thoughts, anyway.

Thank you both for the comments. In my files, I found the following written by Joseph Winchel.


There are many advantages in planting hybridized rose seeds out in the garden, even in the northern part of most of the United States. (1) A higher percentage of the seed will germinate. (2) Less expense. (3) Less work. Once you have tried growing seedlings outdoors, you will probably never grow them indoors again.

Be sure the hips are mature before harvesting. They will continue to ripen even after the temperature drops to 25 degrees with no damage. When you harvest the hips place them in plastic bags in the refrigerator and leave them until Thanksgiving, then shell them and dunk them in a mixture of Captan and water according to the instructions on the package. Dry the seed on a paper towel

at room temperature for an hour or two. Seal the seeds in a small container such as a baby food jar, 35 mm film cartridge or a medicine vial. Stick a label on

the outside so you will know what cross it contains. Place the seed back into the refrigerator until you are ready to plant outside.

Planting time is about one month before the last hard freeze (30 degrees.). Planting time in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland is about the first week in April. In Shreveport it is the first of February. Don’t worry about freezing after the seeds are planted as it makes them sprout all the better. After they have germinated, frost won’t hurt them as the little cotyledons are tough.

…(article continues with information about bed preparation, planting, fertilizing, disease control, and winter protection)…"

Note, I (Henry Kuska) do not recommend the Captan treatment if you are doing the work in your home.