Winter Sowing of Seeds for a Beautiful Spring!
If your potting bench looks like this …..
but you still want to get started on some seeds, what is a winter worn gardener to do??
Winter Sow your seeds! Have you heard of it? I read about it about 10 years back in a garden online newsletter and love how it worked. Many use milk or water gallon jugs but cutting them apart is too much work for me. I am a Lazy Gardener.
So I save different plastic containers that have a separate lid already. I like the Organic Spring garden salad mix from Costco. Yummy salad but what makes it even better is a container that is perfect for winter sowing of seeds.
Once we have eaten up the salad I give the container a good wash in hot soapy water, dry then poke drainage holes in the bottom and a couple in the top with a hot skewer. You want it to drain very well so make sure there are plenty of holes.
I use a regular potting soil, nothing fancy needed, but I do lighten it up a bit with some perlite. Perlite is the little white dots you see, it just make the soil mix have really good drainage.
I don’t fill the clean salad container with the soil mix, I just use maybe an inch and a half to two inches deep.
In the depths of winter I sow hardy annuals or perennials. Ones that I can direct sow in Fall or Early Spring work great for this. Many are listed in this post on cottage flowers that reseed themselves. This is a great way to start seeds that need cold stratification for best germination.
I follow the directions on the seed packet for depth to plant the seed but I tend to sew them more thickly or closer together than the seed packet suggests. I just fly that way.
This year I am trying something new to me, I top it with a light, light layer of Horticultural Sand. It supposedly helps with many issues of seed starting in containers.
I think it looks pretty.
here is what the package looks like.
Once I have gently watered in the seeds I label them and put the covers on. You can put them outside in the winter weather but I will keep mine in my greenhouse, we have pesky critters around that like to dig mine up. My greenhouse is not heated and it gets plenty cold inside so they will do just fine.
In a couple months I can do the same with the more tender annuals and perennials. I am going to try to grow Agapanthus and Kniphofia (Torch Lily) from seeds.
Here is to tons of beautiful flowers in our future!
Have you tried winter sowing? If you did, how did it go for you?
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