This year I’m going to try something different. In addition to the usual seed starting mania that will go on under grow lights I’m trying a gentler approach and letting nature take its own course. It’s called wintersowing and most of the information I’ve gleaned about it comes from this website: http://www.wintersown.org/. Wintersowing is planting seeds in clear containers and placing them outside in the winter to let spring wake them up naturally. This method works especially well with seeds that require a period of dormancy or ‘cold stratification’ before germinating. It probably won’t work with the most tender of heat loving plants but there are hundreds of other varieties that it will work with. If you visit the very thorough website above you can find a list of perennials, annuals and even vegetables that have been successfully winter sown. I’ve detailed the steps I’ve taken and seeds I’ve sown in the photos below and hope to bring you the results of my gentler approach in the spring.
Step 1 – Find clear containers with lids and puncture holes in the top for ventilation and in the bottom for drainage. Large pop bottles with the bottom removed would work also. The ventilation holes ensure that when the sun starts to heat things up your seeds won’t cook.
Step 2 – Fill with seed starting mixture and follow packet directions for sowing. Label containers with seed varieties, remember the sun will bleach any writing so place the labels underneath the container.
Step 3 – Place your containers outside somewhere where they won’t get disturbed and will receive sunlight. When the days get sunnier and longer check on your seedlings as they may need more ventilation. Propping the lid open a tad should accomplish this.
List of seeds sowed:
- California Poppies
- Magenta Spreen
- Morning Glory
- Silver Dollar
Stay tuned for more photos in the springtime.