Hey fellow plant lovers. Are you looking for something to take your mind off the cold weather that is quick and easy and that will also reap many rewards come spring?
Consider winter sowing.
Winter sowing (or cold stratification) mimics the cooling and warming temperatures that seeds naturally experience in their native climate. This is a natural process where a seed is taken from dormancy to germination.
You may know of someone who does this in their refrigerator each season however, winter sowing is quicker and easier when it is done outside. There are countless seeds that can be winter sown as early as January and that only require some very basic household items and an hour or two of your time. The benefits of winter sowing include providing seeds with the best start to the growing season, a quicker germination, plus a hardier plant.
Tools that you’ll use:
Milk jugs, 2 litre pop bottles, plastic take-out containers with domed lids, and/or plant trays with raised lids and starter pots, moist potting soil, scissors/knife, duct tape or twine, and a screwdriver or drill to create drainage holes.
Using your container of choice, poke/drill some drainage holes in the bottom of the container. For those of you who want to use a milk jug or pop bottle, cut the jug in half after you have created the drainage holes, saving the top (without the lid) as this will be refastened once you have added soil and seeds.
Use enough potting soil to fill each container up to an inch from the top. Make sure that the soil is moistened, add your seeds, and refasten the top. If you are using takeout containers or plant trays, don’t forget to poke holes in the lid as well to provide air circulation. You may also want to consider using some twine to secure the top and bottom together. For those using jugs or plastic bottles, you can now refasten the top portion of the container to the bottom using duct tape.
Don’t forget to label your containers with the name of the seeds using either a sharpie or wax pencil.
You’ve just created a mini greenhouse that is going to allow your seeds to germinate earlier and grow larger due to the added heat.
Next, choose a place in your yard outside of direct sunlight, place the containers on the ground, and you’re done until spring!
Need help choosing seeds which will thrive when winter sown? Stop by the store and we’ll gladly show you what we have in stock.
Happy Winter Sowing!