Winter Seed Sowing

On January 18, 2023, we had our first Winter Seed Sowing Workshop with 25 members, including 2 new members, in attendance.  It was a great success and all of us got to take home containers planted with a variety of seeds.  These containers will be put into our snowy gardens and the seeds will stay there as they would if they were on the ground and Mother Nature will do the rest.  Stay tuned as we watch for these tiny shoots to appear and be repotted and ready to sell at our Plant Sale.

We thank Dawn and her sister Denise for organizing this interactive and informative workshop. We all thoroughly enjoyed it!

What is Winter Sowing
Winter sowing is a germination method of sowing seeds in a clear (allows sunlight), enclosed container with drainage, outside during winter, allowing them to germinate in spring when Mother Nature decides it is

Advantages of Winter Sowing

  • Simple and efficient – no grow lights or expensive set up.
  • Seedlings are hardier as they are planted and grown outside, subjected to Mother Nature’s
    freezes, thaws, rain, snow etc.
  • No need to “harden off” seedlings as they are already acclimated to outdoor conditions.
  • Seeds are ready to plant whenever the outside temperature has sufficiently warmed and are
    either 2 to 3 inches tall or have 2 sets of real leaves.
  • Allows someone who doesn’t have the space, grow light set up, or the window space available
    indoors to start seedlings successfully.
    When to Winter Sow
  • Sow seeds any time after the Winter Solstice (December 21). This ensures you do not get premature germination due to mild weather and then have them die off due to freezing conditions.
  • Continue to sow all winter long when you have time and containers to use.
    What Seeds Can Be Winter Sown
  • Most perennials, annuals, vegetables and herbs can be winter sown, with the exception of succulents and tropicals.
    Process for Winter Sowing
  • Wash clear, plastic container and remove labels and lids.
  • Make several drain holes in bottom of container and a few on the sides, about an inch from the
    bottom (use a drill, heated screwdriver, glue gun, soldering iron or “exacto” knife).
  • Cut container around the jug, leaving about an inch attached for a handle flap. The cut needs to
    be higher than 4 inches from the bottom of the container.
  • Label container with “sharpie” to identify seeds planted.
  • Fill container with 3 to 4 inches of moistened “potting mix” and gently tamp down.
  • Sow seeds as per packet instructions.
  • Gently cover seeds with soil (if needed), or vermiculite as per planting depth on packet and dust
    with cinnamon if not using vermiculite. This will keep the algae “at bay”.
  • Spritz top of soil with water.
  • Tape container closed.
  • Place container outside in an area which is open to sun, snow and rain.
  • Watch them for watering as weather warms.
  • Once seedlings are 2 to 3 inch tall and/or 2 sets of true leaves, plant in landscape.
    For more information go to “Winter Sowers” group on Facebook and join. You can also watch utube videos on the process. Contact Dawn at

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