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Winter Sowing (Part 1)

You can sow your seeds outdoors in containers. Those seeds that sprout, and there will be many, will be hardy plants that produce well. I did this last year, and am doing it again this year. I used ziplock bags, but you can use any vented container.


Here are the steps:

  1. Make sure your container has vents. Poke holes in the bottom, or leave part of the bag open, as I did.
  2. Label the container with a waterproof pen.

  3. Fill the container with potting soil.

  4. Put the seeds in and moisten.

  5. Put all the containers outside.
  6. Check periodically to make sure the plants are sufficiently moistened and are getting enough air.

I will be posting again in the spring with Part 2.




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December 28, 20160 found this helpful


I have expressed my doubts about this type method in another article. As I am often wrong, and as this would be a great early start to gardening if it is reasonably successful; I am going to persue it with an open mind.

Please, though, do set me straight on one thing. Nature has a way of keeping seeds dormant till the best time for them to germinate comes along. I bet you didn't know that a lot of farmers in my state who live near the coast, plant their tomato seeds late Fall. The seeds survive the winter and produce earlier plants in Spring.

But, your method is not simulating Nature. I keep imagining a few warm days in mid Winter which trigger the seed to germinate. Then, I imagine a very hard freeze to follow.

The freeze kills all the two and three day old, very tender seedlings. This is the part I don't understand about your method. Please explain this.

I do know that in the wild, many seed are lost to mid Winter germination. Nature makes up for this by producing an over abundance of seed and having a staggard germ time within them. With these safety measures in place, a few are bound to make it, and they do.

It seem that with all your seed being in one place and all kept under the same conditions; if you lose one you lose all.

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December 28, 20160 found this helpful

I did have success when I did this two years ago. I was really busy last year and didn't do it. I am going to try again. I think the containers offer protection from frost. We shall see!

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