Winter Sowing 101: How to Start Your Garden Early with Simple Materials and Steps

Winter sowing is a easy fun way to start the gardening season. You can grow cool season vegetables and save money. We all know with price of groceries, so why not save money if you can? I ordered my seeds from Johnny’s Seeds, Select Seeds and Floret.

Materials you will need

  1. Seeds
  2. Containers with lids. I choose to use Milk Jugs
  3. Potting mix or seed starting mix
  4. Sharpie
  5. Scissors
  6. Tape. I use duct tape

Step 1.  Please choose the right seeds that are cold hardy and are suitable for winter sowing. I am winter sowing Larkspur, snapdragons, and Foxglove. I listed many more in January’s newsletter linked here.

Step 2. Clean and sterilize the containers you will be using and try to remove labels if you can. Cut your container in half, leaving one side intact to act as a hinge. I do that at the handle of the milk jug. Poke drainage holes in the bottom of the container and a few in the top. If you have a gas stove, you can use a Phillips screwdriver and heat it up. If not, you can use scissors. 

Step 3.  Fill the containers with the moistened potting soil. Be sure to not make it too wet, just enough water so it holds together.

Step 4.  Sow the seeds according to the directions on the packet. Each seed has different requirements for depth. Be sure to read the packet carefully.

Step 5. Close and tape the containers. Use a sharpie to label the names of the seeds. Start out with the cap on and after about a week you can remove the cap. It just gives it a little more of a greenhouse effect to start.

Step 6. Make sure you choose the right location. It should be in an area that receives sunlight but is protected from extreme weather.  

Step 7. Monitor regularly to make sure the soil stays moist. Water as needed to make sure the soil stays damp but not waterlogged. The containers should provide a greenhouse effect but if for some reason you have severe temperature drops you will need to protect them a little more.

Step 8: Once the seedlings are large enough you can remove the cover to harden them off.  When the weather warms up to work the soil you can transplant to the garden or larger container if you prefer.  

Hope this helps. Give it a try and enjoy the early start of your gardening season!

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