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Winter Sowing

I'm trying something new this year in the way of seed starting.

In the past, I've collected trays, and peat pots, and soil, and seeds, and sprayers, and a fan and headed for the basement. Dear Husband set up florescent lights for me over a table where I could start about eight to ten trays of seedlings. I start out well, but I inevitably loose them when it comes to the hardening off stage. I finally figured out it was better to buy started plants than to go through the angst of loosing all those seedlings and THEN have to buy the plants anyway.

Well, one of the moderators on the herb group I belong to on-line, brought up the subject of Winter Sowing. Some plants self seed, and leave that seed in the soil all winter long. Some seeds do best when they have a VERY early start. The cold doesn't seem to bother them. With that in mind, choosing seeds that like cooler temps, you can sow seeds into recycled plastic containers that have tall caps or lids, and let Mother Nature do the work for you.

You cut drainage holes into the bottom of the container, fill them with potting soil, plant the seed, water, and then close the lid on the container. Mine happen to be long rectangular troughs rather like wallpaper troughs, with tall clear caps for lids.

You set the plants outdoors, and let the freezing and thawing cycles sterilize the soil. When the weather starts to warm, the seeds germinate. As the seedlings grow, you need to gradually open holes in the top of the containers, and be sure to water the plants. IF I can remember to check them twice a day, to be sure that I haven't cooked anything, I could end up with about 100 plants for my gardens. It sure seems like it's worth a try.

There are a number of places where you can find information on-line about Winter Sowing, but this one is pretty thorough. Give it a try. What have you got to loose?

Comments (6)

I'm getting the itch to start seeds, but know I must wait since I can't plant anything until June.

Remember to water when the pots are outside is a bit of a stretch for me. Plus, I don't think checking them at 4 in the morning, and at 6 in the evening is going to produce great results for me. I couldn't even uncover them before I left for work on most mornings! However, for those that work at home, it might be the perfect solution.

Cop Car:

Hmmm. I'll have to give this a try. Thanks, Buffy!

Yeah, bogie...on the surface it looks like the perfect solution...but I bet I cook a tray or two! Your hours and location make this pretty tough to accomplish. You need to teach one of the cats to go around opening up the top of the containers for you during the day! *G*

Cop Car:

Thanks for the chuckle, Buffy. I can see those cats. (Why am I laughing? I should be teaching Jelly and CC to do that!)

Oh yeah, Indy would learn fast enough, just so she can eat the tops off them!

Unfortunately, my cat fits that same mold....he'd rip the top off and nibble the plants to death.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 20, 2005 1:14 AM.

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