How To Winter Sow Seeds - Backyard Boss
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How To Winter Sow Seeds

It’s that time of year again when the air becomes colder, and pumpkin spice everything is replaced by twinkle lights and festive gear. Yep, winter is approaching! As the days grow shorter and winter grows nearer, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to get your gardening fix during the chilly months.

One great way to do this is by sowing your winter seeds! Below you’ll discover what winter sowing is and give you a few tips on how to get started. So read on for all you need to know!

What You’ll Need

Small bottles greenhouses for winter seed sowing
Image credits: Denis Pogostin via Shutterstock

When winter sowing, it’s important to have the right tools on hand. Here are some of the essential items you will need:

  • Plastic bottles- transparent or semi-transparent
  • Trowel
  • Marker
  • Labels
  • Knife
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Potting soil
  • Compost
  • Peat soil

Step-By-Step Guide to Sowing Winter Seeds

Sowing winter seeds is a great way to extend your growing season, no matter where you live. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener – sowing winter seeds can help you achieve your gardening goals year after year.

Winter sowing is a method of early seed starting that allows your seeds to germinate in the colder elements of winter. By using this easy-to-learn technique, you can have fresh homegrown produce all year round. Read on for everything you need to know about how to get started with winter sowing.

Step One – Choose the Right Seeds

Image credits: Hans via Pixabay

The first step in sowing winter seeds is choosing the right plants for your climate and growing conditions. Many types of vegetables, flowers, and herbs can be successfully grown during the winter months, so take some time to do some research on your USDA growing zones and find the plants that will work best for you.

Some popular winter seed varieties include columbine, foxglove, hollyhock, and butterfly bushes. 

Step Two – Finding the Best Time to Sow

Snow in the winter garden watering can
Image credits: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH via Shutterstock

The best time to sow winter seeds in the northern hemisphere is during the coldest months of the year, from December to January. This is just deep enough into winter that warm weather won’t begin sprouting your seeds prematurely.

Step Three – Clean Out Your Jugs

Growing young green seedlings of vegetable plant pumpkin and squash covered with a DIY greenhouse made from cut plastic bottle of water in the garden. Recycling in gardening.
Image credits:
Kristine Rad via Shutterstock

To start sowing your seeds in winter, it’s time to make your seeds a little home. Discard the tops of your jugs and give them a good scrub with warm, soapy water. You may also want to use a sponge or soft brush if there are any stubborn marks or dried-on residues remaining on the surface of your jugs or reused water bottles.

It’s essential that your jugs are completely clean and free of any dirt or residue. This will ensure the best possible conditions for your plants to grow and thrive.

Step Four – Create Air Holes

close up dill seedlings
Image Credit: knipsling via Pixabay

Carefully poke holes into the bottom of the container using a screwdriver or knife. This is to allow water to drain out so your seeds don’t drown. Don’t miss this step!

Step Five – Add Your Soil and Water

Young seedlings in a box. Young plants
Image credits: Dmitriy_Kuznetsov via Shutterstock

Next, fill the bottom of the jug with about 2 inches of mixed potting soil. You can use soil from a garden center and mix in seed potting soil and homemade compost. Now water your mixture well and let it drain. It’s a nice layer and well-thought preparation before you begin to sow.

Step Six – Sow Your Seeds and Cover

Reuse plastic for planting vegetable seeds.
Image credits: Vitstyle via Shutterstock

Now it’s time to sow your seeds atop the soil. You can use the same quantity as if you are sowing them in flats. Work about six seeds in one 2-liter jug and three seeds in a smaller 1-liter bottle. Then, add an additional layer of soil mix and gently pat down. Remember to seal the top of the container.

Step Seven – Labeling

Young Seedling of apple mint, Mentha suaveolens in flowerpot set in rows at garden shop.
Image credits: creativeneko via Shutterstock

On duct tape or a plastic label, using the marker, write all pertinent info about what seeds you’ve sown. You can also include information like the date you planted it, where you purchased it, and any other details about how to take care of your plant. This will help you come spring when you might have forgotten where you put what.

Step Eight – Leave It in a Warm Outdoor Spot

Bottles lined up outdoors for winter sowing
Image credits: Denis Pogostin via Shutterstock

Set out your jugs in a location that gets plenty of sunlight during the winter months. This will give your seeds all they need to acclimate and grow strong and healthy. Just be sure not to leave them somewhere shady. Your seeds need to encounter all the environmental conditions they would naturally get if they were in the ground.

Benefits Of Winter Sowing

butternut seedlings planted in greenhouse
Image credits: Aunyaluck via Shutterstock]

So, why should you try winter sowing? Well, there are several good reasons:

Winter sowing is an easy way to start plants outside your home in the winter! The best part is that you don’t need special supplies or equipment – just some recycled containers, potting soil, seeds, and a little bit of patience.

Additionally, winter-sown plants won’t be shocked by the change in temperature when you take them from indoors to outdoors (or vice versa) because they are already hardy and accustomed to the cold. This makes them easier to transplant successfully later on.

Finally, you get an earlier start on your seedlings than you would by starting them during the springtime. This gives your plants a better chance of thriving once they’re transplanted into the garden.

Give Seeds A Chance

Winter is coming, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your gardening dreams on hold! Sowing winter seeds is a great way to keep your green thumb busy during the colder months. And don’t worry, with all the above information on winter sowing you have all that you need to get started.

Make sure to share this article with your friends and family, and get ready to start sowing some winter seeds! Do you have any tips or tricks for sowing winter seeds? Leave a comment below!