Just set out a few seed containers this winter to explore winter sowing in our unique climate that is unlike the colder regions of B.C. and the U.S. In the first week of January a cherry tree was blossoming here yet we could still get freezing temperatures and snow. The claims are that winter sowing creates hardier seedlings as compared to starting them indoors. The hope is that our winter will be cold enough to test this out!
The items needed to get started included:
- Recycled plastic containers (Vinegar jugs, 1 litre water/pop bottles, milk jugs, etc.)
- Knife, Scissors, Turkey Needles (for holding skin closed around stuffing)
- some resources suggest putting all seeds out while others stagger them according to tender and hardy types
- tropical seeds do not work with winter sowing
The steps simple and quick!
Cut the plastic containers in half and poke holes in base as well as cover. When the temperatures warm up it is important to have air circulation. The turkey needles came in handy to poke holes in the plastic.
Fill the base with soil and spread the seeds of your choice. Lightly cover the seeds with soil and water. This wet soil will freeze outside as the temperatures drop and will thaw as it warms up. It will also become covered with snow in areas that have snowfall and melt as the weather warms up. It is exciting to imagine that cultivation will follow natures weather cycles.
Once the seeds are sown and watered place the top half of the container back on and tape it together. Take the cap off to increase air circulation. You can put your container outside in the area that you intend to plant it so that it has an easier adjustment when transferred into the soil or in a central area that can be protected from the wind or animals if needed.
In colder climates these seeded containers can be left outside without any worry until the climate changes. In our Greater Victoria region they will have to be a focus with the up and down temperatures experienced in our area with freezing temperatures and snow one day to warm sun and balmy temperatures the next. What I look forward to is the ease of lifestyle it will create if this works in our region. There will be less clutter and focus on the seedlings in the living space. There will not be rows of starters commanding ones attention!
Let the adventures of winter sowing begin!
Visit Winter Sowing Site by Trudi Greissle Davidoff
*Tropical Seeds do not work with winter sowing.