“Winter Sow” Seed Starting for early Spring crops

WINTER SOW SEED STARTING. My favorite way to start seeds in the Winter for early Spring crops.  Just spend a little time preparing your containers, filling with dirt, plant seeds and set them out in the garden and neglect them! Nature will tell them when it is time to come up! No constant misting, heat pads and grow lights.  And they harden themselves off.  Here is a step by step…

First you need containers. I saved clam shell containers from lettuce over last Summer. Cake containers from the deli are great. Milk and water jugs work also.

Tools for winter sow seed starting

Get a candle, matches or lighter, a razor knife, ice pick or carpet knife. We are going to make holes in the bottom for drainage and in the top for venting. Hold your punching tool into the candle flame until it is hot. Then punch holes in the top and bottom.

Fill the container half full with damp soil. It is OK if it is too wet, it will drain. You can use seed starting mix for the top inch. Saves a bit of money and still gives the seeds some light fine soil to get those tender little roots going.

Now, plant the seeds at the recommended depth. Tamp down. The seeds need good contact with the dirt. Be sure and label them. A piece of mini blind and a water proof marker work well. Put the label inside the container facing out. Water lightly. Close the lid.

Take the containers out to the garden and set them in the sun. Ignore them! Don’t worry about cold or snow. Let nature take it’s course. You might check every once in awhile and see it anything green shows up. Believe me, they will all of a sudden come up and grow so fast they are pushing the lid!  Get ready to plant a lot!

Winter sow containers in the garden

I do not have access to empty milk or water jugs. If you do have milk or water jugs, check out “Kevin Lee Jacobs” post on winter sow in milk jugs.

 You might want to check out Transplant Strategies  for more seed starting ideas.



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