Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winter Sowing

Nope, I did not buy a sewing machine. I followed Catherine's lead and started some seeds. Winter sowing is for seeds that should be started in the fall or need to be exposed to a chill before they will sprout. It seems incredibly easy. Time will tell.

I thought it would be a good time to learn to do flowers, but the flower rack is HUGE. I went the safe route and went right to herb rack. Two of the herbs I chose to try do have flowers. This is for learning. The third package, in case it is difficult to tell from my photography, is parsley.

I peeled the label off of a Costco salad box and pierced the bottom with my pink knife. Than I filled it with soil. There are a number of different types of containers you can use. I'll include links at the bottom of this post. The web page I read said to label your container with duct tape. I used garden tags right inside the container.

I was not vary careful with my choice of seed. I tend to be planning ahead challenged. Parsley seed is more likely to sprout if it has a time of dark. Chamomile is said to sprout best if it is exposed to light. Oh brother! Chamomile seed is so fine that I was afraid if I sneezed it would fly away and be lost to the dust on the window seal.

The Echinacea and parsley were tucked under about one-fourth inch of soil. The chamomile was sprinkled on the surface of the soil. Finally the lid of the salad box was pierced with more holes. I actually had a little fun making chicken foot prints in the lid with a knife. It was a slow day.

The soil was sprinkled with tap water. The web page advises me to put the container on the poach or someplace where I can keep an eye on it. The cold frame Ray made is still empty and waiting. I tucked the package into the cold frame and and am now waiting for sprouts.

About the flowers... I did bring home a package of cosmos but it turns out that they are annuals and I do not need to winter sow them. They can just go right into the ground when the time is right.

Winter Sown dot com, claiming to be the authority on this subject. They are good.http://www.wintersown.org/

If you read "A Gardener In Progress" (see the side bar of the blog) Catherine had at least three posts about winter sowing with very helpful pictures. Apparently there is still time to winter sow.

Weak high pressure is holding back the rain we have had so much of, but not the clouds. It is still a very gray day. The weather prophets do not give much hope that it will get pretty any time soon. It is, after all, still January. It might get all the way up to 50F today.


  1. I can't wait to hear how your winter sowing does. I have sprouts already from the Lupine and Hollyhock, they only took 12 days, but nothing else has sprouted yet. I love the idea of starting Chamomile and will look for that next time I'm at the nursery.

  2. PS I have winter sown Cosmos, just did it closer to April and they grew better than any I ever started in the ground. I think being protected in the container lets them get off to an earlier start and then just plant them out when the chance of frost is gone.

  3. Oh, thanks! I hope I have good news to report come spring. My youngest (now 31) planted a row of them around the perimeter of a bunny he buried when he was about 12 (the boy, not the bunny was 12). Where he got the seed is still a mystery to me. I was in that garden daily before I noticed that the circle of pink flowers blooming on the edge of my garden. I figure Cosmos must be fairly dependable. I'm getting so jazzed about (maybe) growing table flowers! Thanks, yours is one of the blogs that has given me a can-do attitude.

  4. I have a packet of cone flowers that I can't wait to start sowing. Looking forward to seeing how yours turns out.

  5. Me too ! I have bought plants before but they were older and did not transplant well.

  6. Thanks for the visit! Valentine's Day here is potato planting day, it's funny how us gardeners celebrate the holidays, Christmas means the seed catalogs are on their way in a week or two.... Yes, I know Christmas is so much more, I just prefer to celebrate that one quietly, my idea of gift giving at that time of year, is to take my kids to a shelter and have them serve the homeless, but hubby says no we have to buy them something. I did get some seeds in the pots this week, I started with flowers and herbs instead of food, I never seem to get the flowers in when I start with food, so this year I did it MY way. Now I can start the food seeds!!!