What kind of seeds should I winter sow? When do I winter sow them?
Hmmn ... let's start with PERENNIALS. Perennials are plants that, once planted, will return year after year. They are perfect for winter sowing! They should be the first seeds you winter sow, and you can start them as early as December in Zone 5. They don't mind the cold at all. Actually, they need the freezing and thawing cycles that occur during the winter to break their dormancy when spring finally arrives. Most perennials will not flower their first year grown from seed. Instead, they spend all their energy during their first season growing strong root systems. It is not until their second year that they usually begin to produce blooms. As an added bonus, once established, many of them will re-seed themselves prolifically each year! You can continually winter sow perennial seeds during the months of December, January, and February. Germination usually will start sometime between late March and the beginning of May. These are some perennials that I have winter sown with good success
|Alaska Shasta Daisies & Rose Campion|
shasta daisies,rose campion, black eyed susan, columbine, coreopsis, foxglove, blanket flower, yarrow, and perennial alyssum.
Now, let's talk a bit about ANNUALS. Winter sowing annuals is just as easy, but these seeds can be a little bit more particular about their growing conditions. Basically, annuals can be described as:
|Blue Batchelor Buttons|
HALF HARDY ANNUALS - a little bit more temperamental. Best winter sown in late March or early April.
|They can take some cold and frosty weather, but little warm spells are appreciated. China asters, baby's breath, cosmos, rudbeckia hirta, salvia, cleome, and lobelia are a few that do well at this time.|
|Heavenly Blue Morning Glory|
There is one flower that I have not mentioned and that is the ... poppy.
|Red Corn Poppy|
In my next blog, I'll give you some more tips on winter sowing.