How’s your 2016 winter-sowing project coming along? My own plantings are well under way, starting (but by no means ending) with the seven miniature “greenhouses” pictured above. What I’ve planted in these recycled milk and water jugs, along with links to articles that explain the entire winter-sowing process:
I used to kick a large collection of African violets off my fluorescent-lit shelves in order to make room for seed-starting indoors. Then I got wise, and started planting seeds outdoors — most of them during the frigid days of winter. This procedure produced strong (not spindly) plants that required no “hardening off.” Now, after 9 years of winter-sowing, I wouldn’t dream of starting seeds any other way.
I planted the following seeds the other day, and then set them outdoors in below-freezing temperatures:
Bachelor Buttons ‘Blue Boy’. Plant these, and the honey bees will thank you. I enjoy the touch of sky the flowers provide for my Kitchen Garden and elsewhere. They are terrific for cutting, too.
Russell Hybrid Lupines. Can we all agree that one can never have too many lupines? I always winter-sow new plants to add to the existing crop (above) in my Serpentine Garden.
Dwarf Snapdragon.This tiny treasure comes in all kinds of colors. Last year, I planted a trio of some rosy-hued variety in a bed that also contained leeks. The plants bloomed and bloomed until the first hard frost. Like other members of the sage family, snapdragons are generally immune to deer, rabbits, and woodchucks. Well, my woodchuck leaves ’em alone.
Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’. I love the ornamental contribution these red-, yellow-, rose-, gold, or white-stemmed plants bring to the Herb Garden. Served raw in salads, the beet-like leaves are definitely delicious. But they are particularly wonderful when sauteed in olive oil and splashed, at the last second, with extra-dry vermouth.
Columbine. No matter how severe the winter, this Aquilegia germinates without a hitch. Pictured above is ‘Alpine Blue,’ planted in one of the boxwood-bordered beds between my pool and kitchen garden. Obviously I’m fond of blue flowers!
Some helpful links:
Need proof that winter-sowing really works? Then by all means read Winter-Sowing 101.
Not sure how to turn a milk or water jug into a greenhouse? Read Making a Greenhouse & Sowing Seeds
Have questions about what to winter-sow, and when to plant the seeds? See What to Winter-Sow…& When.
And if you enjoy cooking and gardening, then you must sign up for my email updates.