THE WINTER SOLSTICE, which this year arrives on December 21, is my cue to start collecting milk and water jugs. Why? Because it is in these free recyclables that I winter-sow my summer garden. Who else is a fan of this fascinating method of outdoor seed-germination?
Although my “to-sow” list of seeds is far from complete, I’ll certainly plant more Russell hybrid lupins. Pictured up top is the crop I winter-sowed in January, 2009. These produced a few late blooms their first summer in my Serpentine Garden. But the following year they put on a show that was utterly breathtaking, as dozens and dozens of colorful spires emerged from the plants. And I achieved this beauty for less than $2.00!
I will also winter-sow more Primula japonica. This “Candelabra Primrose” brings late-spring color to my Woodland Garden.
Heirloom tomatoes are on my December-January winter-sowing roster, too. True, the seeds won’t sprout until the soil temperature reaches about 70 degrees. But they will sprout, and they will produce all the fruit I need for Classic Tomato Pie.
I hope your mouth is watering right about now.
Now, I’d love to know who’s planning to winter-sow their summer garden this year. Have you already gathered the recyclables you’ll turn into greenhouses? Any inkling as to what you’ll plant? Any winter-sowing success (or disaster) stories you’d like to share?
Whoa. I just asked you four questions. Please forgive me for being so…nosy.
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