I've been gardening for more than 20 years and I've never heard of winter sowing until now. The idea that you can start seeds outside in the middle of winter with little or no maintenance until spring, seems almost to good to be true. When you're stuck inside waiting for spring, pouring over seed and plant catalogs, buying more than you can possibly handle inside your home, this becomes not simply a good idea, but a great one.
I'm trying it. I purchased 6 water jugs in the grocery store for $.89 each, grabbed a bag of seed starter soilless mix and picked out 5 hardy perennials and 1 annual to plant. According to Kevin, from A Garden for the House, you need to sow perennial or hardy annuals for this process. I stumbled upon Kevin's site on social media and found his information on the subject very interesting and easy to follow.
I live in zone 6a and chose the following to winter sow:
Penstemon Rocky Mountain
Flax Saphyr Blue
Primula x Pubescens
Columbine Nora Barlow Mix
Verbascum Southern Charm
Morning Glory Heavenly Blue
Following Kevin's directions I poked holes in the water jugs and cut them almost in half. I pre-moistening the planting material, spread the seeds and sprinkled a little more soil on top (if instructed on seed packet) and sprayed them with water.
Then I labeled them with a permanent marker and taped them closed with duct tape.
According to the directions once the weather warms up and they have sprouted you check for dryness, watering as needed. Then you leave them open during warm sunny days, closing again at night.
Here they are on my patio table. It's already snowing on them as I write this post.
Fingers crossed. I'm excited to see what happens. I spent a total of $40 which could lead to 30 or more plants which I will be sharing with my family and friends.
What a bargain and for so little effort. I'll let you know how they turn out.