Time to Winter Sow!

Whiling away the winter and dreaming of Spring? Scouring seed catalogs and planning the perfect garden? Why not put those plans to work and start your dream garden now?

Winter sowing involves planting seeds during the dead of winter in covered containers. The pots are stored outdoors, allowing the seeds to experience the chill of winter…ice, snow, rain. When the temperatures warm enough, the seeds germinate and begin to grow. By the time the soil in the planting beds has warmed enough to plant and sow seeds directly, the wintersown seedlings are already hardened off and ready to transplant in the garden.

The following links will guide you through the wintersown procedure as taught in some of our past Master Gardener classes.

List of Plants to Wintersow

The Wintersown Method (presentation)

A few tips once you get your containers planted up:

  • Make sure they get watered: The soil should be the color of brownie batter.
  • Once the seeds sprout, vent them more as the weather warms. Upon germination, gradually begin opening the vents wider each week and for longer periods of time.
  • Once two true leaves form, your plants are ready to transplant into the garden.


Ultimate Winter Sowing Guide – Step by Step (w/ pictures)

“How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed 
On through the watching for that early birth 
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed, 
The sturdy seedling with arched body comes 
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.”

-From “Putting in the Seed” by Robert Frost