Monday, February 9, 2015

Last Chance to Winter Sow Those Perennials

I have so much planned for the gardens this year.  One thing I must do is to grow more perennials for the ever-growing flower borders. I went a little crazy again this year when ordering flower seeds.  It just couldn't be helped.  (This was my second time ordering from Swallow Tail Seeds, and so far, I've been really happy with their selection and the quality of their seeds.)  Then again, the way I see it, spending 50 dollars on flower seeds is a lot less expensive than buying hundreds of plants at a nursery.  Starting your flowers from seed also provides you with a much more intimate look into growing habit of the plants themselves, allowing you to learn early on the precise conditions necessary for them to thrive in your garden. 

In any case, since my indoor seed-starting shelves will surely be packed to the gills again this spring, I decided to try my hand at winter sowing.  I'm not surprised that it's taken me this long to give winter sowing a try.  I have a horrible tendency to want to start my plants in a controlled indoor environment and as early as possible.  Truth be told, many of my flower seedlings last year were somewhat root-bound by the time I had the chance to set them out in the garden.  This year, I'm determined to take a more laid back approach (short of direct seeding them in the garden). 

 I don't have plastic milk jugs lying around to create the mini greenhouses associated with winter sowing, so instead, I'm putting my pots into a large clear plastic bin.  I plan to drill plenty of hole into the lid  and sides to prevent the inside from overheating.  For now, I've placed the bin on our covered porch.  If and when the 3 feet of snow we currently have melts, I'll move the bin to a sunnier part of the yard.  Hopefully, I won't be disappointed with the results.  

On a side note, this is what a case of 500 4-inch plastic pots looks like.  It cost me about 80 bucks - a bargain compared to the pain of making the hundreds of newspaper pots I made last year.  The plastic pots themselves are somewhat thinner than what the commercial nurseries use, but they still feel sturdy and durable.  I'm sure I could have gotten away with half this amount, but then again, this might finally give me the motivation to start that little front-yard plant stand I've always wanted. 


  1. I'm looking forward to seed starting time as well.
    I do have a few ornamental grasses started, as well as some lavendar, but I save the bulk of it for March, when winter is really starting to drive me insane. That gives me 12 weeks of fun until I can plant outdoors.
    I envy your box o' pots! That will make life a lot easier! I've purchased some similar, and despite how thin mine were, they are on their 4th year and still holding up. Happy Planting!

  2. Whoa...500 pots for $80 - that IS a bargain. And as Sue pointed out if they last for several years, so much the better!

    I'll be starting only a few annuals from seed this year - I don't know what it is but I always feel that flowers are much harder to grow from seed than veg. I'm thinking that it's probably because so many flowers have such tiny seeds. I'm looking forward to reading about your winter sowing adventures this year - I've actually never heard of winter sowing before - it's an intriguing idea.

  3. I'm starting some flowers from seed this year too, but mostly I'm buying plants. I have a small yard though and a tiny perennial garden to plant. So the cost isn't that much. If I had a larger one I'd do more from seed.

  4. Where did you purchase the containers online?

    Looking for retailer to plant some herbs inside during the winter.

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