Can I start WSing?

david883(5/6)February 1, 2014

Hi everyone,

I having been planning on starting some winter sown seeds this year. Last year I started around this time but, unfortunately, a theory of "more is better" overtook me and, after putting winter sown containers in a mini green house, I had little to show for it. So I've practiced my patience over the last year and I swear the containers will not see a green house this year. HOWEVER, I've held off doing any WSing so far because of the arctic winter we've had here (solid on-and-off weeks of below zero temps, etc). So my question to all of you is: can I winter sow now in MI or is it too cold and will damage seeds? I also bought some grow lights and flats to start a few things inside but I'm hoping to do some WSing, too.

Any advise you can give would be very much appreciated.

Thanks again!

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molanic(Zone 5 IL)

Now is the perfect time for most perennials and hardy annuals. Just don't do anything tender or tropical for sure yet. Also hold off on anything that doesn't require a cold period at all. If you look at the seed packet or look it up online and it says wait until the soil warms up or wait until after the last frost, don't sow it yet. Wait on things like tomatoes beans, sunflowers, zinnias, etc.

Also try to do the wintersowing following the tried and true instructions which are simple and flexible. When people alter the basic principles and it doesn't turn out right they often blame the method and don't try it again.

It reminds me of when people get recipes online , change a bunch of ingredients, cooking times, etc. Then they go and rate the recipe poorly because it didn't turn out!

People that had trouble with wintersowing often tried putting the containers in a greenhouse that overheated, or used topsoil instead of potting mix, or used tiny seed starting peat pellets, or very shallow containers. Sometimes they neglect to add ventilation and a way for rain and snow to get in, or just simply don't add enough potting mix to the containers. Many people also get so excited they start ALL their seeds in the fall and early winter. The quick to germinate ones not requiring cold stratification pop up the first warm spell and then get frozen and killed when the cold of winter sets in.

Just double check the faq on here or to make sure you have it down for the best chance at success.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:22AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I have been wintersowing in Michigan for nearly a decade. Now is the perfect time! Don't worry about the seeds. They will be well protected in their containers. Get started and put those jugs out in the snow!


    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 5:06PM
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Thanks to both of you! I'll start them going this weekend :)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 6:01AM
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