I'm wondering what seeds I can direct sow right now, November, in Zone 5, so that I can get blooms in spring.
I would like to start a list, if anyone can help.
Well, I don't direct sow anything except a few veggies, but I have started some seeds this week that need warm/cold/warm cycles (sometimes more than once). In your zone, you might have to keep such flats indoors for a few weeks, then put them out - but in Alabama the temperatures are still warm enough to qualify for a warm cycle.
Here's what's out on my shelves already:
Cornus stolonifera and cornus sanguinea (red dogwoods)
Dictamnus alba (gas plant0
Echinacea angustifolia (WCW is recommended, but you may be able to get away with just wintersowing these)
Camellia sassanqua - not sure my seeds are viable for this; I plucked them from a plant in the church courtyard
Rhexia virginica (Handsome Harry) - a little beauty that is one of my favorite wildflowers
Rosa, rugosas, and seeds from a couple of hybrids
Symphotricum novae-angliae (NE Aster)
Trollius europaea (globeflower)
Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)
Calycanthus floridus (Carolina allspice)
Filipendula vulgaris (dropwort)
Viburnum opulus (cranberry)
In the next few days, I will be doing more; notably alliums, and some trees.
I am certain these could be direct sowed, but (a) I'd probably forget where they were, and (b) I like the control wintersowing in flats gives me.
I was always told Larkspur would do well direct sown, but when I tried it last fall/winter, I got very few plants, and many of them were late in the summer season. So, this year I'm going to winter sow them, but plant them out early. That way, I have more control over where and when they bloom. It will make seed collecting for next year easier, also.
I know Cosmos, Verbena boniarensis, and scabiosa have all self-seeded. So, they would be candidates for fall/direct sowing. The concern I have is that critters might eat the seeds or snow/rain/wind might carry them away.
Hope that helps.
I personally think all of these should be sown later, after it gets cold, but if I had empty space and a hankering to sow seeds in it NOW for blooms ASAP, I'd choose:
Last week I laid dried stalks of Great Blue Lobelia and American Bellflower along the back of border to get those taller plants growing in a more suitable location. They are more summer and fall bloomers than spring, though.