Winter Sowing

julie_denverJanuary 23, 2012

I'm thinking about doing some winter sowing, but I'm worried that all of these warm days we've been having will mess it up. Has anyone tried and succeeded? I have enough seed that I'm going to start some lettuce and broccoli this weekend. I'm just worried that the warm weather will trick the seeds into sprouting too soon and then we'll get too many freezing nights.

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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Hi Julie!

This will be my 6th year to wintersow. This is also the mildest winter we've had since I started doing it. I am planning on getting started in a couple of weeks. My cold season veggies, such as lettuce, spinach, etc. are usually sown in late January, and are sprouting by late February. Perennials can be done now too, but I would hold off on anything tender, like basil or marigolds, until closer to March, or even early April.

If you want to read more about when, and what, people in this area wintersow, check out last year's wintersowing thread below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wintersowing '11

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 6:24PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

... and here's the thread from 2010. It's got some step-by-step pictures, if you're interested.

Hope this helps some!

Bonnie

Here is a link that might be useful: Wintersowing 2010

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 6:27PM
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julie_denver

Thank you for the links Bonnie - I'm will take a look at both of those threads. I'm really excited to try it out this year!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 4:38PM
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polygonum_tinctorium

Thank you for the links! I too will be trying it out this year. Well, assuming I get myself organized in time.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 4:50PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

I haven't tried winter sowing, but find it intriguing so may try to do some. Not knowing what types of veges are considered cool season varieties, I did an internet search and found this list at http://www.examiner.com/backyard-living-in-national/a-list-of-some-cool-weather-vegetables:

Asparagus (perennial)
Asparagus pea
Beets (warm and cool seasons)
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots (warm and cool seasons)
Cauliflower
Celeriac
Celery
Chinese greens
Fava beans
Kale
Kohlrabi
Lettuce
Onion
Parsnip
Peas
Radishes (warm and cool seasons)
Rhubarb
Rutabagas
Spinach
Swiss chard
Turnips

Does this look like an accurate list for types of veges that will do well for winter sowing? Haven't found as nice and tidy of a list of herbs for winter sowing, yet ...

Marj

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 9:22PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Hi Marj!

That list looks pretty accurate to me.

Here are the ones that I've wintersown:

Arugula
Beets
Broccoli
Carrots
Cauliflower
Lettuce
Onions
Peas
Rhubarb
Spinach
Swiss chard

I choose to direct sow the root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, and radishes. They are kind of a pain to transplant, and if not done carefully, you end up with crooked roots.

Herbs wintersow very well. Here is a list of the ones I have successfully wintersown:

Basil
Bronze Fennel
Chamomile
Chives
Garlic Chives
Cilantro
Dill
Lavender
Lemon Balm
Marjoram
Oregano
Parsley
Sage
Summer Savory
Thyme
Winter Savory

Most of those are perennial or biennial, and quite cold tolerant. The big exception is basil. I hold off on that one until April.

I tried wintersowing Rosemary, Stevia, and various mints without much success. The Lemon Balm germinates fine with wintersowing, but I can never seem to keep it alive. I'm going to try a couple new-to-me ones this year - Cumin, and Lemon Grass. I'll let you know how it goes.

Bonnie

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:37PM
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kvenkat(5a Colo)

This will be my second year at WS. Last year I started some things at the end of January then did a few more each month through late April.

The ones that were successful were:

Spinach
Kale
Arugula
Mizuna
Petunia
Zinnia
Switchgrass
Four O'clocks
Dichondra

A bunch of other things came up but were killed from overwatering when I went on vacation.

If the weather worries you, you could reserve some seeds to try again in case of winterkill. WS is fun and seeds are cheap. Give it a try!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 8:38PM
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