Winter sowing is an economical, easy way to start plants from seed. This technique is ideally suited to seeds that require cold stratification (a period of cold & moisture) to break dormancy. Winter sowing should be done, as its name suggests, in the winter. Anytime from late December through early March is ideal.
Which Plants to Winter Sow?
This method is ideal for many of our native prairie plants and hardy perennials, as it replicates the natural seeding process for these plants (mature seeds drop, overwinter, and germinate in spring). It can also be used for annual flowers such as snapdragons, marigolds, nasturtium, alyssum, cleome, violas, and annual poppies. Even cool-season vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, chard, spinach, and lettuce can be started using this method, although it is not a good choice for warm season vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers.
How do you germinate seeds using the Winter Sowing method?