Winter Sowing Vegetables

Mar 4, 2016
Winter Sowing
Celeste Longacre

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Ever tried sowed seeds outside in the hard winter ground? My friend, Jackie Caserta told me about this new idea and it sounded pretty easy so I decided to give it a try. 

Granted, this is an experiment on my part, but the woman who wrote about it, Trudi Davidoff, said that these plants ended up being much hardier and healthier than anything started inside. It’s best to use cold-hardy plants so I decided to try some lettuce, broccoli and Swiss chard.

The idea is that you sow seeds into mini-greenhouses that you make yourself from recyclables. Then you place your mini-greenhouse outside.

Begin with some take-out trays. These should be the kind with the clear plastic tops, like some found in Chinese or Thai restaurants.

Slit some holes in the bottoms and tops for drainage and air flow.

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Decide which seeds you are going to sow and label the bottoms.

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Fill 2/3 with a good quality potting soil. Plant your seeds.

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Cover the seeds with 1/8 inch of potting soil.

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Water well, cover and put tops on securely. If they don’t fit snugly, tape them down. Place outside on your picnic table or in the garden.

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If you would like to read more information on the subject, visit the website www.wintersown.org

About This Blog

Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens. Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer and gardens by the Moon. Her new book, “Celeste’s Garden Delights,” is now available! Celeste Longacre does a lot of teaching out of her home and garden in the summer. Visit her web site at www.celestelongacre.com for details.

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I've never tried this! Are

I've never tried this! Are you saying it is better to put seedlings outdoors instead of a hoop house or cold frame? I have the option for either because my community garden has both.

Hi Chris, This is an

Hi Chris, This is an experiment for me. I think that putting seedlings outdoors in a hoop house or cold frame also works well.

winter sowing

Better Homes and Gardens used to have a gardening web board and I learned to do this many years ago but used plastic milk jugs, works well!

Hi Sue, Thanks for your

Hi Sue, Thanks for your comment!

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