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Ask-a-Dave's-Gardener: ANSWERED: Winter sowing-Can I plant seeds outside now?

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Catonsville, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 23, 2013
4:12 AM

Post #9394421

Hello all,

I live in zone 7 and am wondering if there's any logic behind planting my perennial flower and vegetable seeds now (except maybe tomatoes and peppers) and letting them naturally stratify and go through "normal" overwintering and let them grow naturally, directly from the ground? As opposed to sowing indoors for weeks then hardening off etc. etc. Will the seeds "die" or not germinate if they are frozen for a period of time outside first? It just seems redundant or not necessary to put them through the refrigerator chilling then growing seedlings inside if they go through the same process outside in the ground? I am assuming that indoor sowing is helpful however to get the seedlings growing earlier so when they are ready to grow as per their own internal "calendar" outside they have a jumpstart. But I'd like to try it with direct sow seeds such as beans, peas, corn and perennial flowers like rudbeckia, coneflowers, lavender, chives and ornamental grasses like blue fescue. Any ideas, opinions and/or experience would be very welcome!



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