Winter Sowing. Is it ONLY for Winter?

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I'd like to sow seeds in mid-June for my winter brassicas. I'd like to begin planting out seedlings in mid-August.

Can I use the same WSing method to start them or will the enclosed "greenhouse" hold too much heat for germination? Is there a different method to starting winter seedlings in the summer? Put them in a small refrigerator, perhaps? (Not being funny...)



Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

No, Linda, not just for winter, unless your seeds need cold strat. You can use the method any time, just modify a little. While the jugs are closed, you might need extra vent holes. I usually cut a couple of "V" shapes near the shoulder of the jugs. Also, I wouldn't put in full sun, especially in your zone. I'd limit to just a little morning sun, or maybe dappled sun under a tree. Otherwise, they might get too hot. You'll probably have to water more, too.


SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks, K!

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)


Is it time to 'wintersow' zinnias and tomatoes here in Ohio?

Or am I too late?

thanks. t.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

tabasco, No, I don't think it's too late. I haven't finished sowing yet. Not quite with it this year. And I wish we'd get some rain. I hope this isn't a preview of summer drought.

I sowed my tomatoes, almost 2 weeks ago, about 2/3 have sprouted.
I sowed zins about a week ago, only have one sprout. The seeds were 5 or 6 years old, so we'll see if they sprout. I did sow a few zins in the house.


Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Thanks. Good. For some reason the past few weeks got away from me and I didn't get my seeds in.

Planted 8 kinds of zinnias and 9 kinds of tomatoes yesterday along with some other stuff. Today will do some more vines and other annuals. With the rain coming in it's probably a good time to get it done.

I'm sowing old seeds too. Trying to clean out my stash. Will be interesting to see what comes up.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I ALWAYS have old seeds. Lots of stuff doesn't know not it's not supposed to come up.

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Well, I'll hold that thought! We can only hope!

Sowed more seeds today. Did 10 kinds of vines like Black eyed susan, morning glories, campsis, etc. I'll have vines rampant in the back yard, but oh, well. I can only wish! Maybe I can set up a roadside stand and give them away (that is if they sprout!)

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I have Zinns galore, and zip in the BES vine and WS'ed tomatoes. **sniff sniff**
I have the other "maters that i did in the house and they are already hardened off.

even though i have tons of seeds left, and really wanted to do more... i really need to stop. I just dont have the time to spend on them anymore.

I know I'll be home [in IL] the week of May 9th, then the first week of June... other than that, i dont think i'll be home much.

Next year i will REALLY have to limit my sowing.

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

tcs, yes, you don't have much time to appreciate your gardens!? Seems like you're always on the move.

I wonder if I should take my WS tomatoes and put them on a heat mat inside. It will probably be July until I can set them into the garden...

I know what you mean about limiting your sowing. I feel the same way, but I get such a 'rush' from seeing all the seedlings! I wonder if it has something to do with menopause having set in some years ago and WSing makes me feel fertile again?! Ha, ha!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)


Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Absolutely, ROFLOL! Right on, sister!

Garner, NC(Zone 7b)

I dunno about y'all but I get a rush from seeing everyone else's lists and pics...That means I need to keep up, right? So it's all your fault that I have so much stuff to plant, lol!

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)


Well, I planted another 20 large cups of seeds (zinnias, cosmos, blah blah) Sunday and I'm happy to say I have some sprouts~~teeny tiny though they are. But I am going away for 4 days (to the Holland MI Tulip gardens/farms/festival and to tour a few historic homes/gardens in Indiana and Michigan YAY!!) so I am worried that they may dry out. 'Obsessing', that is and won't enjoy my trip.

And I sinned and bought some Jack in the Pulpit plantlings from an e-bay supplier and wouldn't you know it they are going to be delivered while I'm gone...

Good luck everyone with your WS projects. We need to get some 2010 bloom photos up on this forum soon! Or are they already up?

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)


Why don't you notify your ebay seller the date you want it shipped? It is worth a try.


Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Good idea, but I didn't have to worry~~they still haven't been delivered and the guy didn't answer my e-mail, either.

I wonder what's going on. He has a 100% rating. I'm thinking the box was delivered and the post man stuck it in my garage under some manure bags or something. I just got back from my trip so I'll check in the morning!

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Say friends, quick question - we are in zone 5 or 6 (depending on the map) and we won't have another freeze. My daughter would like to WS something now - she's become a fan - what do you suggest that won't need the cold stratification? We've got some die-hard winter-sowers on this thread so thought I'd put the thought out there ... thanks.... Cynthia

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Interesting question. I googled for more info and this is what I found out:

Some seed packets say stratification is needed but actually it's not needed in every case~~maybe just for best germination rates.

Some asclepias (milkweeds) don't need stratification. Heuchera probably not.
Some 'prairie' type perennials don't need stratification.

Also these perennials apparently do not require stratification according to one online source:

There's no need for stratification for these plants:

•Lemon balm
•Butterfly weed
•Purple coneflower
•Orange coneflower
•Rock cress
•Mountain bluet
•Tickseed 'Early Sunrise'
•Shasta daisy 'Snow Lady'

Jellito Seeds provides some explanation on some which seeds do not need stratification in their 'tips and tricks' page:

And of course, you can 'wintersow' annuals like zinnia, tithonia, marigolds, etc.

Good luck!

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Wow, thanks so much - I really appreciate that! I'll order her some of these seeds (I love Swallowtail seeds) and let her WS her own, lol. I may have another gardener in the house soon, lol! Thanks again!

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