first time w.sowing for zone 5

Alexandria, IN(Zone 5a)

Hey all,

I started gardening last year with just a few easy to do perennial seeds. Now I am addicted. Everything bloomed its first year and came along so well. I decided to try my hand at winter sowing in order to fill some space. Lots of hard to mow space! Any advice for my zone or the plants would be fantastic! I am a low maintenance person and have 60 ft of frontage on a hill and again by the street. Help!

Lemon Catnip (nepeta cataria "citriodora")
English Lavender (lavandula angustifolia "lady")
Little blue stem (schizachyrium scoparium)
Pony Tails (Stipa tenuissima) I am not sure about this one
Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)
Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum )

Other perennials that I will start will be:

Evening primrose
perennial snapdragon
blue flax
dianthus crimsonia
dianthus rainbow loveliness
achillea summer pastels

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Hello, cabiamo, and welcome to the wonderful world of wintersowing. Are you asking about whether the seeds you mentioned are good candidates for wintersowing? Dave's Garden is just starting a database for wintersown seeds:

In addition, there is a list of seeds suitable for wintersowing, broken down into zones:

Please don't hesitate to ask questions.

Alexandria, IN(Zone 5a)

I am not sure what I am asking! Most I have looked up and know if I can winter sow or not. Just wondering if there are any that I should try besides these? Thanks for the links.

Lansing, KS(Zone 5b)

Cabriamo~ BOUQUETS and a big welcome to wintersowing! There are many experienced wintersowers from our zone 5. (I'm a neophyte, as I W/S'ed for the first time last year.) There are so many gorgeous perennials and annuals that will be successful and fun for you. So as Cape recommends..jump in and ask away.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

The Rudbeckias will all do really well for you and give you a lot of color the first year. There are some cool ones out there and I personally recommend 'Indian Summer' and also once call 'Prarie Sun'. I htink they are annuals or non-hardy perennials. You'll have to let some go to seed for the next year.


Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I'd also recommend some echinacea (coneflowers) for years of reliable no care flowers. Re: rudbeckia, they'd be great. The R. hirtas that Suzy mentioned are beautiful, as are goldsturm which are more reliably perennial.

Throw in a few annuals, too, for their flower power. Cosmos & verbena bonariensis.are tough and reliable and reseed well. Emilia, too. And larkspur, and cleome, and.......... the possibilities are endless.

And no garden is complete with zinnias.


Alexandria, IN(Zone 5a)

Thanks everyone!

I have some coneflowers that I bought from a plant sale for something like a dollar a piece. They have done a fantastic job of hiding the central air unit outside!

I really want to grow things that will reseed and take over the hill in the front. It is such a pain to mow! Anyone have any luck with ornamental grasses? I grabbed some seed from my university campus as I was walking along. I know that miscanthus purpurens doesn't always have viable seed, but we have something like 23 consecutive 90 degree+ days I thought it might be viable. I also grabbed some black fountain grass seed, it says it can be invasive.

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

If it gets full sun, you should try California Poppy. It flowers all summer and comes in so many varieties. It reseeds like crazy at my house, and I love that it does. Very easy to rip out the ones you don't want.

Alexandria, IN(Zone 5a)

I looked at some seeds for zinnias. How did I ever overlook them? They should be gorgeous, if I can get them to go!

Thanks for the poppy idea. The black fountain grass would definitely be full sun.

Any recommendations on where to get seeds and such? I have experience ordering from Burpee and Jung's, and I am considering Thompson and Morgan. Any others?


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)


have you tried the Seed Trading Forum yet
these folks are very generous.

you can just post what you are looking for, and many will send you seeds for postage.
it's the way i've been getting most of my seeds the past few months. Last year i did purchase a few from Gurneys and even Home Depot and i did get 'end of the season' bulk seeds from my local nursery .... but if i see i plant i really like, i post that i'm looking for seeds ... and 9 times out of 10, some has them.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Carrie: zinnias WS very well. Just don't sow them until spring. I wait until about March or April here in Cincinnati. Earlier sowing can result in seeds being fooled into germinating early in an early warm weather spell and can croak in the inevitable later return to cold temps. In warm weather zinnias will sprout and grow fast.

Zowie zinnia July 4

Thumbnail by kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Dreamland coral July 4

Thumbnail by kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Profusion zin apricot July 4

Thumbnail by kqcrna
Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)


thanks for the tip on the zinnias.

my neighbor just direct sows them and had TONS of plants

i was planning on WS'ing some seeds this year ... though now i'll wait til spring.


West Norriton, PA(Zone 6b)

You're in trouble now ... this group gave me the winter sowing bug. This will be my first year doing it ... very excited about it. Everyone here is very helpful and full of valuable information and tips. Happy Sowing!

Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

I can hardly wait to get started!

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