My Winter Sow Seed List

vegetable garden, vegetable seeds, gardening, canning


Are you wondering what seeds you can winter sow?  You’ve come to the right place. So, stay awhile and check out my winter sow seed list.  I started my winter sowing last week, and I thought I would share my list of flower and vegetable seeds.  They are currently sitting on my decking waiting for the perfect opportunity to germinate.  My list is not all inclusive, I’m sure there are many others.  However, I live in zone 6B.  So I select plants that will grow in my zoneSome plants do well in some zones, but not in others.  Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips too.

Because I have a short growing season, it’s important that I give my plants a head start in the garden.  As a result, I start my seeds early so I plant out by Mother’s Day at the earliest and Memorial Day at the latest.  By mid-June my garden is fully planted.  I water and nurture the plants so they can establish a good root system.

I’ve been successful with some seeds and not so much with others.  I love the thrill of seeing what emerges each year and watching the plants produce.  Here’s my winter sow list:

  • Spicy Globe Basil
  • Genovese Basil
  • Greek Oregano
  • Italian Oregano
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Cilantro
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Collard Greens
  • Lettuce – Salad Bowl, Romaine,  Butter Crunch, Black Seeded Simpson
  • Spinach – Noble
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower

Also, the following tomatoes found a place on my list to germinate inside this year:  Roma, Amish Paste, San Marzano, Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, Hillbilly, Yellow and Pink Brandywine, Tiffin Mennonite, Mortgage Lifter, German Johnson, Paul Robeson, Early Girl, and White Wonder tomatoes inside.

Unfortunately, not all of them will germinate successfully.  As a result, germinate enough seeds to ensure you produce enough plants for the garden. There have been times when I have attempted to sow a variety a second time if it doesn’t germinate.  So, allow enough time for this step if you want a certain variety.  Additionally, I sowed belle, cayenne, and jalapeno peppers.  Stay tuned, I’ll be posting updates on the germination journey.

Finally, I hope my winter sow seed list has helped you decide what seeds you will be winter sowing or sowing inside.  Again, it is not all inclusive and you will need to check your zone to ensure your seeds are compatible.  In conclusion, I suggest that you order a few catalogues to browse through the winter and make a decision based on your research.  I love looking at the catalogues and checking out the new varieties of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and more.  Stay tuned for future gardening posts.






Why You Should Winter Sow Seeds


winter sow seeds


I started my winter sowing this week-end, and I started about 25 tomato plants indoors.  I’m hoping to get my garden in early this year and possibly get some plants in the garden twice.  I’ve found that I’ve just about depleted my stash of canned tomatoes, sauce, corn, green beans, peppers and herbs.

Also, I may expand my garden this year.  My grandchildren love my tomato sauce and my sister and daughter enjoy the fresh vegetables as well.  After taking inventory, I realized that I needed to replenish my stock.  So, I’m going to winter sow some vegetable seeds and plant others under the grow lights for my garden.  Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips too.

Continuing, if you don’t winter sow you should.  Here’s a few good reasons why you try it:

1. Cost Effective –  Winter sowing can be done cheaply.  For example, plastic containers, duct tape, a utility knife, seed starting mix and outdoor space is basically all you need.  A single plant at a garden center will cost $2.00  –  $4.00Things can get expensive if you’re trying to plant a garden to feed a family over the winter at that price.  

2.  Saves Indoor Space Indoor germination requires space.  Once the seedlings germinate they require a warm space with proper lighting.  Many gardeners don’t have space inside their homes for this endeavor.  As a result, they resort to direct sowing in the garden or purchasing expensive plants at the garden center.  Furthermore, you can use your deck, shrubbery beds, backyard tables, backyard benches, your garden, the options are limitless.  I don’t recommend concrete areas unless you have a bedding of straw.  Your plants won’t appreciate a cold bottom from the concrete.

3.  Nature Does The Work Once you place your containers outdoors, you let nature take its course.  The rain, snow, light and moderation of the temperature will help germinate the seed and cause the plant to grow at the right time.  Once spring arrives, you will have to take the top off the plants and give them water, separate or thin them and prepare them for spring/summer planting. How easy is that!

4.  Doesn’t Require A Light System Nature will provide all the light that your plants will need when you use the winter sowing method.  Indoor sowing requires grow lights or some type of fluorescent lighting system.  I have an indoor system and it works great; however, if you have to spend money to set up a system why not go the free route.

5. Doesn’t Require Hardening Off The rigid, mild, and warm temperatures prepare seedlings for movement to the garden.  When you sow seeds indoors you will have to get your plants adjusted to being outside. This requires you to harden off your plants.  Gradually expose your plants to shade, sun and nights before transplanting them in the garden will be necessary.

Once I complete my outdoor sowing, I will be posting a list of seeds you can outdoor sow successfully too.  Start gathering your jugs and containers, you will have plenty of time to start your winter sowing too.  You may also like My Winter Sow Seed List.










Winter Sowing Vegetable Seeds

gardening tips
I have the winter blues!  I decided to start my vegetable seeds over the week-end.  Planning my garden takes the blues away and gives me a head start with strong, healthy veggie plants.  Last year I used heating mats and grow lights.  I had a 90% germination rate, but it takes lots of time and space to nurture the seedlings.  Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips too.

This year, I decided to try winter sowing.  I’ve been saving plastic liter, juice and milk bottles.  Anything that I can cut and punch holes in the bottom for drainage.  I started about 20 bottles over the week-end.  Tomatoes, dill, zucchini, squash, sunflowers and petunias.  Tomatoes, dill and petunias reseed and grow.  Research showed that the squash and zucchini will also do well.  l will continue winter sowing through-out February.  I’ll do a few tomatoes, cukes and green beans inside.  Just in case I don’t have a successful germination rate from the winter sowing; however, gardeners swear by this method.  I’m sold!


If you’re wondering how I create these miniature greenhouses, here it goes.  Wash your bottles in hot soapy water and rinse well.  I used a box cutter to cut around the bottles.  Leave an inch on the bottle for a hinge.  Add drainage holes in the bottom of your bottle.  To accomplish this, I use a glue gun on the milk bottles.  However, I was unsuccessful using the glue gun on the liter and juice bottles.  The gun wouldn’t penetrate.  I used the box cutter to make slits on the bottom.  If you have another method of punching holes, bring out your equipment and punch holes in the bottom of your bottles.

First, mix your seed starting mix as directed on the package.  I use warm water when mixing the soil Mix it thoroughly.  You want it wet; however, not soggy.  Next, add 2 – 3 inches of the mix to the bottom of each of the bottles or container.  I use Miracle Gro Seed Starting Mix, which I purchase from Tractor Supply.  It’s a little expensive, but I have a great germination rate each year with the mix.

Second, place your seed on top of the soil and cover lightly.  Wrap the bottle with duct tape.  I purchased my duct tape from the dollar store.  Mark the bottles with a permanent marker, which I also purchased from the dollar store.

You can discard the bottle tops.  I moved the bottles and containers to the deck to ensure they get rain. Let them go until spring.  At that time you should have sprouts that will need water.  As they grow, you will have to remove the top of the bottles.  These little babies will already be hardened off, which is a step you will have to take if you start seedlings indoors.

Stay tuned for additional posts on winter sowing.  Finally, if you are a gardener and use the winter sowing method, please share your experience.  You may also like My Winter Sow Seed List.