I've been wanting to start winter sowing for a few plants that like the cold weather and finally got around to starting the first type of seed. Winter sowing is very cool because it doesn't require much time, space, or maintenance to get some quality plants growing. All you need is a container or two, some soil, seeds, and a back porch to grow it all. I decided to start with one of my favorite plants: eachinacea! This particular coneflower is Echinacea paradoxa, a yellow coneflower. It's one of the coneflowers that when hybridized with purple coneflowers has helped to develop all those nifty new coneflower colors we see. I have to admit, the propagator in me dreams of coming up with my own special variety of coneflower but that day is very far down the road!
Here's how they start, tiny little seeds in my hand. Not as tiny as some but it's amazing how small plants begin and how large they can grow
For my container I took a plastic juice bottle and made a cut about 6 inches from the bottom of the container and continued almost all the way around. I left one part of the plastic connected to act as a hinge.
I poked holes in the bottom (before I added dirt), planted the seeds lightly on top of the soil and watered (which is why the metal trays there - no reason to have water all over the kitchen table!) Echinacea is a plant that likes a little light to germinate so never bury the seeds under the soil. A light soil dressing is all that is required - if even that. (I like to think about how the natural growing conditions of the seeds then try to simulate the same. Coneflower seeds (when not eaten by the birds) fall on top of the soil in the fall and winter and don't have soil gathering on top.) I taped up the sides of the container with an item that can do nearly anything - duct tape! Two things I learned from MacGyver - always carry a Swiss Army knife (and I do) and you can never have enough duct tape! Now if I only had a Jeep...
Back from TV land...
then I put the plastic container outside and the waiting begins. Mother nature will do most of the work from here on out. If we get a dry spell I may need to water the bottle but otherwise the seeds should be mostly alright on their own. I have some redbud and heuchera seeds I want to sow next. I've been keeping them in the refrigerator so they shouldn't need much stratification time.
And a quick update from last week's shallot sowing:
So(w) far ;) we have about 8 shallots peaking up from the soil. I'm hopeful that we'll get at least 20 of the seeds to germinate and the signs look good. It's so(w) nice to see something growing!
Join in on Seed Sowing Saturday! Just link back to this post and tell us about your seed sowing experiences of the week. be sure to leave a link below so we can come over and visit your post!