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Grow with KARE: Winter sowing

If you're itching to get some seeds started now, try winter sowing!

We're new to winter sowing, but this method of starting seeds mimics mother nature, produces great results and saves space you would use to start seeds inside you home!

The idea is to make mini greenhouses to get the seeds germinated and growing before they are ready to transplant into a pot or the garden come spring.

What you need are clear or translucent plastic containers. Milk jugs are popular. A kiwi container is another good one. You want to have enough height to handle 2” or 3” of soil, plus another 3” at least for the seedlings to grow. If the container doesn’t have holes in the bottom, drill or poke some in for drainage.

The kiwi container already has a lid that opens. But for the milk jug, you’ll have to cut it in half, but not all the way around. Leave a side to act as the hinge.

Then add the soil, 2” to 3” deep.

Plant the seeds according to the directions on the package.

Water lightly. We like to use a spray bottle so the seeds don’t get washed to the edges. Especially the really small seeds.

Close the lid and secure with duct tape if it doesn’t snap shut on its own. Leave the cap off the milk jug. Our kiwi container already has holes in the lid.

Then nestle the container into the snow where it will receive sunlight and water from snow or rain.

Then let mother nature do the work!

Check it periodically to make sure the soil isn’t drying out. If so, add a bit of water. But the idea is for you to be hands off.

When days start warming up you can lift the lid to give the plants fresh air.

You can plant perennial seeds anytime now. Any perennial flower that you have seeds for... get them in the milk jug now!

In February, start the cool season veggies and herbs. This means broccoli, peas, brussel sprouts, onions and kale.

March is for starting frost-tolerant veggies like beets, beans and lettuce.

Wait until April for the warm season veggies that are frost-tender such as cucumbers, pumpkins, peppers and of course, tomatoes!