winter seed sowing in milk jugs Winter-hardy annual flowers that need cold temperatures and moisture to kickstart germination are perfect for winter sowing. Start with some recycled 1 gallon milk or water jugs. Keep in mind you can make these greenhouses anywhere from four to 12 weeks before your final frost date. " All you have to do is sow your seeds in some plastic containers, set them outside in a sunny location, and Mother Nature will take care of the rest. Step 3: Add seeds. A repurposed milk jug or other plastic recyclable container can easily be made into a mini greenhouse to help seedlings germinate in early spring. Milk jugs, soil, seeds, tape and the whole deal and deposited them in our daughters spare refrigerator. After the seeds sprout, the tape comes off to let in more air, and then the top is propped open to harden the baby plants off for planting. These miniature greenhouses are ideal for starting seeds outdoors, with very little assistance from growers. Hi Michelle – You can winter-sow directly in a raised bed or even in the open garden. After filling the bottom half with good potting soil, the gardener then adds seeds and waters thoroughly. ” Winter-sowing is an outdoor method of seed germination (invented by Trudi Davidoff) which requires just two things: miniature greenhouses (made from recycled water and milk jugs) and Mother Nature. Plus, it’s fun! There are many plants that can be seeded in winter. Moisten the mix and sow your seeds on top. Then, plant your seeds following the instructions on your seed packets. Cut jug in half with scissors or knife. Winter-sowing is really popular in countries with cold winters, for example, Canada. The technique of Winter Sowing seeds is generally sowing seeds in containers, like milk jugs, placing them outdoors to germinate by Mother Nature. The seeds I'm planning to winter sow and put outside in milk jugs in December are all perennial seeds that need cold stratification How Seeds Overwinter . The winter sowing method uses clear bottles, such as milk jugs, as small greenhouses. Germination was good, but somewhat inconsistent. Then it’s simply a matter of putting the tops back into place and securing around the seam with duct tape. Use a sharp craft knife to cut the bottles around the middle, but don’t cut completely around the jug – instead, leave a small uncut area to work as a “hinge. Snow, freezing and thawing eventually soften the seed coating and help it to germinate when the temps become just right. Turn off the grow lights, gather a few milk jugs and potting mix and start planting seeds. Fill the bottom of the jug with 2 inches (5 cm. Winter Sowing is a technique started by Trudy Davidoff and you can visit her website for addi Supplies Needed for Winter Sowing: Several clean, plastic, gallon-sized milk jugs or water jugs, plastic deli containers or anything else you can come up with. “Like using row covers or cold frames, the milk jugs allow the gardener to extend the gardening season in their yard. After my first year of winter sowing, I think I have learned a few things. Fill the milk jugs with two to three inches of seed starting mix. Use this articleGuide for Winter Sowing from 104 Homestead to get started. Putting them out in the fluctuating cold actually breaks the seed coats faster, and the constant moisture assures the germinating seeds will survive. Just sow the seeds inside, tape it back together and set the outside. The technique of Winter Sowing seeds is generally sowing seeds in containers, like milk jugs, placing them outdoors to germinate by Mother Nature. The containers act as tiny ‘greenhouses’ protecting the seed from the harsher weather, but allowing enough cold to help them toughen up over the winter months. The seeds get a jump-start on the My gardening season begins in the alleys, scavenging for milk jugs. Start with milk jugs, clear Winter sowing essentially creates mini greenhouses which protect seeds throughout the winter while exposing them to natural temperature variations. On March 30 that year, there was plenty of germination. Where Upcycling and Gardening Meet! With the cold and snow, it’s easy to think of February and March as a quiet time in the garden, but now is actually the perfect time to get a head start on planting, AKA winter-sowing. Instead of keeping the seedlings inside until danger of frost has passed, the seeds are sown in containers that are left outside. You can make them for free, repurposing translucent, plastic milk jug containers. wintersown. ===== find us here ===== website: http://lynzteee. Note: Some milk jugs are opaque; avoid those, because they will restrict Homemade milk jug greenhouses are a quick and easy way to start your garden early. Sow the seeds inside the jug. Fill the milk jugs with two to three inches of seed starting mix. Winter Sowing is a technique started by Trudy Davidoff and you can visit her website for addi Cut the milk jug open four inches from the bottom. The soil is ready when you can clump it together in Fill the bottom of the jug with soil, about at least 2-3 inches high. The best container to use is a semi-clear gallon milk jug. Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. (I had to poke, my husband took the drill on a job) Poke a few around the bottom sides, I used a coffee filter in the bottom so the soil stays in the pot. The seeds will then germinate when the conditions are right. Clear You can use regular plastic 9-packs (the size that give you 72 plants in a standard flat) inside the milk jugs if you want. Plant your seeds according Winter sowing is a seed starting method that makes use of outdoor conditions (cold weather and sunshine) to germinate seeds. Punch four small holes in the bottom of the jug for drainage. You’ll need just a few supplies before you start winter sowing. I first tried winter sowing last year with several types of flower seeds. The seed lies dormant all winter and is ready to sprout the first chance it gets, in the spring. Then place the scissors into the slit and cut around the jug and stop cutting about 1½ inches from the starting point, leaving this portion intact to make a hinge. The winter sowing project involved students planting a variety of seeds inside of plastic milk jugs that are partially filled with compost. URBANA, Ill. Instead of keeping the seedlings inside until danger of frost has passed, the seeds are sown in containers that are left outside. Kids love it and so do adults. This video will show you the four steps to begin Winter Sowing. we use milk jugs and greens container to start seeds for our garden. Toss away the cap for ventilation because its open spout is all you need for fresh air to get in and heated air to waft up and out. Step 5: Label the jug. Shasta Daisy: These were sown in milk jugs throughout March. Since the jugs are placed outside during the winter, the seeds naturally begin to germinate when conditions are right. You don’t need any grow lights, just a sunny outdoor spot and some clear milk jugs to be transformed into mini greenhouses that can used to germinate seeds of hardy cool accomplish this is to sow seeds in a milk jug. I first tried this in early March 2008 with a dozen different varieties of seeds, including tomatoes and lobelia. This video will show you the four steps to begin Winter Sowing. Some changes that I have made to the process since my first attempt is to not cut the milk jugs completely in half, but rather to leave the handle side attached to act as a hinge in the spring when you need to open the containers during the warm days. Most people who winter sow will upcycle plastic bottles or jugs. The only requirements are that it must be able to hold at least three inches of soil and it must have head room for the growing plants. Read the seed packet info carefully and follow guidelines to This video will show you the four steps to begin Winter Sowing. And he’s doing spring work. Moisten the soil. Attach the clear plastic Winter sowing is a method of growing seedlings. Save a few translucent or clear plastic containers for sowing flower seeds in winter. Milk jugs and plastic soda bottles make great winter sowing containers. Plant lettuce seeds in the jug when nights are chilly, usually between late winter and You will still have some cold weather and frost, but the jugs act like miniature greenhouses and provide warmth for the little seedlings. These seeds, which in nature lay under the leaves and snow, need the cold period to germinate (cold stratification). The method: basically, you cut plastic jugs in half (leaving a hinge), fill partially with damp potting soil and sow your seeds. How to Sow Seeds in Winter. Today, at least I know much better. Start seeds in milk jugs--outdoors, in late winter It was February 25 when I put five milk jugs outdoors for my first experiment with milk jug growing. Seeds can be started Simply speaking, winter sowing is a nifty little way to recreate a greenhouse effect by using old milk jugs and other plastic containers. Step 4: Close your container and seal all air gaps with duct tape. Use a permanent marker to write the name of the seed, how many sown, and the date you sowed them. Don’t cut through the handle. Dexter is impressed! Also, in contradiction of everything below, I couldn't pass… Not only Winter Sowing, you could also find another coloring page sample such as Winter Seeds, Winter Sow, Winter Gardening, Seed Starting, Winter Vegetable Garden, Winter Flower Seeds, Winter Sowing in Milk Jugs, Sowing Method, Milk Jug Greenhouse, Seeds Sown, Winter Sowing Containers, and Annual Winter Plants. Winter Sowing Containers (milk jugs, vinegar jugs, soda bottles, salad clamshell containers, etc. 1. The milk jugs serve as mini-greenhouses. Winter sowing is a way to start transplants from seeds outdoors without a greenhouse or cold frame. Thank you to the member that suggested that. The most ideal seed starting medium for milk jug winter sowing is 4 parts screened aged compost to 2 parts perlite or vermiculite, and 2 parts peat moss. Make a few drainage holes in the base and some vent holes in the lid of the containers before filling the lower half with potting mix. The containers act as miniature greenhouses While I wait for spring, I’ll empty more milk jugs and try planting more seeds. Plant the seeds according to the package instructions. You will set them outside in the cold and ice, snow will pile on them 1-2 feet deep. As long as it will hold 3-4 inches of soil, it will work. Cold stratification is simply exposing the seed to a period of cold treatment. My husband’s love of milk makes that easy. org. I usually plant in January because December is just too busy a month for me. Winter Sowing is an easy germination method that starts many seedlings for just pennies. It’s as easy as throwing some seeds in with some potting soil, sticking it out in the winter elements and waiting for mother nature and the seeds to come to an agreement. A kiwi container is another good one. Find more info and a step-by-step video showing you how to prepare the milk jugs, etc. Place about 3 inches of potting mix into your milk jug and water it. 1L or 2L plastic soda bottles (we have had the most success using these containers) 4. With milk jugs, I cut most of the way around, leaving a "hinge" at the handle and adding punch holes for a twist-tie to hold the top and bottom together. Gather together supplies: seeds, soil (a mix of potting soil and seed starting medium is what I used), and mini-greenhouse containers. The containers act as mini-greenhouses. 2) Cut a wide X in the the bottom of the jug. gallon and half gallon plastic water/milk jugs; 2 liter pop bottles If you’re thinking, “but it’s way too early!,” I’m talking about the winter sowing method. Native milkweed seeds and many other perennial plants need a period of cold stratification in order to germinate. Fill the jugs with potting soil and plant a sprinkling of seeds in each jug. How to Plant your Winter Sowing Jugs: Fill the bottom part of the jug with 3" of damp potting soil. The temperature differences with freezing and thawing helps loosen up the seed coats and allows for germination at the correct time. First make a horizontal slit with a sharp knife right at the side of the lower end of the milk jug handle. For winter sowing, you need the following items: Clear plastic containers, at least 4 to 6 inches deep. I tried the winter sowing method for the very first time last winter. 1) Acquire a milk jug, box cutter blade and heavy gloves to protect your fingers from cuts. I truly think that Winter Sowing is one of my favorite classes to teach – it combines instant gratification with a great lesson in patience. Tags: gardening, milk jug, propagation, sow seed, sowing seed, starting seed, vegetable gardening, Winter sow, winter sown This entry was posted on January 11, 2013 at 9:26 am and is filed under Gardening . The idea behind winter sowing is to set seeds out in small plastic containers during the winter, when it is still too cold for them to actually sprout. For winter sowing, you’ll need plastic containers or jugs that are able to hold around four-inches of soil and tops that are able to allow sunlight in. This activity can take place anytime from late fall through very early spring. P. The milk jug garden is a simple step toward in ground gardening. Winter Sowing in a Milk Jug Over the years the gallon-size milk jug or water bottle has become the iconic container for Winter Sowing. ) soda bottles or similar containers. ) Potting soil (Your choice on brand and type. The soil should hold its shape when squeezed, but not be dripping wet. Use a box cutter or pen knife to cut around the middle of the container. ) of slightly damp medium. The opening left by the missing cap will provide the proper ventilation. And that is the topic of my newest video. Here in Kentucky, temperatures can spike to 70 for two weeks in February then tank to below zero again in March–I don’t dare try the full winter sowing approach. I didn’t put my milk jugs out until the end of March, hoping to avoid -30 or -40 weather. Fold the top back over and use duck tape to create a seal around the middle. Seeds sown directly in the garden are subject to being washed around in the rains, dug up or eaten by wildlife, or trampled by careless humans. Where to put winter sown milk jugs and containers: Your containers need to be placed where the sunshine and rain can reach them. This is the technique well suited to cold-weather vegetables and perennial seeds, especially those that require cold treatment. It is really very basic. Using the same method, you can start the seeds in early spring and set them out in their minigreenhouses. By the end of April, I was harvesting spinach. By using the plastic containers, you are creating a micro-climate that is somewhat warmer than the outside temperature, and allowing the seeds to get a jump start on the season as spring rolls Winter sowing is the process of setting out our seeds in old plastic containers, and leaving them until they emerge in the spring. I do this in two different types of containers. A nother January, another row of milk jugs in my sleeping garden! What a great way to begin a new year and celebrate the turning of the seasons. 2. As tempera- tures fluctuate, the seeds will undergo several freeze/thaw cycles breaking down the seed coat and encouraging ger- mination! The milk-jug also acts as a mini-greenhouse pro- winter sowing using milk jugs (zone 4a) | gardening 2018-03-15. Winter sowing is a method of sowing seeds in a container and putting them outside in the sun and letting Mother Nature do the job, like a mini-greenhouse! Sounds easy? Well, it is! This method works for many seeds, especially perennials, cold hardy annuals, many herbs and vegetables, and any seed that self-sows. Here’s how to do it. The sealed milk jug acts like a mini greenhouse, causing seeds to germinate as soon as conditions allow, usually several weeks ahead of direct sowing in the ground. 2. No need to keep the soil from freezing if you are sowing perennials or hardy annuals. That’s where you plant seeds in containers such as milk jugs, put them outside, and let the seeds germinate when the time is right. Punch four small holes in the bottom of the jug for drainage. Winter Sowing takes little space out in the yard. Beginners welcome! Winter Sowers at FaceBook. This activity can take place anytime from late fall through very early spring. The clean milk jug acts like a mini-greenhouse for plants that drop their seeds in fall. Learn to grow GORGEOUS organic vegetables, fruit and herb seedlings with Veggie Winter Sowing (called Jug Method in spring and This video will show you the four steps to begin Winter Sowing. When using milk jugs, you’ll need to cut the jug Add seed starting mix. we're in minneapolis which is growing zone 4a. Lastly, seeds that are started outdoors through the winter sown method are typically hardier than seeds started indoors. You can leave these outside even in snow and ice! You can start any type of seeds for your vegetable or flower gardens using this method. As you can see my lettuce is doing great, we regularly go out to clip lettuce for salads and here you can see my son munching on some greens as we hang out! The winter sowing project involved students planting a variety of seeds inside of plastic milk jugs that are partially filled with compost. “Mini greenhouses” are one of several ways to winter sow seeds. * I had to walk my bike towards the end of this harvest. –If you’re in a cold climate like I am, the name Winter Sowing is a bit of a misnomer, especially if you’re trying this with vegetables. com Place seeds on top of the soil – up to four per gallon milk jug, and two per 2-liter pop bottle (as with the soil depth, fewer seeds will leave more space and resources for the plants to grow slightly larger before needing to transplant). A clean milk jug, minus its cap, is cut in half. Once the milk jugs are cut almost entirely around their circumference, the tops are pulled back, and the soil and seed are added. Keep in mind you can make these greenhouses anywhere from four to 12 weeks before your final frost date. I always use clear gallon milk jugs. we've been winter sowing for a few years and it has been the easiest way for us to start seeds. You can winter-sow your way to a beautiful garden, too… for pennies. If you would rather sow indoors, see Seed Starting for Beginners for my best tips. To create a top once planted, stand up two wood skewers. (Submitted by Kath Smyth) "My lettuces are usually so big in April For gardeners who want to get a jump-start on the growing season, a milk jug becomes a miniature greenhouse. For winter sowing, you need the following items: Clear plastic containers, at least 4 to 6 inches deep. While this may sound complicated, the only supplies Winter sowing is a technique gardeners can use to start growing seeds outdoors during the winter months. Good winter sowing containers. Winter sowing is a method of starting transplants outdoors in milk jugs when the weather is still below freezing. How to start milk jug greenhouses step by step: Step 1: Cut your jugs in half and toss out the lids. In a translucent milk jug that has been sliced horizontally just below the handle, I put wet potting soil about 3 inches deep. Clear plastic storage bins with snap on lids (The lids don’t have to be clear) 5. I’ll let you know what else I can get to work. Step 6: Set them outside in a full sun location. Add about 2-3 inches good quality potting soil in the bottom of the jug. The top of the jug will serve as air exchange/ventilation later in Spring. Cut the jug or bottle ALMOST the whole way around using scissors or a sharp knife. One-gallon plastic jugs make perfect candidates for winter sowing containers. Milk jugs and two litter bottles seem to be a popular choice. (I like gallon milk jugs, but some gardeners swear by those large lettuce or spinach containers or 2-liter soda pop jugs. Clear, plastic gallon milk jugs with the cap off allow for rain and snow to keep the mix moist and then greenhouse-like warm, moist conditions later in the spring to help with seedling growth. You plant hardy seeds in old milk jugs or other containers and set the containers outside now. Creator of the winter-sowing method, Trudi Davidoff puts it in simple terms: starting plants outdoors, in winter. One-gallon milk jugs work perfectly, or you can use materials such as two-liter soft drink bottles, takeout containers from restaurants, or any plastic container of the right size and shape that will hold three or four inches of soil. This method of sowing seeds has been attributed to Trudi Davidoff . Winter Sowing 101 More information A soil depth of about 4” is a good rule of thumb for winter sowing. Jan 16, 2021 - Winter sowing is a seed starting method that makes use of outdoor conditions (cold weather and sunshine) to germinate seeds. You tape the jug shut, leaving the cap off to allow moisture in and out. For bulbing onions, starting in a milk jug out in the snow will result in a disappointing crop due to the delay. P. No indoor space is required or expensive lighting. In addition to seed, you will also need milk jugs. The soil mix has to be a mix; topsoil is too heavy, seed starting mix is too light. 1. Usually I try to put out the tomato seed containers on the first day of March. The seeds will sprout as soon as the temperature warms, but the seeds will have been protected from the harsh winter weather. In fact, in temperate zones, spring is the perfect time to sow annuals. Spreading seeds across the soil works, of course, but a mini greenhouse protects your seed investment from squirrels, voles, mice and birds. Finally, seeds started outdoors by the winter sowing method tend to be harder than seeds started indoors. org and Facebook groups. Reflection: Start perennials from seed with this easy method: Sow your seeds in a milk jug, set it outdoors and let Mother Nature do the rest. To begin, collect recyclable containers, then clean and sterilize them by washing them in a 10% bleach solution. Carol’s Winter Sowing Story. During winter, seeds are sown into mini-greenhouses that you make yourself from recyclables (milk jugs, large water bottles, plastic pop bottles, etc. Cut in half (I left about 1” in the milk jugs as a “hinge Winter Sowing Containers. Sowing in a milk jug went a little something like this: I gathered my materials: lots of well-moistened soil mix (blue tub), a little bit of dry soil mix (green tub), the seeds, a milk jug with holes drilled in the bottom and cut around all but an inch of the jug. Homemade milk jug greenhouses are a quick and easy way to start your garden early. I cut mine just about an inch or 3. Winter sowing is a fun, economical way to garden in the winter. I grabbed a few old 1 gallon milk jugs, and cut the bottoms off. Make Tiny Greenhouses With Milk Jugs. You don’t need the kids rolling them up into snowmen or the dogs tearing them up. You plant your seeds pretty early, some in January (like cold hardy perennials) and put them outside in mini-greenhouses, usually made out of gallon milk jug containers, and let nature do its work on the seeds. Even water bottles can be used! Don’t overlook the clear-lidded, clam-shell style containers. To water your greenhouse, set the container in several inches of water overnight to soak up moisture. The freeze-thaw-freeze action works to naturally loosen the seed coatings of seeds you would normally have to chip or soak, as well as getting the seed in good contact with the soil. – Winter-sowing is a cost-effective and low-maintenance way of starting plants for the garden. The seeds will know when they should sprout in the spring. This is the third year King has winter-sowed in jugs. My sister gave me these, she has 4 boys and they go through a lot of milk. Pre-moisten the soil. You could also plant seeds under a cold frame or a big glass bowl if you wanted, but the method I’m referring to uses plastic containers like milk jugs and big plastic containers to create a miniature greenhouse. Collect your plastic containers & clean them well. Winter sowing vegetables and flowers is a wonderful way to start strong seedlings that don’t really need hardening off. I know that plenty of Canadian gardeners winter-sow tomatoes in little cultivation boxes outside. Let is drain. Anything darker will block out sunlight. Plant your seeds on the surface and leave them regardless of what the package says. Turn off the grow lights, gather a few milk jugs and potting mix and start planting seeds. Recycled milk jugs are readily-available containers for planting. Recycling a plastic milk jug into a seed Traditionally, winter sowing containers are put out in winter (duh!) and so the method does not work for vegetables, annual flowers or herbs. It doesn’t refer to putting out plants or starting seeds in the winter without protection. Note: Some milk jugs are opaque; avoid those, because they will restrict If you have not heard of it before, winter sowing involves planting seeds in plastic containers, such as gallon milk jugs or the clam-shell containers from takeout food joints, to create mini-greenhouses. Some things that work well are large plastic jugs (like the ones pretzels come in), 2 liter soda bottles, or clear plastic take-out containers. Make a habit of collecting one-gallon plastic milk jugs all year long so that you have plenty when it comes time to winter-sow in January. Cut in half (I left about 1” in the milk jugs as a “hinge”), poke holes for drainage at the bottom. Starting seedlings indoors in the last weeks of winter provides you with plenty of flower or vegetable transplants for your spring and early summer garden. You can use At the end of January, I will begin the process of winter sowing, as usual – starting first with perennial flowers and other plants that are cold tolerant. One of the most popular articles ever written for Northern Gardener was on winter-sowing perennials. 2. If you’d like to give winter sowing a try, here are the basics: First, decide which seeds to winter sow. I prefer to use 1 gallon plastic milk jugs, but you can use just 2. By starti When to sow your milk jug greenhouses If you don’t want to do the winter sowing technique, it’s really important to know when to sow seeds for your growing area or zone. Seal the container with duct tape, marking the plant name and sowing date with a grease pencil (markers will fade in sunlight). For example, I wouldn’t winter sow my zinnias in January. The containers are sealed with duct tape and placed outdoors in the winter weather. Transparent or semi transparent plastic bottles – old 2 litre water bottles, milk jugs, juice jugs or any kind of transparent container with a hinged lid are all great winter sowing vehicles. We mostly drink almond/coconut milk from the 1/2 gallon cartons, so I was pleased to find that those make good containers. Pre-moisten the potting soil by mixing it with water in a bucket. I am going to use better soil and I am definitely using only milk jugs. Winter sowing is a method of growing seedlings. The jugs act as scaled-down greenhouses, and the conditions that develop inside the containers allow for the seeds to sprout outdoors during cold months, shielded from the effects of the weather. Screwdriver or nail for poking holes in Here are some containers to consider for your winter sowing milkweed adventures: 1. Tender annuals do very well with winter sowing as well, but they need a little more babysitting than perennials and hardy annuals. Milk Jug Seed Starters URBANA, Ill. Winter Sowing Instructions 1. This is sowing seeds when it’s still winter time and too cold to plant seeds in the garden. Use a screwdriver or other sharp implement to stab 4+ holes in the bottom of the milk jug for drainage. Winter-sowing is an outdoor method of seed germination (invented by Trudi Davidoff) which requires just two things: miniature greenhouses (made from recycled water and milk jugs) and Mother Nature. Pinterest I’ve seen several articles online this winter about the milk jug greenhouse — starting seeds in a milk jug outside before your last frost date for some winter seed starting. Labeling the container will help avoid confusion at planting time. First, and most importantly, you’ll need a collection of containers. The best containers for winter sowing include plastic milk jugs, 2 or 3-liter soda bottles, plastic juice bottles, large water bottles, ice cream buckets, and other containers in similar shapes and sizes. Time to plant those seeds: Gather your favorite potting mix (I use Miracle Grow Potting Mix). Plastic Milk Jugs. Winter sowers, and gardeners in general, are typically a frugal lot. Carol Canning offers this story about something new she tried: Winter Sowing. Step 1: Wash/Rinse a gallon or half-gallon sized milk jug (our images show a gallon size) Step 2: take a Sharpie and mark a line 4inches from the bottom on three sides of the jug; the fourth side becomes a hinge. Sowing seeds in milk jugs mitigates such risks. I planted 3 lupine, 2 verbena bonariensis and 1 columbine. Many other scavenged and recycled containers work too. Add 3-4” of PREMOISTENED soil. We’re always looking for ways to reuse or repurpose throwaway items. Well, a few days later and a few snowstorms the milk jugs were all over the place. King sows her seeds toward the end of winter in recycled plastic milk and tea jugs that she keeps outside on her back patio. I took them out Christmas Day and they were sprouted in three The basics of winter sowing are that you plant up recycled containers like milk jugs or juice bottles by sowing seeds of everything from herbs to vegetables (tender plants shouldn’t be started until you get closer to your frost-free date) and set your winter sown jugs out in your yard, in a sunny spot, relying on the fact that your seeds know How to prepare a milk jug for winter sowing. I posted about getting everything set up and flower seeds planted in these plastic milk jugs in the dead of winter. “Winter-sowing works with nature to prepare seeds for growth by providing the proper conditions to begin germination. You may have tried it yourself, in the vegetable garden, sowing spinach and corn salad (mache) in the late fall for harvesting soon after the snow melts. – Winter-sowing is a cost-effective and low-maintenance way of starting plants for the garden. Yes, milk jugs. S. Leave an inch uncut at the back of the jug to create a hinge. This simple process relies on sun, snow and rain to do the work of breaking down the seed coat and getting the seeds to sprout. This video is about Winter Sowing. You can control where these plants grow by planting the seeds in milk jugs, then transplanting them into your flower beds where you want them. Winter sowing is a good idea for gardeners who do not have space to set up trays, plant pots, lights and heat mats. You can create this process on your own and start many seeds now. Then, plant your seeds following the instructions on your seed packets I sow pretty heavy for older seed and smaller seeds. The seeds I'm planning to winter sow and put outside in milk jugs in December are all perennial seeds that need cold stratification Developed by Trudi Davidoff, winter sowing is an inexpensive way to start seeds early outdoors using recycled gallon sized water or milk jugs and other plastic containers. Here’s how to set up such a milk jug. “One of those ways has been what is being called winter jug sowing, using white one-gallon milk jugs,” said Richard Hentschel. I sow seeds in January first under lights as they appreciate bright light until the end of the Persephone period in mid February when the flats are moved out into the cooler greenhouse. You can winter-sow your The Winter Sowing Process Stock up on clear and opaque containers like milk jugs and 2-liter soda bottles. Your typical 1-gallon milk jug or distilled water jug is the perfect material. Smyth says she also grows plants indoors but winter sowing in milk jugs helps keep her counter spaces less crowded. Milk jugs, two-liter soda bottles, salad take-out containers, and big plastic jars (the kind pretzels come in at warehouse clubs) are all popular winter sowing containers. Plant/spread seeds according to Winter sowing is a fun and easy way of planting seeds outdoors in winter. Light frosts have not bothered the seedlings in their containers. Grab a milk jug or other container and let’s get started. Soda bottles and milk jugs should be cut around the middle, about three-quarters of the way around, so you can flip it open like a hinge. Winter sowing is great because it gives us gardeners in Western New York something to do when it’s cold and snowy out. winter sowing in milk jugs. gallon and half gallon plastic water/milk jugs; 2 liter pop bottles Winter Sowing (Vegetable Gardening with Sheryl Mann) has 29,781 members. S. It is called Winter Sowing. The winter sowing method uses recycled containers, such as milk jugs, to serve as “mini greenhouses. I prefer containers with handles, because it makes them easier to move around, you will choose what’s perfect for you from SLA [Stuff Lying Around]. You’ll find clear Prepare your containers. Once grown, share your seedlings with a neighbor, school, or park in your community. Their lids should also be removed. It is best to have at least one milk jug for each kind of seed you want to sow. It is best to have at least one milk jug for each kind of seed you want to sow. Out in the open or against a south facing fence or wall… just somewhere out of the way. You can plant them anytime during the winter and then set them outside no matter what the weather. Your typical 1 gallon milk jug or distilled water jug is the perfect material. Their seeds don’t need (or like) the freeze-thaw cycles you get in winter. Winter is turning to Spring, and you still have a stash of empty milk jugs you were saving for "winter sowing?" Put them to use! It's not too late to grow plants with the winter sowing method. Any clear container can be made into a mini-greenhouse. You don’t need it. This video will show you the four steps to begin Winter Sowing. You can use anything from see-through buckets to plastic milk containers. Make a few holes close to the bottom of the jug with a nail or a hot soldering gun (About 2 cm from the bottom) Label the type of seed you are sowing Hi everyone, Getting ready for my first time winter sowing and had a question about winter sowing marigold seeds. Gallon size milk/water jugs and 2 liter pop bottles are some of the most common, but don’t stop there. You can use clear, 2-liter soda bottles or gallon milk jugs. Winter sowing is a way to start transplants from seeds outdoors without a greenhouse or cold frame. Instead of waiting until the spring to sow your seeds indoors, you collect and sow seeds into a milk jug greenhouse starting in some areas as early as December or January. . March is the last month that they have enough time to break down the seed coat with cold temperatures; most species of cold hardy succulents require at least six weeks of close to or below freezing. Milk or water jugs work well, or you can use 1-liter (1 qt. Discuss how planting seeds can be an act of hope that requires patience, perseverance and nurturing. We mostly drink almond/coconut milk from the 1/2 gallon cartons, so I was pleased to find that those make good containers. Hi everyone, Getting ready for my first time winter sowing and had a question about winter sowing marigold seeds. I also learned to start saving jugs sooner: ) I got addicted! I will make sure I have a marker inside the jug as well as a number sheet. However, some seeds lend themselves to winter sowing better than others. Winter Sowing is the process of planting hardy and half-hardy seeds in clear or translucent containers. Any clear or translucent container will work, but milk jugs are preferred for their size, translucence and availability — but soda bottles or bakery containers will also work. Sowing seeds. Winter Sowing is a technique started by Trudy Davidoff and you can visit her website for addi When to sow your milk jug greenhouses If you don’t want to do the winter sowing technique, it’s really important to know when to sow seeds for your growing area or zone. Seeds that will most likely germinate successfully are those that are By winter sowing you are taking advantage of the natural temperatures and length of day to trigger germination. I’m happy to report success, after following the guidelines on the website: www. Grab a milk jug or other container and let's get started. Cut a plastic milk jug nearly in half. Next, fill the containers with 3 to 4 inches of damp potting mix. Choose seeds that are naturally hardy in your area. 3. Bohanan already had 35 jugs going and figured she was only 25 percent of the way through her winter sowing plans. Placing it in something like a milk crate is a good idea, so it won’t be sitting directly in water from any rain or melting snow. The only risks are these: seeds can be washed away by heavy rain, or they can be eaten by birds or critters. Step 3: mark 5 drainage holes on the bottom and 4 drainages holes on the lower-middle area of each side. ” How should I sow seeds in winter? To create your miniature greenhouses that protect winter sown seeds from the cold, you’ll need some plastic containers. Uncategorized 0 For milk jugs and other solid containers, cut three quarters of the way around the jug, about one third from the base, so that you have a hinge on the jug. Disposable food storage containers with snap-on lids. on the website of GCEMG Terry L. Seeds that will work in cold, wintery weather include milkweed, asters, cone flowers, and kale. Sow seeds in simple How to Winter Sow Pick your containers. Winter sowing in milk jugs Using empty milk jugs as tiny greenhouses, you can start seeds for transplants outdoors instead of inside. You use mini greenhouses made of recycled milk jugs, 2 liter bottles, clear take-out containers that have aeration holes in the top (to prevent the dreaded damping off disease) and holes in the bottom to allow the soil to drain. Instead of using milk jugs and bottles, I will be using large seed starting trays. It was months ago that I decided to attempt starting perennial seeds by using a winter sowing method that I had read about in my Northern Gardener magazine. The advantages of winter sowing are many! You do not need seed trays, lights; treat your soil for damping-off disease or worry about your seedlings drying out. Because these are miniature greenhouses, it's possible to overheat the seeds if the container is not properly vented. You just plant at the December winter solstice or even later in Jan or Feb depending on your weather. I am a few days late this year starting my winter sowing. Toss Add drainage holes to the bottom of the container. If you can’t see your hand’s outline through the plastic, the container is too thick for sunlight to pass through. Puncture 4 to 5 quarter-inch holes in the plastic. If you have limited space for starting seeds indoors, winter sowing might be an option for you, depending on what you want to grow. Sow in the winter, set containers outside, and watch seeds sprout with gusto in the spring. The winter sowing project involved students planting a variety of seeds inside of plastic milk jugs that are partially filled with compost. Sowing Seeds Outdoor in Winter. Now cut the jug in about half, leaving 1-2 inches, so that the top can be closed and opened. Even though the fall planting failed, godetia responded exceptionally well to winter sowing with an extremely high germination rate. 3. One very common strategy for winter sowing is to use a one-gallon plastic milk jug. Sow seeds in ground (using potting mix if ground is frozen) and cover with 1/4-inch of soil. As you can see from the snapshot, I don’t always get them into the ground as quickly as needed! In my opinion, this is where winter sowing in plastic jugs really shines. Happy Gardening! Winter Sowing is an easy way to start your own transplants. Then I swept away some snow, dumped some potting soil in that spot, and sowed the some seeds. Tape the top of the milk jug or soda bottle to the bottom with a 4-inch piece of duct tape. There is no need to harden off the plants since they have been outside all winter. “Like using row covers or cold frames, the milk jugs allow the gardener to extend the gardening season in their yard. Most materials for winter sowing can be found around the house. Moisten the soil before using, by placing some soil in a plastic bin and watering and then mixing the water in well. Next, partially cut the jug to create a hinged lid. Over the winter, you can save your milk jugs, fill them up with soil and seeds, and be rewarded with your own seed starters in the Spring. Winter sowing seeds in milk jugs or similar containers is a low-maintenance, effective way to start flowers and vegetables for your garden. Most people who sow in winter will upcycle plastic bottles or jugs. This season, I’m using both flats (is that what they’re called), as well as some trays will cells in DO NOT try to winter sow all your seeds. Add some perlite if the soil drains slow. Tape the top of the milk jug or soda bottle to the bottom with a 4-inch piece of duct tape. Working on a safe surface, poke a few small holes in the bottom of the jug to allow for drainage. After that, I took the bottomless milk jug, and covered the seeds. An Important message about SEEDS: BUY THEM SOON!! Last year, 2020, there was a major shortage of seeds across the country and in all the seed markets around the world…None of the Santa Fe garden centers nor plant stores nor the big box stores had any seeds left after the first cycle of early seed buyers…(Many of us who save seeds may have The square milk jug is a variant of the plastic gallon (3. Growing more plants using the winter sowing method Many hardy succulents require a stratification period, so sow them in milk jugs for a winter sowing project. Next, partially cut the jug to create a hinged lid. The design was introduced in the summer of 2008 and is marketed as environmentally friendly because of the shape's advantages for shipping and storage (better cube efficiency). I decided to use a couple of plastic containers that salad greens came in. Cut horizontally, about 5″-6″ up from the bottom, across three sides of the milk jug, leaving the area with the 3. Preparing for Winter Sowing. In addition to seed, you will also need milk jugs. If you’re not familiar with the concept of winter sowing, it’s essentially planting seeds inside a container that will act like a mini greenhouse and then leaving the container outside over the winter. The plastic is soft, easily cut, and a decent size for a good crop of winter-sown seedlings. The best candidates for winter sowing are plants that don’t mind a little bit of a chill. -Advertisement- The beauty of this project is that it costs pennies to do and you will be reusing old milk jugs to boot. Creator of the winter-sowing method, Trudi Davidoff puts it in simple terms: starting plants outdoors, in winter. Other supplies needed include potting soil, a Winter-sown seeds grow to be sturdy plants that are stronger than indoor sown plants. You should have a base container and a flip top. So, how does one winter sow? Easily! You need a plastic container to put your seeds in. The jugs act as scaled-down greenhouses, and the conditions that develop inside the containers allow for the seeds to sprout outdoors during cold months, shielded from the effects of the weather. They have a website at www. Plastic containers, like milk jugs, 2-liter bottles or clear-lidded clamshell-type containers serve as a mini-greenhouse for the seeds. Winter-sowing seeds in milk jugs or other similar containers is a low-maintenance and effective way of getting a head start on the growing season. You will make a mini greenhouse from this jug so make sure it’s clean. Step 2: Moisten the soil really well. I was scheduled to present Milkweed/Winter sowing for our Master Gardener group the first of January and wanted to have some sprouted plants on hand so I got them ready in October. Depending on where you are located you plant your seeds in a milk jug or any plastic container. Allow for air and water to enter the container by leaving the lid off the milk jug, or cut a couple of holes in the top of the container—but not too many or our arid climate will dry out the containers quickly. (I like gallon milk jugs, but some gardeners swear by those large lettuce or spinach containers or 2-liter soda pop jugs. Use a small container such as a plastic milk jug. On April 1st, I transferred my winter sown seeds from their milk jug green houses to large pots. Winter Sowing is the process of planting hardy and half-hardy seeds in clear or translucent containers. Winter seed sowing is a method of starting seeds in the winter for spring planting. Stab the knife into the bottom of the jug (a Philips head screwdriver works Make a Milk Jug Greenhouse. Incredibly, this method works whether you start the seeds in winter or spring. Good winter sowing containers. Yep, that's right. by December 10, 2020. It all sounds so easy! The idea is that you can start seeds in these heat-holding greenhouse stand-ins outside, getting your garden going while it’s still winter. Cut you jugs about 3/4 of the way around, leaving a "hinge" Poke or drill about 8-10 holes in the bottom. Garden with cold frames, this method will help you grow more food in spring. ) After sowing, the mini-greenhouse is placed outside to wait for the end of winter. Winter Sowing is a technique started by Trudy Davidoff and you can visit her website for addi Directions Rinse empty milk jugs and cut in half – leaving just enough to make a handle you can bend open. 785 litres) container of milk commonly sold in the United States. The jugs act as scaled-down greenhouses, and the conditions that develop inside the containers allow for the seeds to sprout outdoors during cold months, shielded from the effects of the weather. Winter sowing involves sowing seeds outdoors in mini-greenhouses, made of milk jugs, deli containers and other sealed plastic containers. Because these are miniature greenhouses, it’s possible to overheat the seeds and allow rainwater and snow to maintain moisture if the container is not properly vented. wintersown. I usually plant nine seeds in each milk jug greenhouse. Good for balconies, patios and smaller yards too. I use a serrated bread knife to cut them (be careful). You can make a mini cold frame by planting seeds in a milk jug filled with rich planting soil. Its actually works and is fun. Germination rates are usually quite high. The idea is that you use milk jugs as mini greenhouses — poke a few holes in the bottom, slice in half, add some soil, sow the seeds, and tape the two halves back together. Gardeners without the space or required supplies for starting seeds indoors can still do so using the winter sowing method. The containers act as mini-greenhouses and the seeds germinate and grow when the conditions are right for them to do so. There is no need to wait until after your frost date to plant your seeds. The 6 milk jugs pictured were started in early February. Here are his steps for using gallon or half gallon sized milk jugs for winter sowing of milkweed: Steps 1-4. The containers act as mini-greenhouses and the seeds germinate and grow when the conditions are right for them to do so. Remove caps for ventilation. Be sure to label all of your milk jugs, so you don’t forget what’s planted inside. Poke holes in the bottom of the jug. The edges of the X should extend about an inch up the side of the jug, as pictured above. It is totally possible to start your seeds outdoors, in the freezing cold, with a well-known method of seed germination, requiring just two things: mini GREENHOUSES (made from recycled plastic/transparent milk-water-juice gallon jugs or large plastic soda or water bottles) and TIME with Olde Mother Nature. An easy seed germination method that allows you to plant seeds in milk jugs or other containers, set them outside, and let ‘Mother Nature’ start these seeds when the timing is right for those particular seeds. You can grow a ton of seedlings in a small number of jugs that will nestle nicely together in a small area. the box and remove the top portion. Recently, I saw a post on Facebook about how to winter sow milkweed seeds using milk jugs. Winter Sowing is a cost-effective, low-maintenance way to grow many types of seeds into healthy baby plants. Just drill a few ventilation holes in them. Be sure to mark your containers so you can identify what you have planted. ) Potting Soil (You should be able to find “Seed Starting Mix” at your hardware store) Scissors or X-acto Knife. Tie Winter Sow Method The winter sow method involves sowing seeds in altered milk jugs or other suitable containers and allowing them to spend the winter outside. Here is what you need to get started: Cold hardy annual seeds. Here is how they looked today before I planted them in my straw bales. With this method of winter sowing, you’re getting far more control of your garden design, with less time spent trying to tell seedlings apart as they sprout among other flora in the garden. Keep it intact to act as a hinge. Milk jug greenhouses work well for early spring planting too. Winter Sowing is a technique started by Trudy Davidoff and you can visit her website for addi Winter sowing is a method of starting seeds early in homemade, mini greenhouses made from empty milk jugs. Carefully cut the jug horizontally in half. This guide is specifically for the winter sowing technique of sowing in jugs which create a mini-greenhouse. “Winter-sowing works with nature to prepare seeds for growth by providing the proper conditions to begin germination. Yockey. More discussion and the original FAQ set are at GardenWeb: Winter Sowing Forum Winter Sowing FAQs at GardenWeb. My lettuce did so well it was coming out of the jug and I planted it today. This can easily be done by filling the jug with hot water, after a few minutes the label will come off. In addition to the containers, you’ll need a bag of good potting mix. Fill the bottom of the jug with at least 3″ If you have any plastic milk cartons or other large clear/translucent plastic containers, give winter sowing a try. Discard the lid to the milk jug. You can start growing your garden super early. Please join us there for family-friendly conversation and photos about Winter Sowing, our gardens, seeds, all types of horticulture, and home-canning and food preservation. Here in Kentucky, temperatures can spike to 70 for two weeks in February then tank to below zero again in March–I don’t dare try the full winter sowing approach. Winter Sowing Step by Step 1. Gallon size milk/water jugs and 2 liter pop bottles are some of the most common, but don’t stop there. Label containers or plant tags. Milk Jug Seed Starters Some containers will work better than others. This year, why not skip the grow lights, heat mats, and constant babysitting of seedlings, and give winter sowing a try. This method can also be Winter/Early Spring Sowing 101 By Lynne Roberts. This technique is easier than my experience last year sprouting orange butterfly weed—a type of milkweed. I didn’t put my milk jugs out until the end of March, hoping to avoid -30 or -40 weather. Most of the seeds are in milk jugs that are sliced open on three sides, planted and then taped shut. While this may sound complicated, the only supplies With winter sowing, you can forget positioning endless seed trays under grow lights and trying to find space on sunny windowsills for the seedlings. Sterilize your jugs first. Winter sowing is a method of planting seeds in milk jugs and letting them sit out all winter. Here's the intended schedule: March 1--Sow seeds and set containers outside April 1--Seeds usually show germination April 30--Transplant into individual containers May 14--Ready to put into the… Soil, seeds and a hinged milk jug are all you need to start winter sowing. First rinse the container and remove the label sticker. The most popular container for this method is a milk jug, but many other The winter sowing project involved students planting a variety of seeds inside of plastic milk jugs that are partially filled with compost. It's easy to obtain and easy to prepare. “One of those ways has been what is being called winter jug sowing, using white one-gallon milk jugs,” said Richard Hentschel. Steps: Cut the milk jug in half using a knife or scissors. First, 1 Gallon Plastic Milk Jugs. Makes is easier to separate the plants come planting time. They become the mini-greenhouses for winter sowing: aka plant them and mostly forget about them until it's time to transplant. Winter Sowing Jugs planted and outside in February The concept started by mimicking nature with seeds that need to be cold stratified; meaning the seeds must spend time in the cold (either outdoors or in a refrigerator/freezer) for a certain number of days. There are two basic types of winter sowing and both methods work well. I’ll let you know what else I can get to work. Winter sowing is using containers (usually empty milk jugs) to make little “mini greenhouses” that you plant seeds in and put outside during the winter. The seeds come up at varying times – depending on their cold-hardiness – and by May, they’re ready to go into the garden. Started in lidded containers, seeds can be exposed to temperature fluctuations and other winter conditions while the emerging seedlings are sheltered from damaging winds and pests. 3) Peel back each triangular wing created by the X, so they are at a 90 degree angle as shown. The milk jug garden is a simple step toward in ground gardening. The process is inexpensive, uses recycled materials, requires no electricity, produces healthier plants and offers an outlet for gardeners to start planting in the winter. You want to have enough height to handle 2” or 3” of soil, plus another 3” at least for the seedlings to grow. Any containers can be used, the most common ones are the gallon milk jugs. The basic concept is to plant seeds in milk jug-greenhouses that you set outside over winter. Winter Sowing Cut bottom off milk jug. –If you’re in a cold climate like I am, the name Winter Sowing is a bit of a misnomer, especially if you’re trying this with vegetables. There is no need to wait until after your frost date to plant your seeds. And after doing a more research and joining the Winter Sowers group on Facebook, I’m convinced this is the way to go this year. Milk jugs are popular. Make a habit of collecting one-gallon plastic milk jugs all year long so that you have plenty when it comes time to winter-sow in January. 4 ~ Save space in your home by not having your house taken over by seedlings for several months a year. BELIEVE IT OR NOT You can start your summer garden in December and January, using a neat trick called “Winter-Sowing. Milk jugs and soda bottles are popular receptacles for winter sowing, but you can use any plastic container with a lid. To get started with winter sowing, you’ll need supplies you probably have around the house. We take you step by step on how to sow seeds during the winter into milk jugs or other clear plastic containers. Seeds are planted in miniature greenhouses made from recycled plastic containers (like milk jugs!), and then put outside in the snow and freezing cold. The seeds went through Zone 4a freeze and thaw extremes ranging from -12F (-24C) to 80F (27C) – and by late-April, everything had February is my last chance to get my winter sowing done. The jugs act as scaled-down greenhouses, and the conditions that develop inside the containers allow for the seeds to sprout outdoors during cold months, shielded from the effects of the weather. The basic principle of winter sowing is to "let nature do the nurturing. Use knife to add drain holes about 1/8-1/4″ diameter (3-6 mm) on the bottom of the milk jug. Then, go in the house and rejoice that you are gardening in My favorite method of winter sowing involves planting seeds in milk jugs and setting the jugs outside until spring. Sowing seeds in the fall or winter is an old technique used worldwide. Just keep in mind that your containers should be at least 4 or 5 inches deep and the top of the containers should be somewhat transparent, so the sun can shine through. Let’s say you sow your tender seeds in the winter sowing containers in February where your normal temps are between 30* and 45* Fahrenheit. This method of winter seed planting using mini homemade terrariums which are really repurposed milk jugs or two liter bottles. I wash and sanitize them with a bleach solution. ” Surface sow the pansy seeds into containers and place the containers outside. ) Potting soil (Your choice on brand and type. But sowing directly in the jugs works too. Its like a mini greenhouse without heat that uses the sun and nature to sprot seeds when they are ready. Create drainage holes. winter seed sowing in milk jugs