26 January 2014

Keep Winter Sowing

There is still plenty of time to sow seeds outdoors, even in this weather in January. You know you can plant perennial seeds all winter - shrubs and trees, both woody and herbaceous (trunks and twigs all winter or die back to the ground in winter).

Here's my Jan 2014 column about how I do it.

And this one from Jan 2012 has more suggestions of seeds I started that year outside in the cold.
Collected seeds for winter sowing
Wow! Look at this one from Garden Tenders dot com with a fancy vent!

So far this winter I have half a dozen containers and three flats out there freezing their little seeds shells off. It's been too busy around here to do more but I have big plans for February.

There are dozens of plants that are considered single-year or annual plants that would work.

Green Roof Growers has a post about their success, with links for Chicago gardeners.

In fact, WinterSown dot org has handy lists of what you can plant outdoors -

Here is their Hardy Annual list and their Vegetable and Kitchen Herb list
for winter sowing - some are surprises for me!

Hardy Annuals Suggested for Winter Sowing

(tender annuals are recommended for sowing a few weeks 
before your winter season ends)

Abronia umbellata (sand-verbena) 
Adonis aestivalis (pheasant's eye) 
Ageratum houstonianum (floss flower) 
Agrostemma githago (corn cockle) 
Alonsoa acutifolia (maskflower) 
Amaranthus caudatus (love-lies-bleeding) 
Amberboa moschata (sweet sultan) 
Anagallis indica (blue pimpernel) 
Anchusa (bugloss) 
Alyssum maritimum (sweet alyssum) 
Antirrhinum majus (snapdragons) 
Argemone mexicana (prickly poppy) 
Asperula azurea (woodruff) 
Brachycome iberidifolia (swan river daisy) 
Browallia demissa (bush violet) 
Bupleurum rotundifolium (ox-eye daisy) 
Calandrinia grandiflora (red-maids) 
Calendula (pot marigold) 
Callistephus (China aster) 
Campanula (annual Canterbury bells) 
Celosia (cockscomb) 
Centaurea (cornflower) 
Centranthus macrosiphon (valerian) 
Chrysanthemum paludosum (mini-marguerite) 
Clarkia elegans 
Collinsia bicolor (Chinese-houses) 
Collomia coccinea (mountain-trumpet) 
Consolida ajacis (Larkspur) 
Convolvulus (dwarf/bush morning glory) 
Coreopsis tintoria (calliopsis) 
Cosmos bipinnatus (tall cosmos) 
Cosmos sulphureus (sulphur cosmos) 
Crepis rubra (hawks-beard) 
Cuphea ignea (fiery cuphea) 
Cynoglossum (Chinese forget-me-not) 
Datura species (thorn-apple) 
Delphinium (larkspur) 
Dianthus chinensis (China pinks) 
Diascia barberm (twinspur) 
Dicranostigma franchetianum (bright-yellow poppy) 
Dimorphotheca aurantiaca (Cape marigold) 
Dracocephalum moldavica (Moldavian dragonhead) 
Echium creticurn (bugloss) 
Emilia javanica (tassel flower) 
Eschschlotzia californica (California poppy) 
Fagopyrum esculentum (buckwheat) 
Felicia bergeriana (kingfisher daisy) 
Gaillardia pulchella (blanket flower) 
Gilia (bird's-eye) 
Godetia (fairyfan, farewell-to-spring) 
Gypsophila (baby's breath) 
Helianthus (sunflowers) 
Helichrysum (strawflower) 
Helipterum (paper daisy) 
Hunnemannia fumariifolia (Mexican tulip poppy) 
Iberis (candytuft) 
Ionopsidium acaule (false diamond-flower) 
Lathyrus odoratus (sweet peas) 
Lavatera (annual mallow) 
Leonorus (lion's paws) 
Limnanthes douglasii (poached-egg plant) 
Limonium sinuatum (statice) 
Linaria bipartita (toadflax) 
Linum (flax) 
Lobularia (alyssum) 
Lupinus (lupine) 
Lychnis (catchfly) 
Malcomia maritima (Virginian stock) 
Malope trifida (malope) 
Malva (mallow) 
Matthiola bicornis (night-scented stock) 
Myosotis dissitiflora (forget-me-not) 
Nemesia strumosa (Cape jewels) 
Nemophila (baby blue-eyes) 
Nicandra (shoo-fly) 
Nicotiana (flowering tobacco) 
Nigella (love-in-the-mist) 
Osteospermum (Star of the Veldt) 
Papaver (poppy) 
Petunia hybrida (petunias) 
Phacelia (scorpion weed) 
Phlox drummondii (drummon phlox) 
Rehmannia angulata (Chinese foxgloves) 
Reseda odorata (mignonette) 
Rudbeckia bicolor (gloriosa daisy) 
Salpiglossis sinuata (painted tongue) 
Salvia splendens (scarlet sage) 
Sanvitalia procumbens (creeping zinnia) 
Saponaria vaccaria (soapwort) 
Scabiosa (pincushion flower) 
Schizanthus pinnatus (butterfly flower) 
Senecio elegans (ragwort) 
Silene armeria (none-so-pretty) 
Specularia speculum (Venus' looking glass) 
Thunbergia alata (clockvine) 
Tithonia rotundifolia (Mexican sunflower) 
Torenia fournieri (wishbone flower) 
Trachymene caerulea (laceflower) 
Tropaeolum (nasturtiums) 
Ursinia anethoides (dill-leaf ursinia) 
Vaccaria (cow soapwort) 
Venidium fastuosum (Cape daisy) 
Viola tricolor (pansy) 
Viscaria (rose-of-heaven) 
Xeranthemum (everlasting flower)

Some good Veggie choices are: 

Allium family (onions, shallots, garlic, chives) 
Artichokes (zone seven and warmer) 
Beans (need very well-draining containers)
Brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards, etc) 
Corn (select an "early" type as it can germinate at lower temps) 
Cucurbit family (cukes, squash, pumpkins, melons, gourds) 
Leafy Greens
Nightshade family (eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes - from real seeds....not "seed potatoes" ;-) 
Oriental veggies (any) 

Kitchen Herbs

Basil (tender annual best sown towards end of winter)
Fennel, Wild
Lemon Balm
Summer Savory
Sweet Marjoram

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