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Winter Sowing Seeds

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Sanna
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Winter Sowing Seeds

Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:34 pm

A brilliant way to get early spring spinach, rocket salad, lettuce, carrots and radish is to copy the way the nature does it - make sure that the seeds are planted before spring starts.

Planting seeds in winter - or winter sowing seeds simply means that you start planting the seeds in the winter, when the ground is still frozen and covered by snow. I use my cold frame and raised bed for winter sowing, and this is my sharing of how i do - step by step.

1. Find your winter seeds - in my January sowing envelope I have spinach, rocket salad, lettuce, carrots and radish. Choose a day when the sun is shining on your cold frame. ;)

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2. Since the ground is frozen, it's not possible to dig in it, so cover the frozen ground with new soil. I keep a few bags saved indoors to have it ready for my winter sowing. 

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3. Make a plan for what to sow where, i use a square foot plan to have the luxury of getting "a little bit of everything" when spring comes. If I had more room in my cold frame, I would to like 3 square meters of spinach, but that Is only a dream for now.. 

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4. Dispose each square - if you do lettuce, rocket or spinach you can plant about 9 seeds on each square foot, for carrots and radishes you can do about 16 per square foot.

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5. Put the seeds in, and cover with soil (just as you would do in any season). Remember to mark the spots to know what you placed where.

6. Cover with a bit of snow. When spring comes, the snow will melt and give water to the seeds.

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7. Put the lid on your cold frame.

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8. Now, go inside and make a big cup of coffee, and wait for spring. ;)


Sanna
Site Admin
Posts: 755
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:57 am

Re: Winter Sowing Seeds

Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:28 pm

Rocket Salad is the first one to show in the Cold Frame. It's great to see those little leaves showing! Spring sun has not really been out that much yet, but I'm expecting the Cold Frame Salad to really start growing over the next couple of weeks. :-)

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Ingela
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:00 am

Re: Winter Sowing Seeds

Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:18 pm

Fantastic!
Sanna
Site Admin
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Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:57 am

Re: Winter Sowing Seeds

Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:35 pm

It's sprouting in the Cold Frames! :-)

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And it's growing fast!

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Sanna
Site Admin
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Re: Winter Sowing Seeds

Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:34 pm

Winter Sowing Update! I'm happy and are looking forward to fresh Spinach in a few weeks. :-)

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Sanna
Site Admin
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Re: Winter Sowing Seeds

Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:58 pm

Picture Update from The Cold Frame. 

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I've really just had a Window Glass on top of this Grow Bed, but since the Spinach, Salad and Radish are starting to reach the glass - I'm moving my new Cold Frame to this Grow Bed today. (Link to the post where I show how I built the new Cold Frame.)
Sanna
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Re: Winter Sowing Seeds

Wed May 11, 2016 5:55 pm

It's growing like crazy in the Cold Frame! Have to keep up with harvesting. The Rocket Salad will soon be at it's end and go into flowering already. I will blame the cold spring for that. ;)

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Spinach leaves are gigantic! I'm adding my hand in the pictures for comparison.

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heatherdarko
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:23 pm

Re: Winter Sowing Seeds

Thu May 12, 2016 12:39 pm

Wow! Lol I almost can't wait till winter to try my hand at jump starting by winter sowing


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Sanna
Site Admin
Posts: 755
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:57 am

Re: Winter Sowing Seeds

Mon May 16, 2016 9:52 am

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Amazing Spinach! This goes right into todays lunch!
Sanna
Site Admin
Posts: 755
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:57 am

Re: Winter Sowing Seeds

Mon May 30, 2016 12:15 pm

Last batch of rocket salad harvested from this Cold Frame yesterday (end of may). I cleaned it up and started a new batch of summer salad yesterday.

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nige
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:35 am

Re: Winter Sowing Seeds

Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:25 pm

This is a wonderful idea,
Now I have to build a cold frame....
Have you planted in the raised box and just left them to wait for spring without the glass top?
I am "itching" to play in the dirt.. Next few days supposed to get 40deg.+
Oh, and fantastic looking boxes...
nige



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Sanna
Site Admin
Posts: 755
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:57 am

Re: Winter Sowing Seeds

Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:11 pm

nige wrote:This is a wonderful idea,
Now I have to build a cold frame....
Have you planted in the raised box and just left them to wait for spring without the glass top?
I am "itching" to play in the dirt.. Next few days supposed to get 40deg.+
Oh, and fantastic looking boxes...
nige
Thank you! I'm very glad to inspire you! :-) 
I've tried winter sowing with glass on top, plastic frame on top, and in plastic boxes (works like small greenhouses). This year I also plan to do some Winter Sowing and place the Sowings in my Mini Greenhouse to try that out. I have never tried without any coverage but guess that probably works just starts to grow a bit later. The lid is also protecting from Birds and Rabbits that I have in my Garden, so I would not remove them due to that reason.
One good thing to know about Winter Sowing is not to start to early. You want the seeds to get at least one really cold period, but not to get the on-off weather where they start to grow and then freezes. I've learned that I can start in January, but some years I have to wait until February to be sure.. (and sometimes, I'm not sure anyway). However I think it's worth trying. It's wonderful if it succeeds, and if not you still have plenty of time to start seeds indoors the traditional way.
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