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What to Sow? You can choose using common plant names.
It is easy to choose plant varieties to Winter Sow. You don't need to know the botanical names of any of the plants you choose. All plants have common everyday names or descriptions that can bring to mind a natural environment, a regional location, or a description of reproductive habit. These names and clue-in phrases will help make it easier to choose which plants you can Winter Sow.
Natural Plant Names ~ Environments and locations.
Natural Environment Common Plant Names ~ Look for names showing natural environments, wild lands and other outdoor locations: Arroyo, Brook, Canyon, Creek, Desert, Dune, Field, Meadow, Mountain, Plain, Prarie, River, Sea, Swamp, Valley, Veld, Etc.
Some examples are:
Alpine Aster ~ Aster alpinus
Temperate Climate Plant Names ~ Look for global regional names indicating an origin in a temperate climate: Siberian, Chinese, Polar, Alpine, Oriental, Caucasian, Canadian, Russian, American, European, etc.
Some examples are:
Siberian Iris ~ Iris siberica
Catalogue and Seed Packet Germination Terms Indiciative of Winter Sowing ~ Look at any seed catalogue. Most will have some information about seed germination requirements for their varieties. You should notice some 'clue-in' phrases that will guide you in choosing what to Winter Sow in your own garden.
Some examples are: Reseeds or reseeding, wildflower, colonizes, self-sows, hardy seeds, can be direct sown early, seedlings can withstand frost, sow outdoors in early autumn, sow outdoors in late autumn or early winter, sow outdoors in early spring while frosts may still occur, sow outdoors in early spring while nights are still cool, weed (such as Butterfly Weed, Joe Pye Weed, Jewel Weed), needs pre-chilling (freeze seeds, refrigerate seeds, stratify for x amount of days or weeks, needs stratification, etc.
For More Ideas about Winter Sowing Seed Selection ~ Think about your garden and the gardens in your neighborhood, Do you find plants that have volunteered each spring and shown up as seedlings you didn't sow? These are very good choices for Winter Sowing. Let's say that your orange marigolds have returned in spring as volunteer seedlings; you can be pretty sure that gold, lemon or mahogany of African or French varieties can all reseed in your garden--when it comes down to it a marigold is a marigold is a marigold.
Visit local botanical gardens and ask the caretakers and gardeners which plants reseed there. Any plants they mention would be a good choice for Winter Sowing as your local botanical garden has a climate similar to your own garden.
Take a walk at a Natyre Preserve near you and observe the wildflowers, the young sapling trees, bushes, vines, etc. All of these plants have germinated and thrive outdoors with only Mother Nature to assist them. Generally, these plants are good choices for Winter Sowing.
This page last modified on Friday, April 29, 2016