Did the Winter Sowing Work?

It's been nearly two months since I posted W - Winter Sown, and five since I planted some of the Winter Sown milk jugs.  How'd that work out?  Was it worth it?  Did they do better, bloom sooner than direct seeding in early spring?

Both "yes" and "no" would do here.  Some were worth it.  Some did better.  Some I will do again.  Most were not necessary, or failed.

A lot of the successes were perennial herbs.  So, now I have them, don't need to sow them again! 

I got a lot of horehound!   This is just one of the many I let mature.


(a little worse for wear due to bug nibbles)

(not many sprouted, but they self-seed so easily)

(still not sure of this one's perennial status, I read it can go either way)

This next photo shows why I grew this plant.  I just had to see these incredible seeds for myself!   Once this plant starts, it matures, flowers and sets seeds quickly. 

Then, there were other perennials as well.

(did well until the earwig massacre, but are coming back nicely)



(bugs love baby artichoke plants!)

As for the annuals, some did better sown in winter.

I'm not sure I like them blooming early, since none of the other annuals are up and flowering to hide the bachelor buttons' ugly plant!  


There is no reason to winter sow sweet peas, I can't tell where the winter sown ones stop and the direct seeded start.  

Supposed to self-seed like crazy, so my two plants, covered in hundreds of flowers, should provide me with more without planting any myself.  Very fast growing plant, with the prettiest blue flowers. This was probably my favorite to winter sow, if only because the seedlings are huge and I could manipulate them to transplant without casualties.  While I heard it dislikes transplanting (which would make winter sowing a no-no), I transplanted mine several times, into larger containers, with no problems.  The flowers do indeed have a taste similar to cucumber. 

This was a great success with winter sowing, but not worth the extra time before direct seeding.  It bolted too soon and I've reseeded it.  I'd just direct seed this one, it germinates quickly once the weather is warm.

So popular with the bugs as seedlings, I don't think it's worth growing myself!  I don't use it in cooking much, so it's just a pretty for the garden.  I think it attracts pests though.

Both were good winter sowing candidates and transplanted well.  We just don't eat enough of either to bother growing.  The Guinea pigs and rat got most of the greens. 

Everything else failed or did too poorly to count here.   A lot of the annual flowers germinated, but didn't survive transplanting.  Or, they grew too large, too soon.  The nasturtiums didn't make it, even though they have a long germination period.  They sprouted, but didn't thrive.  There are a few measly snow-in-summer hanging on in the Rock Garden.  They were much too tiny as seedlings to manage.  Dwarf godetia is straggly to this date, I reseeded a week ago.  Probably half of my winter sown seeds never came up at all.  Except for the garlic chives, none of the other alliums germinated.  That was a disappointment, I had quite a few unusual varieties I was looking forward to growing.

I'll do bachelor buttons, calendulas and zinnias again.  I didn't mention zinnias earlier because Boo ate them all!  He loves zinnia seedlings, and I have to protect them better than I did this year, until they are taller and the sweet tender leaves toughen up.  What a garden pest!

It was a fun germination project, but as I wrote in W - Winter Sowing, my spring comes early enough to direct seed most anything I want.  It does work though.



  1. Great update! I'm a little weepy, though, to say more but can tell you the cat we saved from starvation was neutered. :) His family was responsible as well as thrilled to have him back. My blog post was rushed due to an eye appointment for SO. He, by the way, is considering stray adoption now. Maybe this was a nudge from above. :) Be well, my dear.

  2. Both this post and the last are great! Wonderful photos. I'm sorry about the earwigs. Boo is a doll. And thank you for the kind words on my humble blog. Dillon the cat was fixed, as it turned out. I just had no experience with males. Our three stray felines over the years were all girls. But my husband joked that the family would forfeit that boy if he ever shows up at our doorstep again. We would definitely be tempted to keep him. And now I know the vet techs don't automatically scan cats for id chips. ~grin~ Happy Gardening!


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