Remember when I mentioned winter sowing back on the winter solstice? Well, I wouldn't start my winter sowing quite that early, but I did start it in late February last year.
This year, I feel like I'm way behind. The tulips that I planted in the fall are already shooting up in the front yard. Hellebores are blooming, and sprouts of everything from Jacob's ladder to cardinalflower are showing.
Some people, like Colleen, are already exulting in the appearance of their winter sown sprouts--and rightfully so! But until today I had no little "ghetto greenhouses" lined up along the side of my house. With the spring equinox right around the corner, and my fingers itching to get dirty, it was definitely time to rectify that situation.
I am a little short on winter sowing containers right now, so I started with the perennials and hardier annuals. Somehow, most of the seed varieties I picked were teensy-tiny, like these. Luckily, the seed companies tend to really pack a lot of these small seeds into each packet so I didn't have too much trouble scattering them in the container. When you winter sow and get too many seedlings in a container, you can plant them out in chunks. The strong ones eventually crowd out the weaker ones as they fight for nutrients.
So far, I have winter sowed the following: alchemilla erythropoda, asclepias incarnata 'Cinderella,' Hungarian Blue breadseed poppy, ruta graveolens, allium cernuum, coleus 'Wizard Velvet Red,' nicotiana sylvestris and echinops bannaticus 'Blue Glow.'
The coleus is an experiment because winter sowing it seems like a hit-or-miss thing. The rest of the seeds should do okay for me, I hope. In a few weeks, I will find out whether my winter sown seeds will sprout... taking the leap of faith to sow seeds on the spring equinox seems appropriate in light of the hopeful nature of the season.