Winter gardening - two words that just don't seem to go together, but apparently they do. Those two words also will give you a hint of what we are trying new this year. Here is a little peek into the seed starting technique we are using with some of our hardy annuals for the 2021 flower season.
Above is a view into a milk jug filled with hope. Technically it is a milk jug containing Larkspur seeds; but, for us it is hope that the winter gardening technique we are trying will work. We have been looking for an inexpensive way to get some of our hardy annuals started earlier and with more help from mother nature. Plus, a kitchen/dining room can only hold so many seed starting trays. After some research, we came across FreshcutKY and decided to give their technique a go. We modified her starting schedule slightly since she was in a warmer growing zone than us. Today we planted our first winter garden jugs containing Larkspur, Clary Sage, and Bupleurum. We choose these as our first batch because of their hardiness and tendency to reseed in our zone on their own. Larkspur, additionally, has to go through the cold stratification process. Cold stratification is the process of freezing and thawing that some seeds must go through in order to even begin to germinate and grow.
We are contemplating starting samples of 7-10 seed varieties using this method. They will be started at various times over the last part of this winter and early spring. Today we have our first 3 varieties ready to go. The plan right now still has us starting 90-95% of all our seeds inside as we have done in the past, but this winter gardening experiment will certainly give us lots of information to help us plan for our next growing seasoning.
We will keep you posted on how the winter gardening turns out. In the meantime remember the Larkspur - take all cold spells for what they are and remind yourself that they will only make you more fully what you were meant to be.