seed starting Winter Gardening wintersown

Wintersown – My Variation – Index to posts written

As long time readers already know, I don’t have enough light or enough room indoors to start seed. Since I wanted to grow from seed, I had to find a way.

About 5 years ago I found out that sowing seed in the middle of winter is very popular and was/is called wintersown. I took that method and made my own variations for even warm weather crops.

Anyone can use this method and anyone can be successful with it. It’s very easy and the more you do it, the more you’ll know how to alter the method to suit your own special needs and conditions.

Why Use the Wintersown Method?

If you don’t have proper light and room inside; if you don’t want to be tending seedlings every day for months; if you want an easy way to grow your plants from seed and be successful, wintersown is it.

Folks get excited about the possibilities of wintersown, so I get a lot of questions about it every year.

Some of the most asked questions are:

  • When do you start planting?
  • When and how do you begin the warm weather seeds with this method?
  • Do you have to water?
  • Will the seedlings freeze in severe temperatures or when snow covers the jugs?

I’ve written numerous posts that cover all these questions in detail and much more.

I thought it might be helpful to have a page listing 17 of the posts I’ve written on wintersown and the basic topics covered in each post. Also, I’ve noted whether or not the post has pictures. You can quickly go down the list and see where the answer to your question might be.  Many of the questions are covered in several posts rather than just one.

Keep in mind: it’s always helpful to read comments from readers at the end of each post.  They can add a lot to what you might get out of the post.

If you’re new to wintersown, I would suggest reading every post at least once.  Perhaps you could read one every day or every couple of days so you’ll be ready to starting planting soon.

After reading all the posts, if you still have questions, feel free to email me or leave your questions in the comments area.

Wintersown is just too a good a thing to pass it up.  You’ll get better and better with each try!

Here’s the list of the 17 posts with topics covered in the posts:

#1 – Seed Starting – It’s Easy Even with Less Than Perfect Conditions

  • What you Need to Grow Seedlings Inside
  • What if you Don’t Have Room Inside
  • When to Start
  • Seed Starting Charts
  • Resist starting cole crops and warm weather crops too early

#2 – Seed Starting – Another Variation – Wintersown

  • tells how and when I start warm weather crops
  • no watching, no watering, no worries – is the bottom line
  • pictures

#3 – Seed Starting – When to Begin – Adapting to Change

  • Seed starting charts
  • What it Takes to Be Successful
  • Attitude Can Make a Big Difference
  • Dates Can Vary with the Weather
  • Adapting to Change
  • Finding Your First/Last Average Frost Dates
  • Things I Find Helpful in Determining When I Want to Plant
  • How That Influences my Start Date
  • picture

#4 – Warm Weather Crops and the Wintersown Method

  • Original Intent of Winter Sown
  • Adapting Winter Sown Method to Warm Weather Crops
  • Too Cold?
  • What TMG Readers are Saying (about wintersown)

#5 – Seed Starting – WinterSown Update

  • various notes on my wintersown of January 2013
  • including: most cold weather crops do fantastic through all the freezing temps but there’s always the exception

#6 – Winter Sowing – It Begins and Vegetable Tidbits

  • pictures
  • how I do it
  • list of what I was starting that year in January
  • also herbs and flowers
  • Important Points about any cover-for-winter crops

#7 – Seed starting – Peppers – An Observation

  • pictures
  • pepper seedling observations

#8 – Wintersown – Answer to Questions about Seeds and Transplanting

  • No set Rules
  • Lettuce
  • Other Cole Crops
  • Warm Weather Crops
  • Backup!
  • When to transplant seedlings to the garden (rules are not fixed)
  • pictures

#9 – Seed Starting – The Easy Wintersown Way

  • Don’t have to worry about damping-off
  • Freezing and Thawing?
  • Do they all Germinate?
  • Nothing Fancy Needed for this Miracle
  • What about Watering  (One of the most asked questions.)
  • Cold Weather Crops and Hot Weather Crops (when to start them)

#10 – Wintersown – Another Plus

  • something to be aware of and a good reason to keep your tops on the jugs

#11 – Seed Starting – Two Main Reasons Seedling Fail

  • deals with understanding what seedlings need to grow
  • Probably THE most important requirement is LIGHT
  • Strategy for  Onions
  • Strategy for Warm Weather Crops
  • Seedlings Leggy and Weak?
  • Another Main Reason Plants Fail – Soil too Wet
  • Finding a Way to Give Seedlings What they Need
  • Want to Learn More?

#12 – Seed Starting – Warm Weather Crops – Adapting the Wintersown Method – Things you Need to Know

  • Links to my adaptation of wintersown and clarification of original intent of wintersown
  • Altering the Concept of Wintersown
  • A Reason for the Alteration
  • Short Growing Season and Cold into June
  • Starting Warm Weather Crops with My Adaptation of Wintersown
  • special block about optimum soil temperatures for germination and another reason for seed not germinating
  • Different Situations, Conditions, and Reasons
  • Judging When to Start Seed
  • How about Cucumbers and Squash?
  • Be aware of thoughts caused by brainwashing in our society

#13 – Wintersown Variables – A Readers Questions – Nature’s Principles

  • Adapting the wintersown method
  • Questions from a Reader
  • Question and Answer about Warm Daytime Temperatures
  • What I’m Doing May Help you Decide What You Want to Do (tells of the variation for that year)
  • The Principles Behind the Decision
  • The attitude we all need
  • Keep Nature’s principles – circulation and sunlight
  • picture

#14 – You Can Plant in December

  • How I came to Wintersown
  • pictures
  • How to do it
  • Plants are Already Hardened Off
  • Wintersown
  • List of stuff planted by Dec. 21st

#15 – Looking at Wintersown Seedlings and the Garden

  • pictures
  • what was planted between Dec. 21st and January 6th
  • what was growing by February

#16 – A Blanket of Snow

  • pictures
  • A Reader’s Question
  • My Answer
  • What’s a blanket of snow?
  • Rules of Thumb to Keep in Mind (regarding the weather)
  • Seeing is believing
  • Pay attention to nature

#17 – Transplanting Root Crop Seedlings

  • tips for planting root crops
  • a readers experience


  • Theresa, I had never heard of “wintersown” until I learned about it in your writings. Next month, I’m going to a workshop on this very topic. It is being offered by our local Illinois Extension office. I will be sure to read all of your posts before then. Thanks for sending the listing to all of us. Enjoy your day!

  • You are welcome Patricia. It would be a good page to bookmark if one is interested in wintersown.

    Mary, I hope you will report back on the workshop or maybe email me and let me know some details. Wintersown is so great because it can be done in so many ways and adapted by almost everyone to their unique situation. I will be most interested in hearing the approach that the Extension office takes. Enjoy the workshop. Wish I could attend with you!

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