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Winter Sowing - Starting Transplants Outdoors

Turn off the grow lights, gather a few milk jugs and potting mix and start planting seeds. Winter sowing is a way to start transplants from seeds outdoors without a greenhouse or cold frame.

Punch four small holes in the bottom of the jug for drainage. Next, partially cut the jug to create a hinged lid.  Make your cut about three to four inches above the bottom, leaving the area by the handle attached.

Fill the bottom with potting mix. Plant seeds at the recommended depth and spacing or even a bit closer. Gently water until the excess runs out the bottom of the container.

Label the inside and outside of the jug with a permanent marker. Close the lid and seal it shut with duct tape. Remove the cap and set your milk jug coldframe in a sunny location outdoors where rain and snow can reach it.

Dates vary based on the growing climate, individual gardeners and the seeds you are planting.

A bit more information: You’ll find a variety of planting recommendations on the internet including at The 104 Homestead. Plant hardy perennials anytime during winter.  Make a few notes to help you fine tune your planting schedule in the future.

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