Seed Starting 101 - Winter Sowing

Seed Starting

Winter sowing is an easy, low-tech way of using items from your house + Mother Nature to grow vegetables and flowers for your garden.  

Supplies Needed


Soil (recommendations below)

Clear jug without a cap (milk jug)

Utility Knife

Duct Tape (not Gorilla)

Wax Pencil

When should I start my seeds?

Frost Hardy Annuals (read seed packet) can be started on March 1.  If the seed packet says Frost Hardy = Yes, you can start March 1st.

Tender Annuals (not frost hardy on seed packet) can be started on April 1st


  1. Cut jug around ⅔ down leaving a few inches attached and poke 5 generously sized holes in the bottom of the jug for drainage.
  2. Fill the bottom ⅓ of the jug with about 4-5 inches of soil.
  3. Water the soil heavily until it runs out of the drainage holes
  4. Plant seeds according to package directions.
  5. Replace the top half of the jug and tape it around the seam where you cut it.  Be sure to seal it as much as possible.
  6. Place in a sunny spot in your yard where it will get rain and snow.  
  7. Your seeds should be ready to plant directly into the ground after Mother’s Day.
  • Check your jugs every week to make sure they are getting watered.  Water through the top of the jug.
  • Do not open the tape unless absolutely necessary
  • Do not bring inside the house or garage.
  • If temperatures dip below 15 degrees, cover overnight with a blanket.

Links and Resources

Preferred Soils

$$ - Promix Organix (Menards)

$$$$Fox Farm Ocean Forest Potting Soil (Farm and Fleet)

Wax Pencil

Favorite Seed Companies

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Johnny’s Seeds

Older Post Newer Post