Winter Sowing Seeds – Update

While the final deck post is on it’s way, I thought I’d update you on a little experiment I started a few months ago.

Do you remember when I attempted to winter sow some seeds for our garden? To refresh, the premise is that you plant seeds in containers which can be left outdoors in the winter. The reasoning being it requires no special equipment, and it will result in hardier plants that can be transplanted before last frost, which is pretty late around here.

Do you remember when a few weeks later I checked on the plants and wrote this post all about how excited I was it was working because they were filled with shoots?

And do you remember how I told you I’d let you know how it worked out and how we would transplants them yadda yadda yadda?

Yeah, well, that’s not going to happen. A few weeks after my last post I opened those suckers up to water them. They looked good. And then something dawned on me. They didn’t look an awful lot like the plants I had planted. I would consider myself a novice gardner, but I certainly know what swiss chard looks like coming up and it doesn’t look like that.

And then the final straw came. Or lightbulb. Or whatever you call that moment of “ahah!” followed by “ohhh maannnn”.

I went to plant some iris’s I got from my mom, which had been a bucket with peat moss. You know, the same peat moss I planted my seeds with…

…and it had the same green shoots in it.

So what the heck was going on?


Andy figured out that the peat moss bag was below a bag of grass seed on the shelf in our barn. The mice, being clever little *name I shouldn’t say* that they are, found their way into the grass seed bag. They decided to take said grass seed and in the process, they dumped a ton of grass seed into the peat moss bag, which was open. Now, because the mice managed to tip the grass seed bag just enough that it dumped directly into the peat moss bag, we didn’t notice it. There was also still grass seed left, though a lot less than we had thought we had used. We chalked it up to just not remembering we used that much.

As it turns out however, when I put my little trowel into the bag of peat moss and mixed it a couple times all I did was mix in grass seed. Into our peat moss.

Cue head hitting laptop.

To look on the bright side of things, I did succeed in winter sowing some seeds. They were just grass seeds which choked out most of my other seeds. I will proudly state that I did get a couple spinach and tomato shoots. At least we needed some grass in certain patches, so I pulled out the few miniscule veggie seeds that had started and spread the pre-started grass seed on the lawn.

I’d say this experiment proved something everyone already knew—you can winter sow seeds. I also further learned that mice are little bleepidy bleeps. I also learned (rather, learn regularly) that God does indeed have a sense of humor.; and that I need to make sure my darn soil bags are closed tight and nowhere near another seed over the winter.




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