Overwintering Seeds
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Copper Messages
Posted on: September 1, 1998

We have a large flower and herb garden (over an acre) that we inherited when we moved here earlier this year. I would like to start more flowers and herbs from seeds. Is it possible to prepare the soil now, as we are weeding, and sow the seeds? Would they germinate in the spring? I assume they do this naturally in the wild. Or would we lose too many to the harsh winter weather?

You could lose the seedlings if they are not programmed to grow to a big enough size to overwinter satisfactorily. To help you with this we use a code in our catalogue that tells you when it is safe to sow the particular seed. It is listed opposite the latin name of the plant in the form of a number. 1 means the plant can be planted early spring, 2 means in late spring, 3 means late summer or early autumn, 4 means late winter(in the house), 5 means anytime (inside or out), and 5 means the seeds need stratification. The latter means that if they are planted directly out of doors, they must be planted at a time when the weather will be cool for three months – usually in the late fall or very early spring.

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