Tips from Olle Garden Bed: 9 Winter Sowing Mistakes to Avoid
The days are getting shorter and shorter, and the temperature is dropping slowly. This can only mean one thing: winter is coming! There is a chance to plant some of your favorite plants in winter. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.
Winter sowing is one of the best ways to start spring quickly in the garden. However, winter planters may make some common mistakes, which may destroy the whole experience. To ensure that you will not be the victim of these mistakes and give yourself a chance to succeed in gardening in the coming season, here are nine winter planting mistakes you should avoid as much as possible.
- Do not use seed starting mixture
One of the key mistakes winter planters often make is not using the correct seed starter mixture for their seeds. Conventional garden variety dirt does not provide the warmth and humidity needed for successful germination. Use high-quality seed starting mixture or pre moistened potted soil as seeds to make full use of winter sowing.
- Unsuitable container
It is important that the containers you use for winter sowing can withstand cold weather. Plastic milk cans or 2-liter bottles work well, as do single serving plastic water bottles and takeout containers with lids. Avoid using shallow containers because there may not be enough space for the root to grow.
Make sure that any containers you use are clean and free of any type of materials that may seep into the soil or become places where mold, mold and fungi grow. You can wash the container with soapy water or use a 10% bleach solution and rinse it clean.
- No drain hole
One of the most important things to consider when planting in winter is to ensure that your container has a drain hole. Without these, your plants will be drowned and suffocated in the soil. To avoid this problem, ensure that each container has at least four holes to allow moisture to escape.
- Early planting
Another common mistake winter planters make is planting too early in the season. Wait until the last frost date in your area before planting, because anything before that may die of low temperature.
If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, December to January is your best choice.
- Sowing too many seeds
Remember, if you plant too many seeds, your plants will be more difficult to thrive because they need resources such as water and sunlight. When seedlings sown in winter need to be transplanted into the soil, it may also be necessary to loosen or separate some of them.
To avoid this extra trouble, do not plant seeds that exceed the capacity of the container. Here, it is best to follow the packaging instructions.
- Don't mark containers
When you start planting at the end of winter, it is sometimes difficult to remember which varieties are planted in each container. Once the plants germinate and you have the start of several different plants, it is impossible to distinguish them without labels.
If you are in a hurry to prepare the garden bed or just feel overwhelmed by the number of seeds to be planted, it is a simple mistake not to mark the container. Take some time to label each container before planting. Now you know when to harvest.
It is also a good idea to write down details about your assortment, such as the expected due date. The more information you provide, in case something happens, the more prepared you will be. You need to refer to them later. In this way, you will have all the important information at your fingertips.
- Too much or too little watering
It is easy for people to immerse themselves in the excitement of winter sowing, but you need to avoid a mistake: too much or too little water. Too much water will cause the root to rot, while too little water will cause the seed to dry without germination. Fortunately, it doesn't take a lot of extra work to get the perfect balance!
When sowing in winter, rain and snow are all the water needed by plants. You do not want to add additional water unless you see a lack of condensate on the container or the soil feels dry. If this happens, water gently.
Once spring comes and the temperature rises, you may need to add more water as the plants grow and need more water. As usual, please proceed with caution. If your plants seem to have had enough, don't continue to pour! Over watering can cause as many problems as under watering.
- Poor quality or wrong seed
It may be tempting to go to local stores or online markets and get some cheap seeds, but in the long run, this usually leads to low germination rates and disappointing results. In order to reduce the risk of frustration, it is very important to purchase high-quality seeds from reliable suppliers.
Look for high-quality seeds and varieties that are very suitable for your climate and soil conditions. Local plants are very suitable for winter sowing. So are Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli. However, heat loving plants, such as achyranthes anise, may not perform well.
- Location is important
One of the most common mistakes in winter sowing is to put the kettle in direct sunlight. At first glance, this seems a good idea. After all, it can help you take advantage of the warmth of winter, but it is actually the secret of disaster. Direct sunlight will quickly heat the kettle and may cause your seeds to sprout or die prematurely, which may damage their chances of success.
On the contrary, find a place facing north or east, which can not only provide some light, but also prevent strong winds and cool temperatures at night. This will make your kettle a perfect combination of warmth and protection to ensure successful germination.
Winter sowing is a good way to jump during the gardening season, but like any other project, you can do something to increase your chances of success. By avoiding these nine mistakes when planting in winter, you will have a successful garden in spring. Now, what remains to be done is to sit down and wait for the warm months ahead! Good luck and happy sowing!