Are you looking for an easy way to start native plants in your garden this year? Well, look no further than winter seed sowing in jugs!
Winter seed sowing is a fantastic method for starting native plants. These plants are adapted to our local environment, provide essential habitat and diversity for wildlife and pollinators, and the best part they require less water and care than other plants.
It's incredibly simple to do! All you need are some plastic jugs, soil, seeds, and some tape.
Here's how it works: First, collect some clear plastic jugs with lids
Next, cut around three sides of the jug in half leaving some of it still attached, poke some drainage holes in the bottom, and fill the bottom half with soil.
Then, sprinkle your seeds on top of the soil and cover with a thin layer of additional soil. Water thoroughly and tape the top and bottom of the jug back together.
Place the jugs outside in a spot that gets some sun, but is also protected from really harsh winter weather.
Over the next few months, your seeds will begin to germinate and grow inside the cozy jugs. The plastic acts like a mini-greenhouse, creating the perfect environment for your little seedlings to thrive.
When spring arrives, you can transplant your new native plants directly into your garden!
Winter seed sowing is an excellent way to start plants that require a cold stratification period before they'll sprout like delphiniums. This method also works well for cool loving vegetable crops like lettuce and spinach.
Give winter seed sowing a try this year. It's a fun and rewarding way to get a head start on your garden and start growing some beautiful native plants! The pollinators will thank you come summer.
These native flowers are well-suited to the growing conditions in our area and can be successfully winter sown using the jug method described above.
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) - A hardy perennial that produces beautiful pink-purple flowers with a distinctive cone-shaped center. It's also a great source of nectar for pollinators.
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) - Another hardy perennial that features bright yellow flowers with a dark center. It blooms from mid-summer through fall and is loved by bees and butterflies.
Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) - This native wildflower produces clusters of bright flowers that are a magnet for butterflies. It's also the primary host plant for the Monarch butterfly. Try a beautiful orange, pink or white.
Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) - A beautiful and fragrant perennial that produces clusters of lavender-pink flowers in mid-summer. It's a favourite of hummingbirds and bees.
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) - Another great choice for butterfly lovers, this perennial produces clusters of pink flowers in mid-summer. It prefers moist soil conditions, making it perfect for rain gardens or other wet areas.
Enjoy the beauty and benefits of native plants in your garden!