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Is sowing seeds in cold weather a waste of time? + Does it risk killing the seeds?

Hi all, I was considering doing some greenhouse work while the outdoors is snow covered.

Quick question: Is it okay sow seeds in the greenhouse during the current very cold weather?  In other words, if I sow them in pots "early", will they be happy sat there in the soil until the higher temperatures eventually activate them, or am I potentially damaging them by leaving them in the cold damp soil ungerminated (eg risk of rot?)?



  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,717
    Depends what seeds, I would sow hardy pea varieties now, compost kept in the greenhouse, so it is not really cold.  Also depends where you live, do you have any heat in the greenhouse?
  • TeTe Posts: 193
    edited February 2021
    Well depends on where you live really, I believe the further north you are perhaps the colder it gets, saying that in the past I’ve used a heated propagator to aid seedlings but then again depends on what seeds you are sowing, personally speaking I find propagators can be very useful in a cold greenhouse in the colder months, I tend to use ours more so for rooting of the begonia tubers which gives them a plus start
    "There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true"
  • I live "daaarn saarff", my greenhouse is "heated" but only by a few degrees above outside temperature. 

    I've done some peas too, just wondering if it's best to leave the less hardy varieties in their packs for now? I was basically wondering if it's worth getting the less hardy seed sowing "out of the way" while there's nothing much else to do, even they just sit there ungerminated for a few weeks, or would that risk killing the seeds?

    (btw thanks for the tip, I'm considering heated propagators as a "speed up" option)

  • B3B3 Posts: 27,315
    Be patient😉
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  •  B3 said:
    Be patient😉

    You've worked me out!  :D

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Thing is, if they germinate now, you will have to keep them warm once they are pricked out and planted up. Better to wait a bit.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,010
    Not to mention having t have the space and light for all the freshly pricked out seedlings to grow on unchecked and sufficiently ventilated to avoid problems such as damping off.

    Better to be patient.  You'll get better results and later seedlings will grow quickly and strongly.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,995
    Do an internet search for 'winter sowing'.  I've done the gallon milk jug method once, but had trouble keeping them watered just right.  It would be easier in your green house.  Maybe try for some cut and come again salad?  Or plant peas crowded together in a pot on an indoor windowsill for pea shoots?  Or tomatoes and peppers on the windowsill?  Just a few to itch the itch.  😁
    Utah, USA.
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